nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2015‒06‒27
thirteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Impact of Political Competition on Economic Growth: Evidence from Municipalities in South Africa By Nonso Obikili
  2. The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV By Ruben Durante; Paolo Pinotti; Andrea Tesei
  3. Political Advertising and Voting Intention: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Ads Viewership By Ruben Durante; Emilio Gutierrez
  4. Politics 2.0: the Multifaceted Effect of Broadband Internet on Political Participation By Filipe R. Campante; Ruben Durante; Francesco Sobbrio
  5. Budget, expenditures composition and political manipulation: Evidence from Portugal By Vítor Castro; Rodrigo Martins
  6. A Case for Standard Theory? By Christoph Kuzmics; Daniel Rodenburger
  7. Women voters and trade protectionism in the interwar years By de Bromhead, Alan
  8. Revenue decentralization, central oversight and the political budget cycle: Evidence from Israel By Baskaran, Thushyanthan; Blesse, Sebastian; Brender, Adi; Reingewertz, Yaniv
  9. Saving Face and Group Identity By Eriksson, Tor; Mao, Lei; Villeval, Marie Claire
  10. What do we learn from public good games about voluntary climate action? Evidence from an artefactual field experiment By Goeschl, Timo; Kettner, Sara Elisa; Lohse, Johannes; Schwieren, Christiane
  11. Technology and Governance: Enabling Participatory Democracy By Chakrabarty, Aritra
  12. Cooperative behavior and common pool resources : experimental evidence from community forest user groups in Nepal By Bluffstone,Randy; Dannenberg,Astrid; Martinsson,Peter; Jha,Prakash; Bista,Rjesh
  13. Does collective action sequester carbon ? the case of the Nepal community forestry program By Bluffstone,Randy; Somanathan,Eswaran; Jha,Prakash; Luintel,Harisharan; Bista,Rajesh; Paudel,Naya; Adhikari,Bhim

  1. By: Nonso Obikili
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of political competition on economic growth. Using results from the 1994 and 1999 elections I show that municipalities with a decisive vote either for or against the dominant national party have grown faster than municipalities with more voter competition amongst various political parties. I show that in democracies, governments with more freedom to make decisions and less threat from opposition political parties are associated with faster economic growth and improvement in supply of some public goods.
    Keywords: Political Competition, economic growth, Democracy, Voting Behaviour
    JEL: P16 O47 D72
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Ruben Durante (Sciences Po); Paolo Pinotti (Università Bocconi); Andrea Tesei (Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: We investigate the political impact of entertainment television in Italy over the past thirty years by exploiting the staggered introduction of Silvio Berlusconi's commercial TV network, Mediaset, in the early 1980s. We find that individuals in municipalities that had access to Mediaset prior to 1985 - when the network only featured light entertainment programs - were significantly more likely to vote for Berlusconi's party in 1994, when he first ran for office. This effect persists for almost two decades and five elections, and is especially pronounced for heavy TV viewers, namely the very young and the old. We relate the extreme persistence of the effect to the relative incidence of these age groups in the voting population, and explore different mechanisms through which early exposure to entertainment content may have influenced their political attitudes.
    Keywords: Television; Entertainment; Voting; Political participation
    JEL: L82 D72 Z13
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Ruben Durante (Département d'économie); Emilio Gutierrez (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM))
    Abstract: Mexico’s campaign law assigns TV and radio ads to parties according to their vote share in the previous election, and mandates the time of the day at which ads are aired to be determined randomly. We exploit this arguably exogenous variation in viewers’ exposure to political ads by different parties and longitudinal electoral survey data to estimate the effect of ads on voting intentions during Mexico’s 2012 presidential campaign. We find that political ads on both radio and TV have a positive, significant and sizeable effect on voting intentions. This effect is short-lived (about two weeks), and is stronger in the early weeks of the campaign. Ads tend to have no significant impact on voters’ knowledge of candidates’ political message, and to be more effective at convincing individuals that are more educated, and those who voted for the party in the past. Taken together these findings suggests that ads do not influence voters by conveying new information but that other mechanisms of persuasion, cantered around ads’ non-informative content, may be at work.
    Date: 2014–07
  4. By: Filipe R. Campante (Harvard University); Ruben Durante (Département d'économie); Francesco Sobbrio (Catholic University of Milan)
    Abstract: We investigate the causal impact of broadband Internet on political participation using data from Italy. We show that this impact varies across different forms of political engagement and over time. Initially, broadband had a negative effect on turnout in national elections, driven by increased abstention of ideologically extreme voters. Meanwhile, however, broadband fostered other forms of online and offline participation. Over time, the negative effect was reverted due to the emergence of new political entrepreneurs who used the Internet to convert the initial “exit” back into “voice”. Overall, these nuanced effects underscore the general equilibrium dynamic induced by the Internet.
    JEL: D72 L82 L86
    Date: 2013–12
  5. By: Vítor Castro (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, and NIPE, Portugal); Rodrigo Martins
    Abstract: This paper examines the presence of political cycles in Portuguese governments’ expenditures. The empirical analysis is done using monthly data for the main categories of government expenditures. The results indicate that Portuguese governments act opportunistically regarding the budget surplus and that they also favour capital instead of current spending near elections. Furthermore, right-wing governments tend to be more prone to expenditures’ reduction and deficits after the elections. A disaggregated analysis for the main components of government expenditures corroborates the previous findings and shows other relevant patterns of political manipulations.
    Keywords: Political budget cycles; Expenditure composition; Portugal; Elections; Fiscal policy.
    JEL: H72 D72 D78
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Christoph Kuzmics (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University); Daniel Rodenburger (University of Jena)
    Abstract: Using data from an experiment by Forsythe, Myerson, Rietz, and Weber (1993), designed for a different purpose, we test the "standard theory" that players have preferences only over their own mentary payoffs and that play will be in (evolutionary stable) equilibrium. In the experiment each subject is recurrently (24 times) randomly matched with ever changing opponents to play a 14 player game. We find that assuming risk-neutrality for all players leads to a predicted evolutionary stable equilibrium that, while it can be rejected at the 5% level of significance, is nevertheless remarkably close to "explaining" the data. Moreover, when we assume that players are risk-averse and we calibrate their risk-aversion in one treatment with a simple game, this theory cannot be rejected at the 5% level of significance for another treatment with a more complicated game, despite the fact that we have close to 400 data points.
    Keywords: opinion polls, elections, voting, testing, Nash equilibrium, attainable equilibrium, symmetries
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2015–06
  7. By: de Bromhead, Alan
    Abstract: This paper examines the lessons of the interwar period to place current concerns regarding a return to protectionism in historical context, highlighting the unique and one-time changes in voting rights that took place during the period and their relationship with trade policy. A particularly novel finding is the impact of women voters on the politics of protectionism. Public opinion survey evidence from the interwar years indicates that women were more likely to hold protectionist attitudes than men, while panel data analysis of average tariff rates during the interwar period shows that when women were entitled to vote tariffs were, on average, higher. This result is supported by an instrumental variables approach using Protestantism as an instrument for female voting rights.
    Keywords: political economy,suffrage,international trade,gender differences
    JEL: N40 N70 F50
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Baskaran, Thushyanthan; Blesse, Sebastian; Brender, Adi; Reingewertz, Yaniv
    Abstract: This paper examines whether revenue decentralization and direct external financial supervision affect the incidence and strength of political budget cycles, using a panel of Israeli municipalities during the period 1999-2009. We find that high dependence on central government transfers - as reflected in a low share of locally raised revenues in the municipality´s budget - exacerbates political budget cycles, while tight monitoring - exercised through central government appointment of external accountants to debt accumulating municipalities - eliminates them. These results suggest that political budget cycles can result from fiscal institutions that create soft budget constraints: that is, where incumbents and rational voters can expect that the costs of pre-election expansions will be partly covered later by the central government.
    Keywords: political budget cycles,soft budget constraint,local governments,decentralization
    JEL: D72 H72 H74 E62
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Eriksson, Tor (Aarhus School of Business); Mao, Lei (Central University of Finance and Economics); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: Are people willing to sacrifice resources to save one's and others' face? In a laboratory experiment, we study whether individuals forego resources to avoid the public exposure of the least performer in their group. We show that a majority of individuals are willing to pay to preserve not only their self- but also other group members' image. This behavior is frequent even in the absence of group identity. When group identity is more salient, individuals help regardless of whether the least performer is an in-group or an out-group. This suggests that saving others' face is a strong social norm.
    Keywords: pro-social behavior, social image, saving face, group identity, experiment
    JEL: C92 D03 M52 Z13
    Date: 2015–06
  10. By: Goeschl, Timo; Kettner, Sara Elisa; Lohse, Johannes; Schwieren, Christiane
    Abstract: Evidence from public good game experiments holds the promise of instructive and cost-effective insights to inform environmental policy-making, for example on climate change mitigation. To fulfill the promise, such evidence needs to demonstrate generalizability to the specific policy context. This paper examines whether and under which conditions such evidence generalizes to voluntary mitigation decisions. We observe each participant in two different decision tasks: a real giving task in which contributions are used to directly reduce CO2 emissions and a public good game. Through two treatment variations, we explore two potential shifters of generalizability in a within-subjects design: the structural resemblance of contribution incentives between the tasks and the role of the subject pool, students and non-students. Our findings suggest that cooperation in public good games is linked to voluntary mitigation behavior, albeit not in a uniform way. For a standard set of parameters, behavior in both tasks is uncorrelated. Greater structural resemblance of the public goods game leads to sizable correlations, especially for student subjects.
    Date: 2015–06–19
  11. By: Chakrabarty, Aritra
    Abstract: Several factors and dimensions are taken into consideration which influences the definition and scope of e-governance. Here ‘e’ implies technology driven governance. By application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the delivery of government services, exchange of information and services becomes efficient. Here exchange and flow of information takes place at three levels- 1) Government to consumer (G2C) 2) Government to business (G2B), and 3) Government to government (G2G) The perspective of e-governance is the “use of technologies that both help governing and have to be governed”. In order to understand debate and analyze the concept of e-governance and how its contours have changed, we first need to recognize e-democracy. It is a process and structures that encompass all forms of electronic interaction between the elected government and the citizenry. E-democracy as a concept and practice precedes participatory democracy which has been defined (Kramer, 1972) as that process that emphasizes broader participation in governance operation. Thus e-governance is conditioned on the fact that there exists a democratic political system and it involves a participatory framework of governance. This paper will look at the changing paradigm of e-governance through three broad questions- 1) Has ICT enabled civic engagement and initiated public opinion in this developing economy 2) Has it succeeded in reversing apparent defects in the electoral system 3) Has ICT lead to the spread of information from the state to the society
    Keywords: Democracy, Governance, Technology, Citizens, Government, Policy, Participatory democracy, Politics
    JEL: H1 H44 O38 P35
    Date: 2015–06–01
  12. By: Bluffstone,Randy; Dannenberg,Astrid; Martinsson,Peter; Jha,Prakash; Bista,Rjesh
    Abstract: This paper examines whether cooperative behavior by respondents measured as contributions in a one-shot public goods game correlates with reported pro-forest collective action behaviors. All the outcomes analyzed are costly in terms of time, land, or money. The study finds significant evidence that more cooperative individuals (or those who believe their group members will cooperate) engage in collective action behaviors that support common forests, once the analysis is adjusted for demographic factors, wealth, and location. Those who contribute more in the public goods experiment are found to be more likely to have planted trees in community forests during the previous month and to have invested in biogas. They also have planted more trees on their own farms and spent more time monitoring community forests. As cooperation appears to be highly conditional on beliefs about others? cooperation, these results suggest that policies to support cooperation and strengthen local governance could be important for collective action and economic outcomes associated with forest resources. As forest management and quality in developing countries is particularly important for climate change policy, these results suggest that international efforts such as the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation should pay particular attention to supporting governance and cooperation at the local level.
    Keywords: Common Property Resource Development,Forestry Management,Wildlife Resources,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Environmental Economics&Policies
    Date: 2015–06–22
  13. By: Bluffstone,Randy; Somanathan,Eswaran; Jha,Prakash; Luintel,Harisharan; Bista,Rajesh; Paudel,Naya; Adhikari,Bhim
    Abstract: This paper estimate the effects of collective action in Nepal?s community forests on four ecological measures of forest quality. Forest user group collective action is identified through membership in the Nepal Community Forestry Programme, pending membership in the program, and existence of a forest user group whose leaders can identify the year the group was formed. This last, broad category is important, because many community forest user groups outside the program show significant evidence of important collective action. The study finds that presumed open access forests have only 21 to 57 percent of the carbon of forests governed under collective action. In several models, program forests sequester more carbon than communities outside the program. This implies that paying new program groups for carbon sequestration credits under the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing may be especially appropriate. However, marginal carbon sequestration effects of program participation are smaller and less consistent than those from two broader measures of collective action. The main finding is that within the existing institutional environment, collective action broadly defined has very important, positive, and large effects on carbon stocks and, in some models, on other aspects of forest quality.
    Keywords: Common Property Resource Development,Forestry Management,Wildlife Resources,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Climate Change and Environment
    Date: 2015–06–22

This nep-cdm issue is ©2015 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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