nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2015‒11‒07
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Expert Information and Majority Decisions By Kohei Kawamura; Vasileios Vlaseros
  2. Voting and contributing when the group is watching By Henry, Emeric; Louis-Sidois, Charles
  3. Deciding over controversial issues: Voting behavior in the Council and the European Parliament on genetically modified organisms By Muhlbock, Monika; Tosun, Jale
  4. An empirical study on Party Switching in Turkey By Bilge Öztürk Göktuna; Gülen Derya Zayim
  5. To mobilize or not: political attention and the regulation of GMOs By Tosun, Jale; Schaub, Simon
  6. Vote buying or (political) business (cycles) as usual? By Toke Aidt; Zareh Asatryan; Lusine Badalyan; Friedrich Heinemann
  7. Trading Votes for Votes. A Decentralized Matching Algorithm By Alessandra Casella; Thomas Palfrey
  8. The effects of elections on monetary policy in Turkey: An evaluation in terms of Political Business Cycle Theory By Filiz Eryılmaz
  9. Oregon Task Force on Genetically Engineered Seeds and Agricultural Products: Summary of Task Force Report and Observations for Coexistence Efforts By Allen, Jennifer H.
  10. Institutional Investors and Corporate Political Activism By Albuquerque, Rui; Lei, Zicheng; Rocholl, Jörg; Zhang, Chendi

  1. By: Kohei Kawamura; Vasileios Vlaseros
    Abstract: This paper shows theoretically and experimentally that hearing expert opinions can be a double-edged sword for collective decision making. We present a majoritarian voting game of common interest where committee members receive not only private information, but also expert information that is more accurate than private information and observed by all members. In theory, there are Bayesian Nash equilibria where the committee members’ voting strategy incorporates both types of information and access to expert information enhances the efficiency of the majority decision. However, there is also a class of potentially inefficient equilibria where a supermajority always follow expert information and the majority decision does not aggregate private information. In the laboratory, the majority decisions and the subjects’ voting behaviour were largely consistent with those in the class of inefficient equilibria. We found a large efficiency loss due to the presence of expert information especially when the committee size was large. We suggest that it may be desirable for expert information to be revealed only to a subset of committee members.
    Keywords: committee decision making, voting experiment, expert information, strategic voting
    JEL: C92 D72 D82
    Date: 2015–09–23
  2. By: Henry, Emeric; Louis-Sidois, Charles
    Abstract: Members of groups and organizations often have to decide on rules that regulate their contributions to common tasks. They typically differ in their propensity to contribute and often care about the image they project, in particular want to be perceived by other group members as being high contributors. In such environments we study the interaction between the way members vote on rules and their subsequent contribution decisions. We show that multiple norms can emerge. We draw surprising policy implications, on the effect of group size, of supermajority rules and of the observability of actions.
    Keywords: image concern; information aggregation; public good; voting
    JEL: D71 D72 H41
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Muhlbock, Monika; Tosun, Jale
    Abstract: The renewal of existing authorizations for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the approval of new products is a controversial issue among the European Union (EU) member states as well as within EU institutions such as the European Parliament (EP). We argue that decision making on GMOs is characterized by distinctive voting behavior. We test this expectation by analyzing the member states’ voting behavior on a number of authorization requests brought in by the European Commission between 2004 and 2014 and on a recent vote in the EP on the authorization of GM maize Pioneer 1507. Indeed, we see signs of party politics in Council voting. However, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) display signs of country-oriented voting. Both the manifest signs of party politics in the Council voting and countryoriented voting of the MEPs are in contrast to previous findings in the literature. Most interestingly, the MEPs display a voting a voting behavior that concurs with how the ministers from their home countries vote in the Council. We interpret these findings as signs that the specificity of biotechnology as a controversial and value-loaded issue leads to the unconventional voting patterns in the Council and the EP.
    Keywords: cabinet governance, party families, biotechnology regulation, issue saliency, policy positions, Crop Production/Industries, International Development, Political Economy,
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Bilge Öztürk Göktuna (Galatasaray University, Department of Economics); Gülen Derya Zayim (Galatasaray University, Institute of Social Sciences, Graduate Student)
    Abstract: Party switching is a frequently observed political behaviour in Turkish political life. In the literature, switching is defined as party mobility of a currently selected deputy or a group of deputies to a new party during a legislative session. In this paper, however, switching will be identified as all the party interchange both throughout and between the legislative sessions. Party switching does not only shed light on the individual decision making of the politicians but also explains the evolution of political parties, democratic representation and the electoral competition. Our study will focus on the behaviour of party switchers, the causes behind this political choice in Turkey. Data will contain the politicians who have participated in the general elections held between 1983-2015 period. It does not matter whether the politician is elected or not. Our main concern is under which banner politicians have participated in the elections. Literature review reveals that there exists two main factors behind the switching: First, individual motivations like having a seat in the parliament and being closer to state resources have great importance for the decision of the switchers. On the other hand, primary motivation of the politicians to get a seat in the parliament might be concerns for policy. They search for the party in which they might have a strong position to implement policy; thus represent his/her electorate effectively. By following this theoretical framework, we construct our main hypotheses to understand the reasons of Turkish politicians’ switching behaviour. In this empirical study our aim is to test these hypotheses using the data set containing all the candidates (selected or not) participated in the general elections held in Turkey between the 1983-2015 period by following their party affiliations and switching decisions. In conclusion, we intend to have some implications for the political decision making of the politicians in Turkey.
    Keywords: Party Switching, Party Affiliation, Political Decision Making, Democratic Representation
    JEL: E24 O40 C23
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Tosun, Jale; Schaub, Simon
    Abstract: Do opponents and supporters of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) differ in their mobilization strategies in order to either defend or challenge the regulation of GMOs in the European Union? In this study we postulate that the actors’ positions will determine their efforts to attract attention to the conflict surrounding GMOs. We argue that there are two actor coalitions: one supporting and one opposing GMOs. The coalition opposing GMOs has come under pressure as the regulatory status quo has been challenged by the European Union’s international trade partners. Therefore, we expect that the GMO-opponents will seek to attract as much attention as possible to the conflict in a view to maintain the regulatory status quo. The rival expectation – which is more in line with the literature on policy change – is that the GMO-supporters will make an effort to raise awareness since this group is interested in changing the regulatory status quo. We test the two expectations by using quantitative discourse network analysis. This method allows measuring both the existence of actor coalitions and consensus among the individual members of the coalitions by comparing the arguments they make, which, in turn, allows for identifying their respective mobilization strategies. Our findings show that the GMO-opponents form a more coherent coalition and are more active in influencing the public discourse than the GMO-supporters.
    Keywords: biotechnology, European Union, GMOs, risk regulation, mobilization strategies, quantitative discourse network., Crop Production/Industries, Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use, L65, D81, D72.,
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Toke Aidt (University of Cambridge and CESifo); Zareh Asatryan (ZEW Mannheim and University of Freiburg); Lusine Badalyan (University of Bremen and Jacobs University); Friedrich Heinemann (ZEW Mannheim and University of Heidelberg)
    Abstract: We study the short-run effect of elections on monetary aggregates in a sample of 85 low and middle income democracies (1975-2009). We find an increase in the growth rate of M1 during election months of about one tenth of a standard deviation. A similar effect can neither be detected in established OECD democracies nor in other months. The effect is larger in democracies with many poor and uneducated voters, and in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and in East-Asia and the Pacific. We argue that the election month monetary expansion is related to systemic vote buying which requires significant amounts of cash to be disbursed right before elections. The finely timed increase in M1 is consistent with this; is inconsistent with a monetary cycle aimed at creating an election time boom; and it cannot be, fully, accounted for by alternative explanations.
    Keywords: Political business cycles, vote buying, monetary economics
    JEL: D72 E51 O10
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Alessandra Casella; Thomas Palfrey
    Abstract: Vote-trading is common practice in committees and group decision-making. Yet we know very little about its properties. Inspired by the similarity between the logic of sequential rounds of pairwise vote-trading and matching algorithms, we explore three central questions that have parallels in the matching literature: (1) Does a stable allocation of votes always exists? (2) Is it reachable through a decentralized algorithm? (3) What welfare properties does it possess? We prove that a stable allocation exists and is always reached in a finite number of trades, for any number of voters and issues, for any separable preferences, and for any rule on how trades are prioritized. Its welfare properties however are guaranteed to be desirable only under specific conditions. A laboratory experiment confirms that stability has predictive power on the vote allocation achieved via sequential pairwise trades, but lends only weak support to the dynamic algorithm itself.
    JEL: C92 D7 D72
    Date: 2015–10
  8. By: Filiz Eryılmaz (Uludag University)
    Abstract: The Political Business Cycle Theory which emerged as one of the basic areas of discussion of Positive Public Choice Theory, were based on the studies of Kalecki (1943) and Akerman (1947) in the 1940s. Political Business Cycle Theory are examined under two main branches of Traditional Political Business Cycle Theory and Rational Political Business Cycle Theory. While Traditional Political Business Cycle Theory are classified in two groups as Traditional Opportunistic Political Business Cycle Theory and Traditional Partisan Political Business Cycle Theory, the Rational Political Business Cycle Theory are separated as Rational Opportunistic Political Business Cycle Theory and Rational Partisan Political Business Cycle Theory. While voters are assumed to have adaptive expectations in Traditional Political Business Cycle Theory, they are accepted as being rational in Rational Political Business Cycle Theory. Another model of differentiation of the relationship of Political Business Cycle Theory is the Opportunistic or Partisan relationship. In the Opportunistic model, it is assumed that the single aim of the governing parties, which are accepted as equally formed, is to apply policies which will maximise their chances of winning elections. In partisan models, the governing parties are not similar, and are in fact at different ends of the ideological spectrum as right and left-wing (Alesina and Roubini, 1990; Alesina, Roubini and Cohen, 1991). In this study, the Traditional Opportunistic Business Cycle Theory of Nordhaus (1975) was tested for the series of M0, M1, M2, M2Y, the interbank rate, the three-month Turkish lira (TL) time deposit rate, the three-month United States (US) dollar time deposit rate, nominal and real treasury auction rates for the Turkish economy. In the determination of whether or not political opportunistic policies were observed in general elections held in the period 1985M12- 2012M4, the autoregressive model used in studies by Alesina, Cohen ve Roubini (1991, 1992, 1997) of OECD countries and industrial countries, was used in this study.
    Keywords: Political Business Cycle Theory, Traditional Opportunistic Political Business Cycle Theory, Monetary Policy, Box-Jenkins Models, Turkey
    JEL: D72 E62 H62
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Allen, Jennifer H.
    Abstract: Dialogue related to GE issues is often polarizing due to the broad range of often-conflicting perspectives and the level of passion that many bring to this topic. Recognizing this challenge, in 2014 the Governor of the State of Oregon created a task force to bring representatives of diverse interests together to help frame the issues so that decision-makers would have an opportunity to consider the issues in a way that reflected the full range of perspectives. The purpose of the task force was not to develop consensus recommendations, but rather to help ensure that the full range of issues of concern to stakeholders was identified and understood. In examining the challenges of coexistence, the task force surfaced governance approaches, risk, liability and compensation, and communication as important considerations. While the decision not to seek consensus recommendations may have limited the report’s impact in subsequent legislative discussions, the effort to characterize issues of concern may have laid useful groundwork for the future. This paper presents the highlights of the task force’s discussions regarding coexistence issues and explores the implications for this type of process in terms of advancing exploration of coexistence strategies.
    Keywords: coexistence, Oregon, governance, Crop Production/Industries, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2015–11
  10. By: Albuquerque, Rui; Lei, Zicheng; Rocholl, Jörg; Zhang, Chendi
    Abstract: The landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission asserts for the first time that corporations benefit from First Amendment protection regarding freedom of speech in the form of independent political expenditures, thus creating a new avenue for political activism. This paper studies how corporations adjusted their political activism in response to this ruling. The paper presents evidence consistent with the hypothesis that institutional investors have a preference for not using the new avenue for political activism, a preference not shared by other investors.
    Keywords: Citizens United; Corporate Governance; Institutional Investors; Political Activism
    JEL: G23 G30
    Date: 2015–11

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