nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2015‒12‒08
eleven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Invalid Ballots and Electoral Competition By Gani Aldashev; Giovanni Mastrobuoni
  2. Voting In Legislative Elections Under Plurality Rule By Hughes, Niall
  3. Why did I prefer to vote for my political party? By Saxena, Stuti
  4. Religious Riots and Electoral Politics in India By Sriya Iyer, Anand Shrivastava
  5. Rent seeking, revolutionary threat and coups in non-democracies By Paul Maarek; Michael T. Dorsch
  6. Privacy, Trust and Social Network Formation By Alexia Gaudeul; Caterina Giannetti
  7. Internal migration and public policy By Giuranno, Michele; Biswas, Rongili
  8. Identity-Based Organizations By Jean-Paul Carvalho
  9. The electoral migration cycle By Federico Revelli
  10. The Tragedy of Corruption. Corruption as a social dilemma By Ye-Feng Chen; Shu-Guang Jiang; Marie Claire Villeval
  11. How Transparency Kills Information Aggregation : Theory and Experiment By Fehrler, Sebastian; Hughes, Niall

  1. By: Gani Aldashev; Giovanni Mastrobuoni
    Abstract: In close elections, a sufficiently high share of invalid ballots - if driven by votermistakes or electoral fraud - can jeopardize the electoral outcome. We study how thecloseness of electoral race relates to the share of invalid ballots, under the traditionalpaper-ballot hand-counted voting technology. Using a large dataset from the Italianparliamentary elections in 1994-2001, we find a strong robust negative relationshipbetween the margin of victory of the leading candidate over the nearest rival andthe share of invalid ballots. We argue that this relationship is not driven by votermistakes, protest, or electoral fraud. The explanation that garners most supportis that of rational allocation of effort by election officers and party representatives,with higher rates of detection of invalid ballots in close elections.
    Keywords: vote counting; invalid ballots; election officers; party representatives
    JEL: D72 D73
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Hughes, Niall (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Models of single district plurality elections show that with three parties anything can happen - extreme policies can win regardless of voter preferences. I show that when single district elections are used to fill a legislature we get back to a world where the median voter matters. An extreme policy will generally only come about if it is preferred to a more moderate policy by the median voter in a majority of districts. The mere existence of a centrist party can lead to moderate outcomes even if the party itself wins few seats. Furthermore, I show that while standard single district elections always have misaligned voting i.e. some voters do not vote for their preferred choice, equilibria of the legislative election exist with no misaligned voting in any district. Finally, I show that when parties are impatient, a fixed rule on how legislative bargaining occurs will lead to more coalition governments, while uncertainty will favour single party governments
    Keywords: Strategic Voting ; Legislative Elections ; Duverger's Law ; Plurality Rule ; Polarization ; Poisson Games JEL Classification Numbers: C71 ; C72 ; D71 ; D72 ; D78
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Saxena, Stuti
    Abstract: The case study revolves around discussions by a group of students of a popular university in a cafeteria. State elections in Uttar Pradesh had just finished and students were wondering as to how the election results were against their pre-conceived notions. They were discussing about the reasons as to why they voted for their preferred political party as first-time voters. Overall, this case study purports to assess the impact of political parties’ branding on voters’ decision-making. The case study seeks to raise three concerns: how does political parties’ branding influence voters’ decision-making?; what are the key factors which influence a voter in decision-making process?, and why is psephology so different in a multi-party system in developing economies’ contexts? A consumer-oriented approach is developed for assessing the impact of political parties’ branding on voters’ decision-making. It is concluded that voters’ decision-making is influenced by the political parties’ branding initiatives.
    Keywords: Political parties’ branding; Political marketing; Voters perception
    JEL: P48 Y2
    Date: 2015–12–05
  4. By: Sriya Iyer, Anand Shrivastava
    Abstract: The effect of ethnic violence on electoral results provides useful insights into voter behaviour in democratic societies. Religious riots have claimed more than 14,000 lives in India since 1950. We study the effect of Hindu-Muslim riots on election results in India. We combine data on riots, which have been geo-coded, with electoral data on state legislature elections and control variables on demographics and public goods provision to construct a unique panel data set for 16 large states in India over a 21 year period from 1981-2001. We suggest a new instrument that draws upon the random variation in the day of the week that important Hindu festivals fall on in each year, as set by a lunar calendar. The probability of a riot increases if a Hindu festival falls on a Friday, the holy day for Muslims. This allows us to isolate the causal effect of riots on electoral results. We also correct for under-reporting of riots and how they affect electoral outcomes in nearby districts. We find that riots occurring in the year preceding an election increases the vote share of the Bharatiya Janata Party by 5 to 7 percentage points in the election.
    JEL: Z12 D72 D74
    Date: 2015–11–21
  5. By: Paul Maarek; Michael T. Dorsch (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: This paper studies the political turnover process in autocracies due to coup d’états. We present a model in which autocratic rulers are politically constrained both by the elite and by the street. In the model, these political constraints are inter-related such that when leaders extract rent from the economy on behalf of the elite they increase the probability of facing a revolt in the street. We suppose that rulers di↵er in the efficiency with which they extract rents and citizens make inference about the ruler’s type when idiosyncratic shocks occur. Equilibria are characterized in which elite-led coups serve to reset citizens’ beliefs about the leader’s type and pre-empt revolutions during periods of popular unrest. We then investigate the theory’s empirical implications using panel data on popular unrest and coups in sub-Saharan Africa. We pursue a strategy to instrument for the intensity of popular unrest, the results of which support the causal mechanism highlighted in our theory.
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Alexia Gaudeul (Department of Economics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen); Caterina Giannetti (Jena Graduate School Human Behaviour in Social and Economic Change)
    Abstract: We study in the laboratory the impact of private information revelation on the selection of partners when forming individual networks. Our experiment combines a "network game" and a "public-good game". In the network game, individuals decide with whom to form a link with, while in the public-good game they decide whether or not to contribute. The variations in our treatments allow us to identify the effect of revealing one's name on the probability of link formation. Our main result suggests that privacy mechanisms affect partner selection and the consequent structure of the network: when individuals reveal their real name, their individual networks are smaller but their profits are higher. This indicates that the privacy costs of revealing personal information are compensated by more productive links.
    Keywords: privacy, social networks, public goods, trust
    JEL: D12 D85
    Date: 2015–12–01
  7. By: Giuranno, Michele; Biswas, Rongili
    Abstract: This paper studies the relation between internal migration and public spending on public goods. We describe centralized public policy when a central government is comprised of elected representatives from local electoral districts. Internal migration determines the median voter in the districts. The median voters decide the equilibrium policy through bargaining. We find the conditions under which exogenous inter-jurisdictional migration results in larger or smaller public spending. The paper also studies whether and when inter-regional migration leads to the efficient policy outcome. We find that the efficient size of government spending depends on the way internal migration leads to convergence among the regional median incomes and the national average income.
    Date: 2015–12
  8. By: Jean-Paul Carvalho (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: A single club model describes the collective production of both personal and social identity. Personal identity, how one perceives oneself, is formed through a process of cultural transmission. Social identity, how one is perceived by others, takes the form of collective reputation. Our model of identity-based organizations incorporates into the economics of identity insights from the economics of religion and cultural transmission. The identities that develop tend to be oppositional. Organizations devoted to more extreme identities are able to support higher levels of participation and collective action.
    Keywords: Identity; Club goods; Economics of religion; Cultural transmission
    JEL: Z12 J22 D03
    Date: 2015–12
  9. By: Federico Revelli
    Abstract: This paper puts forward a new test of Tiebout sorting that relies on the exogenous time structure of recurrent local elections. The test is based on the idea that the policy uncertainty that is associated with periodic competitive elections should be expected to induce delay of migration, thus generating an electoral migration cycle of relatively low rates of migration before the elec- tions, followed by relatively high rates of migration when electoral uncertainty is resolved. Conversely, interjurisdictional migration flows that are unrelated to local public service provision motives ought to be orthogonal to the timing of local elections. Empirically, I study sorting patterns across several thousands of peninsular Italy’s municipalities through the increasingly turbulent 2002-2013 decade. I find evidence of an electoral migration cycle in the sense that the timing of internal migration flows is systematically influenced by the schedule of recurrent mayoral elections.
    Keywords: Tiebout sorting, local elections, uncertainty
    JEL: D72 H77 C23
    Date: 2015–12
  10. By: Ye-Feng Chen (College of Economics, Zhejiang University, China); Shu-Guang Jiang (Centre for Economic Research, Shandong University, China); Marie Claire Villeval (Université de Lyon, F-69007, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, 93, Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, Ecully, France; Université Lyon 2, Lyon, F-69007, France)
    Abstract: We investigate corruption as a social dilemma by means of a bribery game in which a risk of collective failure is introduced when the number of public officials accepting a bribe from firms reaches a certain threshold. We show that, despite the social risk, the pursuit of individual interest prevails and leads to the elimination of honest officials over time. Reducing the size of the groups while increasing the probability of collective failure diminishes the public officials’ corruptibility but is not sufficient to eliminate the tragedy of corruption altogether.
    Keywords: Corruption, bribing, social dilemma, collective failure, coordination, experiment
    JEL: C92 D73 H41
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Konstanz and IZA); Hughes, Niall (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We investigate the potential of transparency to influence committee decisionmaking.We present a model in which career concerned committee members receive private information of different type-dependent accuracy, deliberate and vote. We study three levels of transparency under which career concerns are predicted to affect behavior differently, and test the model’s key predictions in a laboratory experiment.The model’s predictions are largely borne out - transparency negatively affects information aggregation at the deliberation and voting stages, leading to sharply different committee error rates than under secrecy. This occurs despite subjects revealing more information under transparency than theory predicts.
    Keywords: Committee Decision-Making ; Deliberation ; Transparency ; Career Concerns ; Information Aggregation ; Experiments ; Voting ; Strategic Communication JEL Classification Numbers: C92 ; D71 ; D83
    Date: 2015

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