nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2016‒03‒17
seven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Do Natural Resources Influence Who Comes to Power, and How? By Carreri, Maria; Dube, Oeindrila
  2. The peril of parliamentarism? : executive–legislative relations and the transition to democracy from electoral authoritarian rule By Higashijima, Masaaki; Kasuya, Yuko
  3. Optimal voting mechanisms with costly participation and abstention By Grüner, Hans Peter; Tröger, Thomas
  4. Dynamics of Political Budget Cycle. By Manjhi, Ganesh; Mehra, Meeta Keswani
  5. Effects of Welfare Reform on Women's Voting Participation By Dave, Dhaval M.; Corman, Hope; Reichman, Nancy E.
  6. Violence and political outcomes in Ukraine: Evidence from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk By Tom Coupe; Maksym Obrizan
  7. Improving territorial cohesion: the role of stakeholders in OMC and cohesion policy By Roberta Cucca; Yuri Kazepov

  1. By: Carreri, Maria; Dube, Oeindrila
    Abstract: Do natural resources impair institutional outcomes? Existing work studies how natural resources influence the behavior of leaders in power. We study how they influence leaders' rise to power. Our analysis focuses on oil price shocks and local democracy in Colombia, a country mired in civil conflict. We find that when the price of oil rises, legislators affiliated with right-wing paramilitary groups win office more in oil-producing municipalities. Consistent with the use of force to gain power, positive price shocks also induce an increase in paramilitary violence, and reduce electoral competition: fewer candidates run for office, and winners are elected with a wider vote margin. Ultimately, fewer centrist legislators are elected to office, and there is diminished representation at the center. Our findings highlight how natural resources undermine democracy by distorting elections, and suggest that conflict leaves the political sector vulnerable to the resource curse.
    Keywords: conflict; democracy; elections; leaders; Natural resources
    JEL: D72 H11 H70 O12 O13 Q34
    Date: 2016–02
  2. By: Higashijima, Masaaki; Kasuya, Yuko
    Abstract: Why do some electoral authoritarian regimes survive for decades while others become democracies? This article explores the impact of constitutional structures on democratic transitions from electoral authoritarianism. We argue that under electoral authoritarian regimes, parliamentary systems permit dictators to survive longer than they do in presidential systems. This is because parliamentary systems incentivize autocrats and ruling elites to engage in power sharing and thus institutionalize party organizations, and indirectly allow electoral manipulation to achieve an overwhelming victory at the ballot box, through practices such as gerrymandering and malapportionment. We test our hypothesis using a combination of cross-national statistical analysis and comparative case studies of Malaysia and the Philippines. Employing a cross-national dataset of 170 countries between 1946 and 2008, dynamic probit models provide supporting evidence that electoral authoritarianism within parliamentary systems is less likely to lead a country to democracy than within presidential systems. The results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests, including instrumental variable estimation and additional controls. Two carefully selected case studies have been chosen for comparative analysis—Malaysia’s Barisan National (National Front) regime (1957 to present) and the Philippines's electoral authoritarian regime (1978 to 1986)—which elucidate causal mechanisms in the theory.
    Keywords: Democratization, Electoral Authoritarianism, Presidentialism vs. Parliamentarism, Southeast Asia, Political Institutions
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Grüner, Hans Peter; Tröger, Thomas
    Abstract: How should a society choose between two social alternatives when valuations are private, monetary transfers are not feasible, and participation in the decision process is costly? We show that it is always socially optimal to use a linear voting rule: votes get alternative-dependent weights, and a default obtains if the weighted sum of votes stays below some threshold. A participation or approval quorum rule can be optimal only if one side of the electorate abstains. In the case of small participation costs, we characterize the equilibria of linear voting rules and solve for welfare-maximizing rules. Voluntary voting always dominates compulsory voting. If (and only if) the heterogeneity of preference intensities across the electorate is small, in the optimum essentially only one side of the electorate participates.
    Date: 2016–02
  4. By: Manjhi, Ganesh (Gargi College, Delhi University); Mehra, Meeta Keswani (Centre for International Trade and Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University)
    Abstract: Using the method of optimal control, when an incumbent politician derives utility from voting support and dis-utility from budgetary deficit, the equilibrium time paths of both voting support and budgetary deficit are characterized in a finite time horizon under complete information. The incumbent politician may be an opportunist, in that she/ he is interested in garnering votes for herself/ himself, and manipulates budgetary deficit to achieve this, or else she/ he may be partisan, that is, characterized by heterogeneous preferences, reflecting preferences for specific economic policies. The citizen-voters vote for the opportunist as well as the partisan incumbent. However, they reject the same when there is a sufficiently strong anti-incumbency in the opportunist case. The level of voting support obtained in case of both opportunist and partisan is found to be positive and rising over time, but running the budgetary deficit will be costlier for the economy in the former case than the latter. That is, per unit votes garnered by raising the budgetary deficit as compared to the benchmark deficit are lower when the incumbent is an opportunist than when she/ he is partisan.
    Keywords: Opportunist Incumbent ; Partisan Incumbent ; Citizen Voters ; Budgetary Deficit ; Political Economy ; Political Budget Cycles ; Fiscal Policy ; Anti-incumbency
    JEL: D72 P16 P35
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Dave, Dhaval M. (Bentley University); Corman, Hope (Rider University); Reichman, Nancy E. (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: Voting is an important form of civic participation in democratic societies but a fundamental right that many citizens do not exercise. This study investigates the effects of welfare reform in the U.S. in the 1990s on voting of low income women. Using the November Current Population Surveys with the added Voting and Registration Supplement for the years 1990 through 2004 and exploiting changes in welfare policy across states and over time, we estimate the causal effects of welfare reform on women's voting registration and voting participation during the period during which welfare reform unfolded. We find robust evidence that welfare reform increased the likelihood of voting by about 4 percentage points, which translates to about a 10% increase relative to the baseline mean. The effects were largely confined to Presidential elections, were stronger in Democratic than Republican states, were stronger in states with stronger work incentive policies, and appeared to operate through employment, education, and income.
    Keywords: employment, voting, welfare reform, income, civic participation, education, difference-in-differences
    JEL: H0 I2 J2 J3
    Date: 2016–02
  6. By: Tom Coupe (Kyiv School of Economics); Maksym Obrizan (Kyiv School of Economics and Visiting Researcher, University of Duisburg-Essen and CINCH)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effects of violence on political outcomes using a survey of respondents in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk – two cities that were affected heavily by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. We show that experiencing physical damage goes together with lower turnout, a higher probability of considering elections irrelevant and a lower probability of knowing one’s local representatives. We also find that property damage is associated with greater support for pro-Western parties, lower support for keeping Donbas in Ukraine and lower support for compromise as a way to stop the conflict. Our paper thus shows the importance of investigating the impact of different kinds of victimization, as different degrees of victimization can have different, sometimes even conflicting outcomes. Our paper also suggests that one of the more optimistic conclusions of previous studies, that victimization can increase political participation, does not necessarily carry over to Ukraine, which illustrates the importance of country and context-specific studies.
    Date: 2016–02
  7. By: Roberta Cucca; Yuri Kazepov
    Abstract: Since the 1990s the political agenda of the European Union has been increasingly characterized by efforts to strengthen its democratic legitimacy, while at the same time, criticism regarding its democratic deficit have intensified. This has taken place in particular through the promotion of different programmes and tools aimed at involving civil society in the decision making process, both at European and local level, and in different policy sectors. This literature review deals with a large body of articles, books and reports that have been produced over the last decade on the involvement of stakeholders and citizens in decision making processes, especially in Programmes concerning socio-economic dialogue, poverty and social exclusion at European Level, and social and territorial cohesion and – more recently – social innovation at regional and urban level. It is structured as follows. The first section deals with the different theories and approaches related to stakeholders’ and citizens’ involvement in the decision making process. The second section focuses on how this concept has been developed in the European Agenda over the last two decades, especially in the framework of the most important programmes dealing with socio-economic dialogue, social policy, social exclusion and poverty. The third section analyses these changes focusing on EU programmes affecting the local level of decision making, the role of social innovation in defining new scenarios for citizens’ involvement in policy making on programmes, and initiatives addressing social cohesion, poverty and social inclusion. Finally some conclusive remarks on the main challenges of Stakeholders’ Involvement in European participatory practices based on the academic literature developed on the issue are presented.
    Keywords: Social participation, social innovation, stakeholders, neo-corporativism, associative democracy, deliberative democracy, participatory democracy
    JEL: L3 Z13 Z18

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