nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2016‒06‒18
twelve papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Liberals, Socialists, and pork-barrel politics in Greece By Psycharis, Yannis; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés; Tselios, Vassilis
  2. Strategic behavior of private entrepreneurs in China: Collective action, representative claims, and connective action By Heberer, Thomas
  3. Solving the second-order free rider problem in a public goods game: An experiment using a leader support system By Hiroki Ozono; Nobuhito Jin; Motoki Watabe; Kazumi Shimizu
  4. Why parliament now decides on war: tracing the growth of the parliamentary prerogative through Syria, Libya and Iraq By James Strong
  5. Immigration to the U.S.: A problem for the Republicans or the Democrats? By A.-M. Mayda; G. Peri; W. Steingress
  6. Factors Supporting the Development of Producer Organizations and their Impacts in the Light of Ongoing Changes in Food Supply Chains: A Literature Review By Jan Falkowski; Pavel Ciaian
  7. Nash on a rotary : two theorems with implications for electoral politics By Basu,Kaushik; Mitra,Tapan
  8. The role of community leadership in the development of grassroots innovations By Mari Martiskainen
  9. How Brexit affects European Union power distribution By László Á. Kóczy
  10. Incorporating Biodiversity Conservation in Peruvian Development - A history with different episodes By Zinngrebe, Yves
  11. Tsipras and the rhetorical speech as policy By Kotroyannos, Dimitrios
  12. The political economy of energy innovation By Shouro Dasgupta,; Enrica De Cian; Elena Verdolini

  1. By: Psycharis, Yannis; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés; Tselios, Vassilis
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of pork-barrel politics in the allocation of public investment expenditures in Greece. It proposes a model which explicitly relates the allocation of public investment to electoral results using a unique dataset covering the period from the restoration of democracy in 1974 until 2009, just before the Great Recession that radically transformed the political panorama of the country. The analysis includes ten legislative periods marked by governments of the two parties that dominated the political arena in Greece: the Liberal and the Socialist Party. The results show that Socialist and re-elected governments applied more expansionary fiscal policies relative to Liberals. The two main parties also used different tactics when it came to pork-barrelling: while the Socialists when in government rewarded/groomed their electoral fiefs, the Liberals invested in areas controlled by the opposition to win over new votes or seats.
    Keywords: elections; Greece; pork-barrel politics; Public investment; regional policy
    JEL: H54 P16 R1 R12 R42 R58
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Heberer, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper starts out from James C. Scott's seminal book "Weapons of the Weak" dealing with everyday forms of collective action by private entrepreneurs. It raises the question by what kind of formal and informal mechanisms Chinese entrepreneurs exert political influence in order to protect or enforce their interests. The author explored two aspects: First, the way in which private entrepreneurs in China act in a collective manner, i. e. as a strategic group; and second, how collective action by private entrepreneurs is altering both political structures and the institutional setting of the political system and what effect this is having on stabilization of the system as a whole. In addition, this paper examines patterns of formal and informal representation of private entrepreneurs in Chinese politics. The author contends that as Chinese entrepreneurs increasingly turn to patterns of collective action they are developing into a coherent group with a broad range of strategies aimed at safeguarding their interests, and that in so doing they are playing a salient role as system stabilizers.
    Keywords: private entrepreneurs as strategic groups,political strategies and corporate political action,collective action,connective action,lobbying,weapons of the rich,everyday forms of policy influence
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Hiroki Ozono (Faculty of Law, Economics and Humanities, Kagoshima University); Nobuhito Jin (School of Psychology Practices, College of Integrated Human and Social Welfare Studies, Shukutoku University); Motoki Watabe (School of Business, MonashUniversity, Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan); Kazumi Shimizu (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: To study the collective action problem, researchers have investigated public goods games (PGG), in which each member decides to contribute to a common pool that returns benefits to all members equally. Punishment of non-cooperators—free riders—can lead to high cooperation in PGG. However, the existence of second-order free riders, who do not pay punishment costs, reduces the effectiveness of punishment. We focus on a “leader support system,” in which one group leader can freely punish group followers using capital pooled through the support of group followers. In our experiment, participants were asked to engage in three stages: a PGG stage in which followers decided to cooperate for their group; a support stage in which followers decided whether to support the leader or not; and a punishment stage in which the leader could punish any follower. We found both higher cooperation and higher support for a leader achieved under linkage-type leaders—who punished both non-cooperators and non-supporters. In addition, linkage-type leaders themselves earned higher profits than other leader types because they withdrew more support. This means that a leader who effectively punishes followers could increase their own benefits and the second-order free rider problem would be solved.
  4. By: James Strong
    Abstract: Research Highlights and Abstract: Precedents set in debates over Iraq, Libya and Syria established a new parliamentary prerogative, that MPs must vote before military action can legitimately be launched. Tony Blair conceded the Iraq vote to shore up Labour back-bench support, because he was convinced he would win, and because he was unwilling to change course regardless. David Cameron allowed a vote on Libya because he believed parliament should have a say, because UN support meant he was certain to win, and to gain plaudits for not being Blair. Cameron then had to allow a vote on Syria despite its greater political sensitivity. He mishandled the vote, and lost, and felt constrained to pull out of mooted military action. Collectively these three precedents comprise a new constitutional convention, which will constrain the executive in future whether the law is formally changed or not. Parliament now decides when Britain goes to war. The vote against military intervention in Syria on 29 August 2013 upheld a new parliamentary prerogative that gradually developed through debates over earlier actions in Iraq and Libya. While the academic community and much of the British political elite continue to focus on the free rein granted to prime ministers by the historic royal prerogative, this article argues it is critically constrained by its parliamentary counterpart. It traces the way political conditions, individual policymaker preferences, and the conventional nature of the unwritten British constitution allowed parliament to insert itself into the policymaking process without the consent of successive governments. It concludes that MPs will in future expect the right to vote on proposals to deploy the armed forces overseas, and that the legitimacy of military action will depend on the government winning such a vote.
    Keywords: foreign policy; military action; parliament; royal prerogative
    JEL: P33
    Date: 2015
  5. By: A.-M. Mayda; G. Peri; W. Steingress
    Abstract: This article studies the impact of immigration on the share of votes to the Republican and Democratic Party in US elections between 1994 and 2012. Our analysis is based on the variation across states and years and addresses the issue of endogeneity of immigrant flows using a set of instruments that leverage distance from country of origin and historical settlements of foreign-born to obtain a proxy for supply-driven immigration flows. Pooling all elections, immigration to the U.S. had a negative average impact on the vote share to the Republican Party. This is consistent with the typical view of political analysts in the U.S. However, this average effect – mainly detectable in House elections – has two components. When the growth of the immigrant population is due to an increase in naturalized migrants, the effect on Republican vote is clearly negative. Yet, when the share of non-citizen migrants in the population increases and their share in the state population is large – making immigration a salient policy issue – the impact on the Republican vote share is positive. These results are consistent with stronger voting preferences of naturalized immigrants for the Democratic Party relative to native voters, but also with native voters' political preferences shifting towards the Republican Party in places with high immigration of non-citizens. In our estimates, the second effect is only significant when immigrants are a large portion of the local population.
    Keywords: Elections, Immigration, Republican Party, Citizenship.
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Jan Falkowski (University of Warsaw); Pavel Ciaian (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This report surveys the recent literature on producer organizations with a specific focus on factors affecting their establishment and their impact on farmers' market performance and welfare. The report also discusses producer organizations' role in improving farmers’ bargaining power and allowing them to respond to various challenges which result from dynamic changes characterizing commercial relations within the food supply chain. Key factors supporting the emergence and development of producer organizations include human and social capital, networking, interpersonal relationships between members (with an important role of trust) and the functioning of enforcement mechanism used to govern group behaviour. The existing literature provides also strong evidence that access to information and farming experience positively affect the emergence of producer organizations. There is also some evidence that larger farms are more likely to join collective action. The literature also clearly points that we are still far from reaching a consensus on who (private or public actors) should support promoting cooperation between farmers and what incentives should be provided to achieve this goal in the most efficient way. Although there are numerous studies pointing to positive effects of producer organizations on farm income or farm performance- in particular for high-value products – overall, the evidence is inconclusive and often mixed. For example, the existing literature often suggests that that the benefits of producer organizations in terms of improved farmer bargaining position in the food chain vary with time, place, technology, sector, scale of farming, and human and social capital available. An area where there is particularly little evidence on the impact of producer organizations concerns the nature and the dynamics of the contractual relationships at various stages of the food chain. Further research is also needed to improve our understanding of factors determining smallholders' participation in collective action, substitutability between formal and informal cooperation, determinants of power distribution throughout the food chain and the occurrence of unfair trading practices. Based on the surveyed evidence the report concludes with a set of policy recommendations.
    Keywords: Producer organizations, food chain, farmers, bargaining power, marketing, social capital, networking, agricultural policy
    JEL: L11 Q13 Q18
    Date: 2016–05
  7. By: Basu,Kaushik; Mitra,Tapan
    Abstract: The paper provides a complete characterization of Nash equilibria for games in which n candidates choose a strategy in the form of a platform, each from a circle of feasible platforms, with the aim of maximizing the stretch of the circle from where the candidate?s platform will receive support from the voters. Using this characterization, it is shown that if the sum of all players? payoffs is 1, the Nash equilibrium payoff of each player in an arbitrary Nash equilibrium must be restricted to the interval [1/2(n ? 1), 2/(n + 1)]. This implies that in an election with four candidates, a candidate who is attracting less than one-sixth of the voters can do better by changing his or her strategy.
    Keywords: ICT Economics,Economic Theory&Research,Common Property Resource Development,Coastal and Marine Environment,Disease Control&Prevention
    Date: 2016–06–08
  8. By: Mari Martiskainen (Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, Sussex Energy Group, SPRU)
    Abstract: This article focuses on the role of community leadership in the development of grassroots innovations. It asks: When community leaders initiate energy projects, what types of skills and knowledge practices do they utilise to nurture grassroots innovations? Grassroots innovations are usually driven by social and sustainability motives, and developed by civil society groups. Based on a mixed methods approach including research interviews and site visits, the article draws on previous literature on community leadership, grassroots innovations and niche literature. Community leadership is analysed via two in-depth community energy cases in the UK. Research findings show that community leadership can aid the development of grassroots innovations, which operate in niches and require nurturing. Community leadership benefits from being embedded into social networks, shared vision and decision making, but pre-existing skills and tacit knowledge also play a role. Community leaders can also assist niche building by working closely with intermediary actors.
    Keywords: community leadership, grassroots innovations, nurturing, intermediaries, community energy
    Date: 2016–10
  9. By: László Á. Kóczy (Óbuda University)
    Abstract: The possible exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union will have profound economic and political effects. Here we look at a particular aspect, the power distribution in the Council of the Euro- pean Union. Since the Lisbon treaty the exit does not require new negotiations as the success of a voting initiative only depends on the number and total population of the supporting member states. Using the Shapley-Shubik power index we calculate the member states' pow- ers with and without the United Kingdom and update earlier power forecasts using the Eurostat's latest population projections. There is a remarkably sharp relation between population size and the change in power: Brexit increases the largest members', while decreases the smallest ones' powers.
    Keywords: European Union, Council of the European Union, qualifed majority voting, power index, a priori voting power, demographics. JEL Codes: D72, D78, D62
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Zinngrebe, Yves
    Abstract: Conservation movements in developing countries, such as Peru, arise in relation to predominant perceptions concerning development and progress. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Peruvian government adopted a development vision that promoted the colonisation of the Amazon region, which led to the expansion of agricultural, infrastructural and extractive projects. As reaction to this development paradigm, citizens formed various conservationist groups to push the protection of biodiversity onto the political agenda. This article analyses how these different groups emerged and started to develop a discourse on biodiversity conservation. After conducting qualitative interviews with stakeholders, discourse groups were identified and described with regard to their historical appearance. For example, in the 1980s, a group of mainly biologists started forming NGOs and supporting projects in and around protected areas. Contrastingly, another group is looking at conservation as a traditional, cultural activity of indigenous people. With the ratification of the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) in the early 1990s, a new political momentum led to important legislative and institutional changes, which stood in contrast to the general development agenda of resource based growth. A new perspective started to enter the discourse with the creation of regional governments in 2002, which led to new practical questions about local biodiversity management. After studies like the Millennium Ecosystem report and the TEEB assessment (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), economic approaches to biodiversity conservation initiated a new perspective on biodiversity policy. While those different discourse groups do not automatically contradict or exclude each other, this article sheds light on the different historical situations and motivations underlying these discourses.
    Keywords: Environmental discourse, natural capital, megadiverse country, Peru, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2016–05–26
  11. By: Kotroyannos, Dimitrios
    Abstract: It is the first time after the restoration of democracy in Greece that such a U-turn has been conducted. The radical, unconventional and extreme rhetoric against harsh austeritywas sharply transformed into a tactical retreat in order to supposedly support more effectively the public interest. SYRIZA, a heterogeneous alloy of leftist tendencies, treated the popular anger and resentment towards harsher austerity measures in order to achieve electoral rise. Consequently, it was rapidly transformed from a small – protest – party into a power party. In this instance, it transformed, without moral curb, citizens’ despair into an extreme rhetoric which defended their “rights” in order to rise to power. Namely, SYRIZA treated instrumentally the expectations of the desperate as a means to rise to power in order to benefit the party but not for the whole society.
    Keywords: Left wing populism , reproduction of power, enemy - friend scheme,political fetishism of power , adventurist verbosity, arrogant irredentism, tax increases
    JEL: A13 A3 H1 H10 H11 H12 H2 H20 H3 H30 H4 I0 I3 I38
    Date: 2016–06–02
  12. By: Shouro Dasgupta,; Enrica De Cian; Elena Verdolini
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the effects of environmental policy, institutions, political orientation, and lobbying on energy innovation and finds that they significantly affect the incentives to innovate and create cleaner energy efficient technologies. We conclude that political economy factors may act as barriers even in the presence of stringent environmental policy, implying that, to move towards a greener economy, countries should combine environmental policy with a general strengthening of institutional quality, consider the influence of government's political orientation on environmental policies, and the implications of the size of energy intensive sectors in the economy.
    Keywords: energy innovation, environmental policy, patents, political economy
    Date: 2016

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