nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2016‒06‒25
seven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. Endogenous Competence and a Limit to the Condorcet Jury Theorem By Bryan McCannon; Paul Walker
  2. Liberals, Socialists, and pork-barrel politics in Greece. By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Yannis Psycharis; Vassilis Tselios
  3. What Role for Civil Society Coalitions in Supranational Governance? By Alemanno, Alberto
  4. Group (Re-)formation in Public Good Games: The Tale of the Bad Apple By Grund, Christian; Harbring, Christine; Thommes, Kirsten
  5. Grand corruption in Burundi: a collective action problem which poses major challenges for governance reforms By Rufyikiri, Gervais
  6. Climate Change Assessments: Confidence, Probability and Decision By Hill , Brian; Bradley , Richard; Helgeson, Casey
  7. What are the equilibria in linear public-good experiments? By Ireneaus Wolff

  1. By: Bryan McCannon (West Virginia University, Department of Economics); Paul Walker (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The seminal contribution, known as the Condorcet Jury Theorem, observes that under a specific set of conditions an increase in the size of a group tasked with making a decision leads to an improvement in the group's ability to make a good decision. An assumption under-appreciated is that the competency of the members of the group is assumed to be exogenous. In numerous applications, members of the group make investments to improve the accuracy of their decision making (e.g. pre-meeting efforts). We consider the collective action problem that arises. We show that if competence is endogenous, then increases in the size of the group encourages free riding. This trades off with the value of information aggregation. Thus, the value of increased group size is muted. Extensions illustrate that if committee members are allowed to exit/not participate, then the equilibrium committee size is reduced. Additionally, (non-decisive supermajority voting rules encourage the investments and, consequently, individual competence.
    Keywords: committee decision making, Condorcet Jury Theorem, endogenous competence, group size, majority voting, supermajority voting
    JEL: D71 D02 H41
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Yannis Psycharis; Vassilis Tselios
    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: Public investment, pork-barrel politics, elections, regional policy, Greece.
    JEL: P16 R1 R12 R42 R58 H54
    Date: 2016–06
  3. By: Alemanno, Alberto
    Abstract: Beyond Networks critically dissects and systematizes an insightful, well-researched and elegantly written account of the democratic potential carried out by coalitions of civil society actors. Once established a case for studying coalitions of civil society organization through the lens of Global Administrative Law, the book eventually unveils its underlying research question. This volume specifically attempts to explain how civil society networks – which are studied within the broader notion of Global Civil Society (GSC) – drive the development of principles of democratic value at the supranational level. It does so within the broader debate about new modes of global governance and in particular that of experimentalist governance. It proceeds to theorize an autonomous organization network model within GSC: the so-called 'interlocutory coalitions'. Those coalitions are typically made of diverse category of entities whose major – sometimes solely – common feature is the cross-border pursuit of a common cause. In order to build an original and valuable taxonomy of civil society networks, interlocutory coalitions must be contrasted to other forms of networks, including social networks, trans-governmental committees, think tanks, Parallel Summits and QUANGOs. After reconstructing their respective composition, membership, rules of governance and legal status, the book delves into interlocutory coalitions' decision-making. How do coalitions presenting high degree of variation when it comes to their mission, governance, funding and membership coalesce around one common cause? How do they come to existence and get along? How can such coalitions speak with one voice when representing and advocating their common position in front of the relevant international organizations? What kind of techniques and deliberative mechanisms are used to attain a common position and then convey it to the outside world? This book provides a rigorous, constructive and promising stepping stone to embark on such a challenging journey. Yet the case for a global participatory democracy remains to be made.
    Keywords: Open government; Transparency; Participation; Civic empowerment; Coalitions; Legitimacy; Accountability; Civil society; European Union; Good governance
    JEL: K19 K33
    Date: 2016–02–08
  4. By: Grund, Christian (RWTH Aachen University); Harbring, Christine (RWTH Aachen University); Thommes, Kirsten (Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus)
    Abstract: We analyze how different previous roles as partners or strangers in public good games affect an individual's subsequent cooperation in a partner setting. We systematically vary a group's composition from all individuals being partner over blended groups of partners and strangers to all individuals being stranger in each round. Our results show that previous group composition does not affect cooperation in the subsequent partner setting with one exception: Groups cooperate significantly less compared to all other settings, when one stranger entered the group. We further analyze this situation in-depth and find that individuals may labor under an ultimate attribution error: They feel that the newcomer is a "bad apple". The cooperativeness towards the newcomer, but also among oldtimers is disturbed in this case. We conduct additional treatments to back up this result and to show how certain information can prevent such an error.
    Keywords: cooperation, economic experiments, group composition, public good game, teams
    JEL: C9 M5
    Date: 2016–06
  5. By: Rufyikiri, Gervais
    Abstract: This study contributes to understanding the extent of corruption in Burundi, and its consequences for political and economic governance. The last decade, corruption in Burundi was rampant and systemic. It generated political tensions between the state and citizens, it undermined economic development efforts and good governance reforms. Grand corruption involving the ruling party, senior political and administrative officials has induced politicization within the public sector which in turn led to the malfunctioning of anti-corruption institutions, thwarting good governance reforms including the fight against corruption. Corruption is a major factor of instability in Burundi and must be addressed, not as a «principal/agent» problem, but rather as a collective action problem. Some possible actions are proposed in the conclusion.
    Keywords: Burundi, corruption
    Date: 2016–03
  6. By: Hill , Brian; Bradley , Richard; Helgeson, Casey
    Abstract: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has developed a novel framework for assessing and communicating uncertainty in the findings published in their periodic assessment reports. But how should these uncertainty assessments inform decisions? We take a formal decision-making perspective to investigate how scientific input formulated in the IPCC's novel framework might inform decisions in a principled way through a normative decision model.
    Keywords: climate; change; confidence
    Date: 2016–01–28
  7. By: Ireneaus Wolff
    Abstract: Most social-preference models have been tailored to yield only a full-defection equilibrium in one-shot linear public-good situations. This paper determines the Nash-equilibrium sets that result from experiment participants’ elicited preferences. The data show that multiple equilibria are relatively frequent even in a standard three-player setting. In this perspective, the common finding of close-to-omnilateral defection at the end of repeated public-good games is surprising and raises the question of why the dynamics of play seem to select this equilibrium out of the existing equilibria.
    Keywords: Public good, social dilemma, Nash-equilibrium, conditional cooperation, social preferences
    Date: 2016

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