nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2016‒07‒09
nine papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Cooperation and leadership in a segregated community: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment in a South African township By Daniela Grieco; Michela Braga; Francesco Brip
  2. Is Partisan Alignment Electorally Rewarding? Evidence from Village Council Elections in India By Dey, Subhasish; Sen, Kunal
  3. The Marginal Voter's Curse By Helios Herrera; Aniol Llorente-Saguer; Joseph C. McMurray
  4. Information on the ballot, voter satisfaction and election turnout By Sajons, Christoph
  5. Do Nonpartisan Programmatic Policies Have Partisan Electoral Effects? Evidence from Two Large Scale Randomized Experiments By Kosuke Imai; Gary King; Carlos Velasco Rivera
  6. Can Group Incentives Alleviate Moral Hazard? The Role of Pro-Social Preferences By Biener, Christian; Eling, Martin; Pradhan, Shailee
  7. Methodology of the RAND 2016 Presidential Election Panel Survey (PEPS) By Pollard, Michael; Mendelsohn, Joshua
  8. Camarines Sur Assessment of the Bottom-Up Budgeting Process for FY 2016 By Pastrana, Cleofe S.; Lagarto, Marites B.
  9. Peace, Terrorism, or Civil Conflict? Understanding the Decision of an Opposition Group By Jetter, Michael

  1. By: Daniela Grieco; Michela Braga; Francesco Brip
    Abstract: The paper presents the results of a lab-in-the-field experiment in three South African townships located in the suburbs of Cape Town. The experimental design consists of a set of decisions on how the members of a naturally occurring group allocate an endowment to a private or to a public account. In our treatments, we first manipulate the degree of participation of group members in the choice of the public good, from involvement of the group leader only, to collective discussion and to private voting. Additionally, we explore the effectiveness of monetary incentives (collective versus individual) set in order to promote participation. The results show that leader guidance and participatory incentives significantly raise cooperation and hold after controlling for a wide set of individual and group characteristics.
    Keywords: lab-in-the-field experiment, segregation, cooperation, leadership, participation, township Creation-Date: 2016
  2. By: Dey, Subhasish (University of Manchester); Sen, Kunal (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: Do ruling parties positively discriminate in favour of their own constituencies in allocating public resources? If they do, do they gain electorally in engaging in such a practice? This paper tests whether partisan alignment exists in the allocation of funds for India's largest social protection programme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in the state of West Bengal in India, and whether incumbent local governments (village councils) gain electorally in the practice of partisan alignment. Using a quasi-experimental research design, we find that the village council level ruling-party spends significantly more in its own party constituencies as compared to opponent constituencies. We also find strong evidence of electoral rewards in the practice of partisan alignment. However, we find that the results differ between the two main ruling political parties at the village council level in the state.
    Keywords: National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, partisan alignment feedback effect, fuzzy regression discontinuity design
    JEL: H53 I38
    Date: 2016–06
  3. By: Helios Herrera (University of Warwick); Aniol Llorente-Saguer (Queen Mary University of London); Joseph C. McMurray (Brigham Young University)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a rational model of voter participation by generalizing a common-value model of costless voting to include not just pivotal voting but also marginal voting incentives. A new strategic incentive for abstention arises in that case, to avoid the marginal voter's curse of pushing the policy outcome in the wrong direction. The marginal voter's curse presents a larger disincentive for voting than the swing voter's curse. Moreover, marginal motivations are shown to dominate pivotal motivations in large elections. Model predictions are confirmed in a laboratory experiment and applied in a comparative analysis of electoral rules.
    Keywords: Turnout, Information aggregation, Underdog effect, Experiment
    JEL: C72 C92 D70
    Date: 2016–06
  4. By: Sajons, Christoph
    Abstract: If voters do not perceive meaningful differences between parties and candidates, they tend to stay at home or choose by other factors like style or likability. This study examines whether including different kinds of information about the candidates on the ballot affects the satisfaction and turnout of voters in low-profile elections in which most candidates are unknown and party-identification cannot be used to distinguish them. This case often appears in election systems with either intra-party primaries or open lists, in particular at lower institutional levels. The empirical analysis is based on an experimental exit-poll of voters at local elections in two German states in 2014 in which respondents faced a hypothetical election with different information treatments. The main results are: (1) More information on the ballot increases voter satisfaction, but the marginal effect is decreasing. (2) Profession information is particularly useful for voters. (3) This translates directly into a greater willingness to take part in the hypothetical election ('turnout'), especially for individuals unsatisfied with the real election system. (4) The last result can be confirmed with aggregate turnout data of German local elections after reunification.
    Keywords: information cues,voter satisfaction,turnout,electoral systems,profession
    JEL: D72 H79 P16
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Kosuke Imai; Gary King; Carlos Velasco Rivera
    Abstract: A vast literature demonstrates that voters around the world who benefit from their governments' discretionary spending cast ballots for the incumbent party in larger proportions than those not receiving funds. But surprisingly, and contrary to most theories of political accountability, the evidence seems to indicate that voters also reward incumbent parties for implementing ``programmatic'' spending legislation, passed with support from all major parties, and over which incumbents have no discretion. Why voters would attribute responsibility when none exists is unclear, as is why minority party legislators would approve of legislation that will cost them votes. We address this puzzle with one of the largest randomized social experiments ever, resulting in clear rejection of the claim that programmatic policies greatly increase voter support for incumbents. We also reanalyze the study cited as claiming the strongest support for the electoral effects of programmatic policies, which is also a very large scale randomized experiment. We show that its key results vanish after correcting either a simple coding error affecting only two observations or highly unconventional data analysis procedures (or both). We also discuss how these consistent empirical results from the only two probative experiments on this question may be reconciled with several observational and theoretical studies touching on similar questions in other contexts.
    Date: 2016–01
  6. By: Biener, Christian; Eling, Martin; Pradhan, Shailee
    Abstract: Incentivizing unobservable effort in risky environments, such as in insurance, credit, and labor markets, is vital as moral hazard may otherwise cause significant welfare losses including the outright failure of markets. Ensuring incentive-compatibility through partial risk-sharing between principal and agent, however, is undesirable for risk-averse agents. We provide theoretical intuition on how joint liability in groups of agents can ensure incentive-compatibility when agents share pro-social concerns. Two independent behavioral experiments framed in an insurance context support the hypotheses derived from our theory. In particular, effort decreases when making payoffs of agents less state-dependent, but this effect is mitigated with joint liability in a group scheme where agents are additionally motivated by pro-social concerns. Activating strategic motives slightly increases effort further; particularly in non-anonymous groups with high network strength. The results suggest that joint liability within groups of pro-social agents is a promising policy under risk and asymmetric information and may improve efficiency.
    Keywords: Moral hazard, Group joint liability, Pro-social preferences, Experiments
    JEL: D03 D81 D82 G22
    Date: 2016–05
  7. By: Pollard, Michael; Mendelsohn, Joshua
    Abstract: The RAND 2016 Presidential Election Panel Survey (PEPS) uses the American Life Panel (ALP) to study voting intentions, public opinion, and voter behavior. The ALP is a scientifically recruited internet panel. Using the ALP allows us to contact the same people over time to study the evolution of their voting intentions, behavior and opinions. Furthermore, we follow previous RAND election polling by asking respondents about their voting intentions in probabilistic terms (percent chance), which improves forecasts. This document provides a detailed description of our methodology.
    Date: 2016–01
  8. By: Pastrana, Cleofe S.; Lagarto, Marites B.
    Abstract: Bottom-up budgeting (BUB) is a mechanism implemented to institutionalize and incentivize grassroots participation, as represented by civil society organizations, in the planning and budgeting of their respective cities or municipalities. This paper assesses how the various participatory steps were conducted and how the selected subprojects from the previous budgeting round was being implemented. Specifically, this paper focuses on three local government units in Camarines Sur, with various levels of development and participation in government programs. The assessment was conducted by observing the BUB activities of the study sites, conducting interviews and focus group discussions, and validating findings against secondary data. Findings on the general usefulness of the BUB, its current guidelines, and interaction with corollary government programs were highlighted, along with recommendations.
    Keywords: Philippines, poverty reduction, local governance, grassroots, bottom-up budgeting (BUB), Camarines Sur, participatory budgeting, civil society organizations (CSOs)
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Jetter, Michael (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: When do opposition groups decide to mount a terrorism campaign and when do they enter an open civil conflict against the ruling government? This paper models an opposition group's choice between peace, terrorism, and open conflict. Terrorism emerges if executive constraints are intermediate and rents are sizeable. Open conflict is predicted to emerge under poor executive constraints. Analyzing country-level panel data firmly supports these hypotheses, even when relying on within-country variation only in a fixed-effects framework. In particular, both the incidence of terrorism and the likelihood of terrorism onset increase under intermediate executive constraints (following an inverted U-shape) and if large rents are available from natural resources, oil, or foreign development assistance. A one-standard-deviation increase in rents raises casualties by approximately 15 percentage points. Related to civil conflict, moving from an authoritarian regime to comprehensive executive constraints is associated with a decrease in the number of battle-related deaths by approximately 74 percentage points. These findings can help us to better understand and anticipate the underlying decision of opposition groups and their choice between peace, a terrorism campaign, and open conflict.
    Keywords: conflict, executive constraints, foreign aid, natural resource rents, oil rents, political institutions, rents, terrorism
    JEL: D74 F35 O11 P47 Q34
    Date: 2016–06

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