nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2016‒10‒30
sixteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Strategic Voting under Committee Approval: An Application to the 2011 Regional Government Election in Zurich By Romain Lachat; Jean-François Laslier; Karine Van Der Straeten
  2. Strategic Voting under Committee Approval: A Theory By Jean-François Laslier; Karine Van Der Straeten
  3. Electoral System and Number of Candidates: Candidate Entry under Plurality and Majority Runoff By Damien Bol; André Blais; Jean-François Laslier; Antonin Macé
  4. Biases and Strategic Behavior in Performance Evaluation: The Case of the FIFA’s Best Soccer Player Award By Tom Coupe; Olivier Gergaud; Abdul Noury
  5. The effect of electoral systems on voter turnout: evidence from a natural experiment. By Carlos Sanz
  6. Heuristic voting under the Alternative Vote: the efficiency of “sour grapes" behavior By Jean-François Laslier
  7. Bargaining through Approval By Matias Nunez; Jean-François Laslier
  8. Refugee Migration and Electoral Outcomes By Christian Dustman; Kristine Vasiljeva; Anna Piil Damm
  9. Civil Conflict and Voting Behavior: Evidence By Jorge Gallego
  10. Greening up or not? The determinants of political parties' environmental concern: an empirical analysis based on European data (1970-2008) By Benjamin Michallet; Giuseppe Gaeta; François Facchini
  11. What’s in a Name? Information, Heterogeneity, and Quality in a Theory of Nested Names By Yu, Jianyu; Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra; Zago, Angelo
  12. Demographics and Tax Competition in Political Economy By MORITA Tadashi; SATO Yasuhiro; YAMAMOTO Kazuhiro
  13. Altruistic and risk preference of individuals and groups By Yoshio Kamijo; Teruyuki Tamura
  14. Endogenous Network Formation in Congress By Nathan Canen; Francesco Trebbi
  15. The role of regional identity in urban agriculture By Theesfeld, Insa; Rogge, Nicole
  16. The Fouchet Plan: De Gaulle’s Intergovernmental Design for Europe By Anthony Teasdale

  1. By: Romain Lachat (Universitat Pompeu Fabra [Barcelona]); Jean-François Laslier (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Karine Van Der Straeten (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study Toulouse - Institute for Advanced Study Toulouse)
    Abstract: In several cantons in Switzerland the regional government, i.e. a set of governors who share the executive power in the canton, is elected according to an original voting rule, in which voters can vote for several candidates (up to a maximal number of votes). Up to some details, these elections are instances of what is known in Social Choice Theory as “Committee Approval Voting”. The paper makes use of data from a panel survey collected during the 2011 Zurich cantonal election to check whether a strategic voting theory is consistent with individual behaviour observed during that election. We show that roughly 70% of the individual decisions on candidates are consistent with our model of rational voting.
    Keywords: Switzerland,Strategic Voting
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: Jean-François Laslier (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Karine Van Der Straeten (Institute for Advanced Study Toulouse - Institute for Advanced Study Toulouse, TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: We propose a theory of strategic voting under “Commitee Approval”: a fixed-sized commitee of M members is to be elected; each voter votes for as many candidates as she wants, and the M candidates with the most votes are elected. We assume that voter preferences are separable and that there exists a tiny probability that any vote might be misrecorded. We show that best responses involve voting by pairwise comparisons. Two candidates play a critical role: the weakest expected winner and the strongest expected loser. Expected winners are approved if and only if they are preferred to the strongest expected loser and expected losers are approved if and only if they are preferred to the weakest expected winner. At equilibrium, if any, a candidate is elected if and only if he is approved by at least half of the voters. With single-peaked preferences, an equilibrium always exists, in which the first M candidates according to the majority tournament relation are elected.
    Keywords: Strategic Voting,Theory
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Damien Bol (Université de Montréal - UdeM (CANADA) - Université de Montréal - UdeM (CANADA)); André Blais (Université de Montréal - UdeM (CANADA) - Université de Montréal - UdeM (CANADA)); Jean-François Laslier (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Antonin Macé (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)
    Abstract: We know that electoral systems have an effect on the number of competing candidates. However, a mystery remains concerning the impact of majority runoff. According to theory, the number of competing candidates should be equal (or only marginally larger) under majority runoff than under plurality. However, in real-life elections, this number is much higher under majority runoff. To provide new insights on this puzzle, we report the results of a laboratory experiment where subjects play the role of candidates in plurality and majority runoff elections. We use a candidate-only and sincere-voting model to isolate the effect of the electoral system on the decision of candidates to enter the election. We find very little difference between the two electoral systems. We thus re-affirm the mystery of the number of competing candidates under majority runoff.
    Keywords: Electoral System
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Tom Coupe (University of Canterbury); Olivier Gergaud; Abdul Noury
    Abstract: In this paper, we study biases in performance evaluation by analyzing votes for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for best soccer player, the most prestigious award in the sport. We find that ‘similarity’ biases are substantial, with jury members disproportionately voting for candidates from their own country, own national team, own continent, and own league team. Further, we show that the impact of these biases on the total number of votes a candidate receives is fairly limited and hence is likely to affect the outcome of this competition only on rare occasions where the difference in quality between the leading candidates is small. Finally, analyzing the incidence of ‘strategic voting’, we find jury members who vote for one leading candidate are more, rather than less, likely to also give points to his main competitor, as compared with neutral jury members. We discuss the implications of our findings for the design of awards, elections and performance evaluation systems in general, and for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award in particular.
    Keywords: Award; Bias; Voting; Soccer
    JEL: D72 Z2
    Date: 2016–10–27
    Abstract: I exploit the unique institutional framework of Spanish local elections, where municipalities follow different electoral systems depending on their population size, as mandated by a national law. Using a regression discontinuity design, I compare turnout under closed-list proportional representation and under an open-list, plurality-at-large system where voters can vote for individual candidates from the same or different party lists. I find that the openlist system increases turnout by between one and two percentage points. The results suggest that open-list systems, which introduce competition both across and within parties, are conducive to greater voter turnout.
    Keywords: voter turnout, electoral system, open list, regression discontinuity
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2016–10
  6. By: Jean-François Laslier (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This theoretical paper contrasts two voting heuristics: overstating and replacing. Under the Alternative Vote, overstatement is inefficient but replacement is efficient. The paper argues that the “replacing" manipulation corresponds to a psychologically and politically plausible voter behavior.
    Keywords: Alternative vote,Manipulation,Behavioral voting
    Date: 2015–06
  7. By: Matias Nunez (Thema, Université de Cergy-Pontoise - THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - Université de Cergy Pontoise - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-François Laslier (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper considers two-person bargaining under Approval Voting. It first proves the existence of pure strategy equilibria. Then it shows that this bargaining method ensures that both players obtain at least their average and median utility level in equilibrium. Finally it proves that, provided that the players are partially honest, the mechanism triggers sincerity and ensures that no alternative Pareto dominates the outcome of the game.
    Keywords: Two-agents,Approval Voting,Efficiency,Partial Honesty
    Date: 2015–06
  8. By: Christian Dustman (University College London and CReAM); Kristine Vasiljeva (Kraka); Anna Piil Damm (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: To estimate the causal effect of refugee migration on voting outcomes in parliamentary and municipal elections in Denmark, our study is the first that addresses the key problem of immigrant sorting by exploiting a policy that assigned refugee immigrants to municipalities on a quasi-random basis. We find that – in all but the most urban municipalities - allocation of larger refugee shares between electoral cycles leads to an increase in the vote share not only for parties with an anti-immigration agenda but also for centre-right parties, while the vote share for centre-left parties decreases. However, in the largest and most urban municipalities refugee allocation has – if anything – the opposite effect on vote shares for anti-immigration parties. We demonstrate response heterogeneity according to municipal characteristics, with a more pronounced response in less urban municipalities in which the pre-policy shares of both immigrants and the more affluent is high, and in urban municipalities with high unemployment. At the same time, higher pre-policy crime rates are associated with more support for anti-immigration parties in response to refugee allocation in both urban and non-urban municipalities. We also find some evidence that refugee allocation influences voter turnout. Moreover, it has a large impact on the decision of anti-immigration parties’ choice of where to stand for municipal election.
    Keywords: immigration, political preferences, re-distribution, welfare, random allocation
    JEL: H53 I38
    Date: 2016–10
  9. By: Jorge Gallego
    Abstract: What are the effects of war on political behavior? Colombia is an interesting case in which conflict and elections coexist, and illegal armed groups intentionally affect electoral outcomes. Nonetheless, groups use different strategies to alter these results. This paper argues that differential effects of violence on electoral outcomes are the result of deliberate strategies followed by illegal groups, which in turn, are a consequence of military conditions that differ between them. Using panel data from Senate elections from 1994 to 2006 and an instrumental variable approach to address potential endogeneity concerns, this paper shows that guerrilla violence decreases turnout, while paramilitary violence has no effect on participation, but reduces electoral competition and benefits non-traditional third parties. FARC violence is significantly higher during election years, while paramilitary violence is lower. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the guerrilla’s strategy is to sabotage elections, while paramilitaries establish alliances with certain candidates
    Keywords: Conflicto armado, Elecciones, Grupos armados ilegales
    Date: 2016–09–24
  10. By: Benjamin Michallet (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Giuseppe Gaeta (University of Naples); François Facchini (UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Why do parties offer environmental policies in their political programs? While a number of papers examine the determinants of citizens' pro-environmental behaviour, we know little about the extent to which political parties adjust their platform towards environmentalism. We investigate this process through data provided by the Manifesto Project Dataset (CMP) for 20 European countries over the period 1970-2008. Following the literature on public concern towards environment, we examine economic, environmental and political determinants. Our findings provide evidence that political parties' environmental concern is strongly correlated with their political ideology and with country-level economic conditions.
    Keywords: environmental concern,political parties,electoral manifestos
    Date: 2015–05–20
  11. By: Yu, Jianyu; Bouamra-Mechemache, Zohra; Zago, Angelo
    Abstract: Collective labels are widespread in food markets, either separated or nested with private brands, in this latter case then known as nested names. We propose a model to explain the rationale of nested names, with collective labels being effective in reaching unaware consumers, while individual brands helping firms in reaching expert consumers. We also incorporate the decision-making process within the group of producers joining collective labels, taking into account their heterogeneity in providing quality. Results show that nested names emerge when consumers become more aware about the label's quality information and when producers become more heterogeneous. Welfare tough may decrease when the group switches to nested names, as they reduce incentives to provide quality for less efficient producers. The results provide insights also to the historical and recent trends in food industries, such as within-label differentiation and label fragmentation, and their welfare implications.
    Keywords: individual brands, collective labels, nested names, consumers' awareness, firms' heterogeneity in quality provision, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2016
  12. By: MORITA Tadashi; SATO Yasuhiro; YAMAMOTO Kazuhiro
    Abstract: We examine the possible impacts of demographics on the outcomes of capital tax competition in political economy. For this purpose, we develop an overlapping generations model wherein public good provision financed by capital tax is determined by majority voting. When a population is growing, younger people represent the majority, whereas when a population is decreasing, older people represent the majority. We show that the race to the bottom is likely to emerge in the economy with growing population whereas the race to the top might emerge in the economy with decreasing population.
    Date: 2016–09
  13. By: Yoshio Kamijo (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Teruyuki Tamura (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: This study examines whether attitudes toward risk and altruism are affected by being in a group or being alone. Subjects in our experiment were requested only to show their faces to other members without any further communication, differing from previous studies. In experiments of both anonymous investments and donations, we found that subjects who made decisions in a group offered significantly lower amounts than individuals who made decisions alone, even controlling for individuals' risk and altruistic preferences. Our results indicate that people are more risk averse and self-interested when they are in a group.
    Keywords: Group decision, Altruism, Decision under risk
    JEL: C91 C92 D81
    Date: 2016–10
  14. By: Nathan Canen; Francesco Trebbi
    Abstract: This paper presents and structurally estimates a model of endogenous network formation and legislative activity of career-motivated politicians. Employing data on socialization and legislative effort of members of the 105th-110th U.S. Congresses, our model reconciles a set of empirical regularities, including: recent trends in Congressional productivity; the complementarity of socialization processes and legislative activities in the House of Representatives; substantial heterogeneity across legislators in terms of effort and success rate in passing specific legislation. We avoid taking the social structure of Congress as exogenously given and instead embed it in a model of endogenous network formation useful for developing relevant counterfactuals, including some pertinent to the congressional emergency response to the 2008-09 financial crisis. Our counterfactual analysis further demonstrates how to empirically identify the specific equilibrium at play within each Congress among the multiple equilibria typically present in this class of games.
    JEL: P16 P48
    Date: 2016–10
  15. By: Theesfeld, Insa; Rogge, Nicole
    Abstract: Urban agriculture has become a rapidly growing international movement. Most urban gardens are established, organized and managed collectively as commons. When applying collective action theory to urban gardens, it becomes evident that they are special in the motivation why people get organized to produce food. Particularly in developed countries, urban gardens emerge in response to a lack of participation in city development, democratic use of public spaces or opportunities and time for socializing instead of economic competitiveness or the desire for regional food. Therefore communities emerge which design, change and manage their urban landscape and rise up new urban social-ecological systems. Yet, urban agriculture, or urban gardens, lack closer scientific examination in this respect. Therefore, the paper presents elements which are characteristic to describe this recent development. Likewise, we present criteria to explore the differences between the gardens. With three pilot case studies we demonstrate the applicability of these criteria in urban gardens to differentiate between different degrees of collectively used resources and therefore diverse levels of collective action in urban garden projects. We can show that many urban agriculture movements offer the possibility to build new regional identities through the option of sharing time, sharing knowledge and participation in public decisions.
    Keywords: urban agriculture, classification, collective action, social needs, social identity, collective and individual use, Community/Rural/Urban Development,
    Date: 2016
  16. By: Anthony Teasdale
    Abstract: This paper explores the politics of the Fouchet Plan, the unsuccessful initiative by French President Charles de Gaulle in 1961-62 to create a new ‘union of states’ for foreign-policy and defence cooperation among the six founding members of the European Community. The paper traces the origins of de Gaulle’s proposal – which was designed not only to parallel the existing Community, but potentially to subsume it – and analyses the complex and fraught course of the subsequent negotiations, which divided the Six and ended in stalemate. The struggle between intergovernmental and supranational visions of Europe thrown up by the Fouchet Plan represented an early, acute example of the recurrent institutional and political problems involved in developing structures to share sovereignty in areas of power which are central to the claim of larger nations to remain independent states, and it pointed to the limits of integration likely to be confronted by simple replication of the classic ‘Community method’ in increasingly sensitive areas of policy. Although the dilemma of how to incorporate a significant intergovernmental dimension within the European institutional structure was eventually resolved in the Maastricht Treaty two decades later, the Fouchet dispute had important consequences in the years that followed, notably in hardening de Gaulle's attitude to British membership of the Community and in seriously constraining the dynamic of the integration process more widely.
    Keywords: Adenauer, de Gaulle, Spaak, Luns, Fouchet, intergovernmentalism, supranationalism, political union, veto, European Union
    Date: 2016–10

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