nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2016‒11‒27
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Durable Coalitions and Communication: Public versus Private Negotiations By David P. Baron; Renee Bowen; Salvatore Nunnari
  2. Networks formation to assist decision making By David Goldbaum
  3. Does electoral violence affect voting choice and willingness to vote? Evidence from a vignette experiment By Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero; Adrienne LeBas
  4. Efficiency of Flexible Budgetary Institutions By T. Renee Bowen; Ying Chen; Hulya Eraslan; Jan Zapal
  5. On a World Climate Assembly and the Social Cost of Carbon By Martin Weitzman
  6. Nation Building: The Role of Central Spending in Education By Cinnirella, Francesco; Schueler, Ruth M.
  7. Facing the Brainstorming Theory. A Case of Requirements Elicitation By Pawel Weichbroth
  8. Emergent Coordination among Competitors By AJ Bostian; David Goldbaum
  9. Voter turnout in Italian municipal elections, 2002-2013. By Revelli, Federico
  10. Culture and team production By Vicente Calabuig; Gonzalo Olcina; Fabrizio Panebianco

  1. By: David P. Baron; Renee Bowen; Salvatore Nunnari
    Abstract: We present a laboratory experiment to study the effect of communication on durable coalitions – coalitions that support the same allocation from one period to the next. We study a bargaining setting where the status quo policy is determined by the policy implemented in the previous period. Our main experimental treatment is the opportunity for subjects to negotiate with one another through unrestricted cheap-talk communication before a proposal is made and comes to a vote. We compare committees with no communication, committees where communication is public and messages are observed by all committee members, and committees where communication is private and any committee member can send private messages to any other committee member. We find that the opportunity to communicate has a significant impact on outcomes and coalitions. When communication is public, there are more universal coalitions and fewer majoritarian coalitions. With private communication, there are more majoritarian coalitions and fewer universal coalitions. With either type of communication coalitions occur more frequently and last longer than with no communication. The content of communication is correlated with coalition type and with the formation and dissolution of durable coalitions. These findings suggest a coordination role for communication that varies with the mode of communication.
    JEL: C73 C78 C92 D71 D72 D78
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: David Goldbaum (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney)
    Abstract: This paper examines network formation among a connected population with a preference for conformity and leadership. Agents build stable personal relationships to achieve coordinated actions. The network serves as a repository of collective experiences so that cooperation can emerge from simple, myopic, self-serving adaptation to recent events despite the competing impulses of conformity and leadership and despite limiting individuals to only local information. Computational analysis reveals how behavioral tendencies impact network formation and identifies locally stable disequilibrium structures.
    Keywords: Leader; Dynamic Network; Payoff interdependence; Social Interaction; Simulation
    JEL: D85 D71 C71
    Date: 2016–04–29
  3. By: Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero; Adrienne LeBas
    Abstract: Many new democracies experience electoral violence. Though this form of political violence is common, there is little understanding of how violence affects vote choice and turnout. This article draws on a vignette experiment that is embedded in a nationally representative survey in Kenya, where electoral violence has occurred several times since the 1990s. We show that voters strongly sanction candidates who are rumored to have used violence, even if the candidate is a coethnic, a copartisan, or has performed well in office in the past. This sanctioning effect, however, is not consistent across voters. Victims of past electoral violence and those in poverty are less likely to sanction candidates that use violence. Rumored use of violence also depresses turnout, even among a violent candidate’s core constituents, when voters do not possess countervailing information about the violent candidate’s past performance in office.
    Keywords: Experimental Vignette; Violence; Voting; Turnout; Corruption; Ethnicity; Kenya
    Date: 2016
  4. By: T. Renee Bowen; Ying Chen; Hulya Eraslan; Jan Zapal
    Abstract: Which budgetary institutions result in efficient provision of public goods? We analyze a model with two parties bargaining over the allocation to a public good each period. Parties place different values on the public good, and these values may change over time. We focus on budgetary institutions that determine the rules governing feasible allocations to mandatory and discretionary spending programs. Mandatory spending is enacted by law and remains in e ect until changed, and thus induces an endogenous status quo, whereas discretionary spending is a periodic appropriation that is not allocated if no new agreement is reached. We show that discretionary only and mandatory only institutions typically lead to dynamic inefficiency and that mandatory only institutions can even lead to static inefficiency. By introducing appropriate exibility in mandatory programs, we obtain static and dynamic efficiency. An endogenous choice of mandatory and discretionary programs, sunset provisions and state-contingent mandatory programs can provide this exibility in increasingly complex environments.
    Keywords: budget negotiations; mandatory spending; discretionary spending; exibility; endogenous status quo; dynamic efficiency;
    JEL: C73 C78 D61 D78 H61
    Date: 2016–09
  5. By: Martin Weitzman
    Abstract: This paper postulates the conceptually useful allegory of a futuristic “World Climate Assembly” (WCA) that votes for a single worldwide price on carbon emissions via the basic democratic principle of one-person one-vote majority rule. If this WCA framework can be accepted in the first place, then voting on a single internationally- binding minimum carbon price (the proceeds from which are domestically retained) tends to counter self-interest by incentivizing countries or agents to internalize the externality. I attempt to sketch out the sense in which each WCA-agent's extra cost from a higher emissions price is counter-balanced by that agent's extra benefit from inducing all other WCA-agents to simultaneously lower their emissions in response to the higher price. The first proposition of this paper derives a relatively simple formula relating each emitter's single-peaked most-preferred world price of carbon emissions to the world “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC). The second and third propositions relate the WCA-voted world price of carbon to the world SCC. I argue that the WCA-voted price and the SCC are unlikely to differ sharply. Some implications are discussed. The overall methodology of the paper is a mixture of mostly classical with some behavioral economics.
    JEL: F51 H41 K23 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Cinnirella, Francesco; Schueler, Ruth M.
    Abstract: It is generally argued that, in the context of Imperial Germany, public primary education was used to form "loyal citizen" and to build a nation. In this paper we analyze to what extent central spending on primary education affected participation at general elections and votes for pro-nationalist parties. We combine census data on the sources of school funding with federal election data at the level of 199 constituencies in five-year intervals from 1886 to 1911. Panel estimates of models with constituency and time-fixed effects show that an increase in the share of central spending is positively related to the vote share of pro-nationalist parties and voter turnout. Results from models with lagged central spending by category of expenditure are consistent with the role of indoctrination of public primary education.
    Keywords: indoctrination; Nation building; primary education; Prussian Economic History
    JEL: H72 I28 N33 N43
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Pawel Weichbroth (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland)
    Abstract: Knowledge is still considered to be power and its externalization makes it possible for others to use that power. In this paper, we examine the theory of brainstorming, and the claim by father Alex Osborn that in a group session an individual can think of twice as many ideas than working alone. In the context of requirements elicitation, we performed an experiment on a “nominal” and a “real” group of participants, following a procedure based on the Jaccard index. However, the obtained results do not provide evidence to support the above opinion, because during a five-minute session, participants working individually produce over 43% more ideas than a group of different participants.
    Keywords: Brainstorming, Theory, Requirements, Elicitation, Usability, Factors
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: AJ Bostian (School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland); David Goldbaum (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney)
    Abstract: Crawford and Haller (1990) describe a repeated two-player coordination game defined by the absence of a common language. Coordination is achieved only through path dependent play relying on time consistent labels. We consider a game played by a large population similarly looking to coordinate but without the consistency in labels over time and with asymmetric coordinated payoff so that players have differing preferences regarding which coordinated structure emerges. In experiments, we link subjects together in a social network with limited ability to observe others. The complexity of the game and multitude of states thwarts solving for optimal play and yet the population demonstrates success in employing path dependency and the consistency of the social relationships to learn to coordinate. To capture this evolution, we model decisions with an experience-weighted attractor having recency, reinforcement, and lock-on biases. We find considerable heterogeneity in biases across individuals. Drawing on the observed biases, we conduct simulations to identify the extent to which individuals and environment determine group dynamics.
    Keywords: Experiment; Simulation; Social Network; Experience Weighted Attraction; Nested Logit
    JEL: C73 D83 D85
    Date: 2016–04–11
  9. By: Revelli, Federico (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of voter turnout in a panel dataset of over 15,000 Italian municipal elections through more than a decade. The estimation results show a significant negative effect of the size of the electorate on voter turnout, and an effect of its demographic structure that is compatible with the political life-cycle hypothesis. Moreover, turnout is systematically higher when municipal elections are held at the same time as more salient, higher stakes contests, and all ex post indicators of election closeness are estimated to influence voter turnout in the expected direction.
    Date: 2016–11
  10. By: Vicente Calabuig; Gonzalo Olcina; Fabrizio Panebianco
    Abstract: This paper addresses theoretically the question whether culture has an effect on economic performance in team production, and which would be the optimal team culture. The members of the team are guided both by economic incentives and by personal norms, weighed according to their prevailing level of materialism. We assume that personal norms evolve following a dynamics driven by a combination of psychological mechanisms such as consistency and conformism. The different vectors of materialism, consistency and conformity shared by the group result in a continuum of cultures with different combinations of individualism and collectivism. Our main results show how team culture turns out to be a fundamental determinant for group performance. When income distribution is not completely egalitarian or the members of the team display heterogeneous levels of skills, culture matters in the sense that there exists an optimal culture that maximizes team production and its characteristics depend on the speci c distributions of income and skills. A higher average productivity or a more inegalitarian dispersion of remunerations requires a more collectivist culture. And a higher dispersion of individual productivities requires a more individualist culture.
    Date: 2016

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