nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2016‒12‒04
fourteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice By Mechtenberg, Lydia; Tyran, Jean-Robert
  2. Beliefs, politics, and environmental policy By Antony Millner; Helene Olivier
  3. Do All "Bad Apples" Taste the Same? Experimental Analysis of Heterogeneity in Local Public Good Provision By Andrej Angelowski; Daniela Di Cagno; Werner Güth; Francesca Marazzi; Luca Panaccione
  4. Party alignment, political budget cycles and vote within a federal country By Pablo Garofalo; Daniel Lema; Jorge M. Streb
  5. Nonpoint source pollution: An experimental investigation of the Average Pigouvian Tax By Hamet Sarr; Mohamed Bchir; Francois Cochard; Anne Rozan
  6. “On the Campaign Trail: The Electoral Effects of Leader Visits” By Davis, Brent
  7. Multilateral versus sequential negotiations over climate change By Alejandro Caparrós; Jean-Christophe Péreau
  8. The effect of sequentiality and heterogeneity in network formation games By Liza Charroin
  9. Voting and Popularity By Kirchgässner, Gebhard
  10. Russia’S Electoral Space: Change and Continuity in Post-Soviet Perspective By Rostislav Turovsky
  11. Public good agreements under the weakest-link technology By Alejandro Caparrós; Michael Finus
  12. Catalonia's in(ter)dependence and europeanization By Luis Moreno
  13. Internal conflict, market uniformity, and transparency in price competition between teams By Michael Kurschilgen; Alexander Morell; Ori Weisel
  14. Public expenditure on education in the time of population aging- Which educational stages does the elderly support? By Miki Miyaki; Masaki Kimura

  1. By: Mechtenberg, Lydia; Tyran, Jean-Robert
    Abstract: The quality of democratic choice critically depends on voter motivation, i.e. on voters' willingness to cast an informed vote. If voters are motivated, voting may result in smart choices because of information aggregation but if voters remain ignorant, delegating decision making to an expert may yield better outcomes. We experimentally study a common interest situation in which we vary voters' information cost and the competence of the expert. We find that voters are more motivated to collect information than predicted by standard theory and that voter motivation is higher when subjects demand to make choices by voting than when voting is imposed on subjects.
    Keywords: Experiment; Information Acquisition; information aggregation; voting
    JEL: C91 D71 D72
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: Antony Millner; Helene Olivier
    Abstract: Experts and the general public often perceive environmental problems differently. Moreover, regulatory responses to environmental issues often do not coincide with consensus expert recommendations. These two facts are mutually consistent – it is unlikely that regulations based on factual claims that are substantially different from voters’ opinions would be politically feasible. Given that the public’s beliefs constrain policy choices, it is vital to understand how beliefs are formed, whether they will be biased, and how the inevitable heterogeneity in people’s beliefs filters through the political system to affect policy. We review recent theoretical and empirical work on individual inference, social learning, and the supply of information by the media, and identify the potential for biased beliefs to arise. We then examine the interaction between beliefs and politics: can national elections and legislative votes be expected to result in unbiased collective decisions, do heterogeneous beliefs induce strategic political actors to alter their policy choices, and how do experts and lobby groups affect the information available to policy-makers? We conclude by suggesting that the relationship between beliefs and policy choices is a relatively neglected aspect of the theory of environmental regulation, and a fruitful area for further research.
    Keywords: political economy; environmental policy; media; beliefs; social learning
    JEL: D72 D78 D83 P48 Q50
    Date: 2016–08–23
  3. By: Andrej Angelowski (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Daniela Di Cagno (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Werner Güth (Luiss Guido Carli, Rome; Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt; Max Planck Institute on Collective Goods, Bonn); Francesca Marazzi (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata); Luca Panaccione (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: In a circular neighborhood, each member contributes repeatedly to two local public goods with the left and the right neighbor. All two-person public good games are structurally independent in spite of their overlapping player sets. Heterogeneity across neighbors is introduced by two randomly selected participants, the "Bad" Apples, either by being less productive or by being excluded from periodic information feedback about their neighbors' contributions. We study how "Bad" Apples affect their neighbors and through them also other group members. Both types of "Bad" Apples spoil the basket, reducing total voluntary contributions compared to a baseline with no "Bad" Apples. Furthermore, we find that "Bad" Apples not only affects their direct neighbors, but also, through behavioral spillovers, the whole neighborhood. However, the two types of "Bad" Apples affect their neighborhood in opposite ways. Whereas less productive "Bad" Apples are least cooperative, "Bad" Apples excluded from feedback information are most cooperative. In the latter case, the reduction of total contributions is caused by the direct neighbors of "Bad" Apples.
    Keywords: Public goods, behavioral spillovers, experiments, voluntary contribution mechanism, heterogeneity.
    JEL: C91 C72 H41
    Date: 2016–11
  4. By: Pablo Garofalo; Daniel Lema; Jorge M. Streb
    Abstract: To understand how intergovernmental relations affect political budget cycles (PBCs) within federal countries, we model the credibility problems of discretionary fiscal policy in combination with a national incumbent that favors aligned districts. Analyzing Argentina’s provinces during the 1985–2001 period, unsurprisingly, provincial budget balances worsen in electoral years, and aligned provinces (where the governor belongs to the president’s party) receive larger federal transfers and have larger public expenditures during the governor’s entire term. The main interaction effect in electoral years is that provincial budget balances only deteriorate in unaligned provinces, which receive less federal transfers. Furthermore, average federal transfers boost the vote for aligned governors. Two broad implications are that studies of subnational PBCs are biased by an omitted factor (discretional federal transfers), and that governors unaffiliated with the president suffer a “Cinderella” effect at the polls which helps the president dominate national politics.
    Keywords: federal countries, discretional transfers, party alignment, distributive politics, subnational political budget cycles
    JEL: D72 E62
    Date: 2016–10
  5. By: Hamet Sarr (UMR GESTE - Gestion Territoriale de l'Eau et de l'environnement - Irstea - ENGEES, Université de Strasbourg); Mohamed Bchir (UMR GESTE - Gestion Territoriale de l'Eau et de l'environnement - Irstea - ENGEES, Université de Strasbourg); Francois Cochard (CRESE - Centre de REcherches sur les Stratégies Economiques - UFC - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté, UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté); Anne Rozan (UMR GESTE - Gestion Territoriale de l'Eau et de l'environnement - Irstea - ENGEES, Université de Strasbourg)
    Abstract: The “Average Pigouvian Tax” (APT) was proposed by Suter et al. (2008) to reduce the financial burden of the standard ambient tax. This instrument consists in a standard ambient tax divided by the number of firms, which requires polluters to cooperate in order to achieve the social optimum. To enable polluters to cooperate, communication is allowed. We introduce different types of communication: cheap talk, exogenous costly communication (communication is imposed), and endogenous costly communication (conducted on a voluntary basis after a vote). Our experiment confirms that the instrument induces polluters to reduce their emissions under cheap talk. However, we find that group emissions are less reduced when communication is costly. This result still holds even when we endogenize communication by introducing a voting phase.
    Keywords: nonpoint source pollution, ambient tax, social dilemma, cooperation, cheap talk, costly communication, vote
    Date: 2016–05–01
  6. By: Davis, Brent
    Abstract: The campaign trail is an integral part of most elections. In an Australian federal election, it means the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader engage in a strategic program of visits, both to ‘our seats’ (the one’s we want to hold on to) and ‘their seats’ (the one’s we want to take from the other party). This article is the first to examine visits by multiple, competing political leaders in an election, in a Westminster system. Using a unique data set from the 2013 Australian federal election, there appears to be a non-random, strategic approach to the selection of seats visited by political leaders. However, using a counterfactual analysis, leader visits do not appear to have a major impact in determining the broader outcome of the election, although the absence of leader visits could have changed the outcome in a number of ALP Government-held seats.
    Keywords: election campaigns; permanent campaign; vote behaviour; Australian elections
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Alejandro Caparrós; Jean-Christophe Péreau
    Abstract: We discuss a model of gradual coalition formation with positive externalities in which a leading country endogenously decides whether to negotiate multilaterally or sequentially over climate change. We show that the leader may choose a sequential path, and that the choice is determined by the convexity of the TU-game and the free-rider payo§s of the followers. Except in a few clearly deÖned cases, the outcome of the negotiation process is always the grand coalition, although the process may need some time. This holds for the standard IEA game with heterogeneous players even if the grand coalition is not stable in a multilateral context. We also analyze the role of a facilitating agency. The agency has an incentive to speed up intra-stage negotiations and to extend the period between negotiation stages in a sequential process.
    Keywords: multilateral bargaining, endogenous coalition formation, international negotiations, mediator, international environmental agreements
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Liza Charroin (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - PRES Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2)
    Abstract: In the benchmark model of Bala and Goyal (2000) on network formation, the equilibrium network is asymmetric and unfair as agents have different payoffs. While they are prominent in reality, asymmetric networks do not emerge in the lab mainly because of fairness concerns. We extend this model with a sequential linking decision process to ease coordination and with heterogeneous agents. Heterogeneity is introduced with the presence of a special agent who has either a higher monetary value or a different status. The equilibrium is asymmetric and unfair. Our experimental results show that thanks to sequentiality and fairness concerns, individuals coordinate on fair and efficient networks in homogeneous settings. Heterogeneity impacts the network formation process by increasing the asymmetry of networks but does not decrease the level of fairness nor efficiency.
    Keywords: Network formation, sequentiality, heterogeneity, fairness, asymmetry
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Kirchgässner, Gebhard
    Abstract: For about 45 years, vote and popularity functions have been estimated for many countries indicating that voting intentions as well as actual votes are influenced by economic development. The economy is, of course, not the only and probably not always the most important factor, but there is no doubt anymore that it is an important factor. The most relevant variables are still unemployment, and/or real growth, and inflation. The estimated coefficients vary considerably between countries and time periods. In papers, retrospective sociotropic voting dominates. However, the evidence is not so univocal; it rather tells that voting has egotropic as well as sociotropic aspects, and it is prospective as well as retrospective. It is still open what roles self-interest and altruism play in voting.
    Keywords: Vote and Popularity Function, Egotropic and Sociotropic Voting, Retrospective and Prospective Voting, Rational Voters’ Behavior
    JEL: H19 H89
    Date: 2016–11
  10. By: Rostislav Turovsky (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper tests the methods of electoral analysis elaborated by the author previously and based on the concept of nationalization that is used to measure the spatial homogeneity of voting patterns. The study of nationalization scores leads to the conclusion about rather high degree of nationalization of the post-Soviet party system from its very beginning while short and small-scale upsurges of regionalization were coming along with anti-government protests of 1995-1995 and 2011. To deepen the analysis of the electoral space the author has analyzed the phenomenon of deviant and typical regions where ethnic cleavage has appeared to produce the main deviations. Finally, the analysis of dynamic nationalization brings about the better understanding of nationalization revealing the changing territorial patterns of voting for the same actors masked by the same overall national scores
    Keywords: nationalization of party systems, regionalization, electoral volatility, electoral geography
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Alejandro Caparrós; Michael Finus
    Abstract: We analyze the formation of public good agreements under the weakest-link technology. Coordination of and cooperation on migration policies, money laundering measures and biodiversity conservation e§orts are prime examples of this technology. Whereas for symmetric players, policy coordination is not necessary, for asymmetric players cooperation matters but fails, in the absence of transfers. In contrast, with an optimal transfer scheme, asymmetry may not be an obstacle but an asset for cooperation, with even the grand coalition being stable. We characterize various types and degrees of asymmetry and relate them to the stability of agreements and associate gains from cooperation.
    Keywords: public goods, weakest-link technology, coalition formation
    JEL: C71 C72 H41
    Date: 2016–03
  12. By: Luis Moreno
    Abstract: Some weeks after the referendum on independence was held in Scotland, Catalonia’s institutions of self-government promoted the celebration of a similar consultation. Despite that it was declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court, the Catalan Generalitat went ahead with the idea of organizing a public consult, which finally took place ‘informally’ on November 9. A majority of 80 per cent of those who participated in the consult voted for secession (‘Yes’ to both submitted questions to the electorate on self-determination).Turnout was around 37 per cent of the registered voters. Interdependence in the Old Continent goes beyond internal boundary-building and the establishment of self-centered compartments of governance, as happened with the old Westphalian nation-states. Catalans have reiterated their support for encouraging further Europeanization, a process which many aim to make congruent with territorial subsidiarity and home rule. The paper focuses on how the meaning of independence been constructed in contemporary Catalonia. It also elaborates on the relationship between independence and interdependence in the context of the ongoing process of Europeanization and the preservation of the European Social Model (ESM).
    Date: 2015–11
  13. By: Michael Kurschilgen (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Alexander Morell (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Ori Weisel (Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: The way profits are divided within successful teams imposes different degrees of internal conflict. We experimentally examine how the level of internal conflict, and whether such conflict is transparent to other teams, affects teams' ability to compete vis-à-vis each other, and, consequently, market outcomes. Participants took part in a repeated Bertrand duopoly game between three-player teams which had either the same or different level of internal conflict (uniform vs. mixed). Profit division was either private-pay (high conflict; each member received her own asking price) or equal-pay (low conflict; profits were divided equally). We find that internal conflict leads to (tacit) coordination on high prices in uniform private-pay duopolies, but places private-pay teams at a competitive disadvantage in mixed duopolies. Competition is softened by transparency in uniform markets, but intensified in mixed markets. We propose an explanation of the results and discuss implications for managers and policy makers.
    Keywords: Organizations, Conflict, Sharing Rules, Competition, Heterogeneity, Transparency, Experiment
    JEL: D43 L22 C92
    Date: 2016–11
  14. By: Miki Miyaki (Rikkyo University, College of Business); Masaki Kimura (Bank of Japan, Financial Markets Department)
    Abstract: This paper examines the elderly fs preference on public educational expenditures by each stage of education, i.e., from preschool to higher education. Utilizing a dynamic panel estimation method with Japanese prefectural data in the 1975-2012 period (38 years), we found that before 1990s the elderly tended to support public spending on almost every educational stage, especially on higher stages such as high school and university education. After 2000s, however, their preference was not to support government spending on earlier stages such as kindergarten and primary education. As the share of the elderly in eligible voters is becoming higher with the progress of population aging, their preference on government expenditures is gaining more influence on political decision. These results provide a foundation to discuss the allocation of public expenditure among educational stages under the circumstances of serious budget constraints.
    Keywords: population aging, public expenditure on education, educational stages, dynamic panel
    JEL: H52 H75 I28
    Date: 2016–11

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