nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒01‒08
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Political Participation in Rural India: A Village Level Study By Borooah, Vani; tagat, Anirudh
  2. Public versus Secret Voting in Committees By Andrea Mattozzi; Marcos Y. Nakaguma
  3. Elected Officials’ Opportunistic Behavior on Third-Party Punishment: An experimental Analysis By Natalia Jimenez; Angel Solano-Garcia
  4. Minority Salience and Political Extremism By Colussi, Tommaso; Isphording, Ingo E.; Pestel, Nico
  5. Leveling the Playing Field: How Campaign Advertising Can Help Non-Dominant Parties By Horacio A. Larreguy; John Marshall; James M. Snyder, Jr.
  6. Whom to Lobby? Targeting in Political Networks By Thomas Groll; Anja Prummer
  7. Spatial Advertisement in Political Campaigns By Anja Prummer
  8. Nash Equilibrium and Party Polarization in an Electoral Competition Model By Shino Takayama; Yuki Tamura; Terence Yeo
  9. Persistence of Power: Repeated Multilateral Bargaining By Marina Agranov; Christopher Cotton; Chloe Tergiman
  10. The formation of partnerships in social networks By Bloch, Francis; Dutta, Bhaskar; Robin, Stéphane; Zhu, Min

  1. By: Borooah, Vani; tagat, Anirudh
    Abstract: This paper uses village level data on individual voters to ask what are the factors which determine the probability of whether an individual votes? Is this probability greater for national compared to local elections? And is there evidence that people are more likely to vote today than they were in the past? Allied to these questions is another set of questions relating to the choice of candidates. What are the factors that make for women’s autonomy in voting, meaning that they cast their vote without reference to their spousal instructions? What are the factors which contribute to people voting for candidates who are of their own caste? And, lastly, what are the factors which contribute to people voting for candidates who have a reputation for honesty and fairness? Needless to say, voting in elections is just one facet of political participation. Another might be attending and participating in political meetings. This is particularly relevant in Indian villages since the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act of 1993. This made it mandatory for all villages to have a village council (hereafter, Gram Sabha) consisting of all registered voters on the electoral roll of a village. The Gram Sabha was to be entrusted with the power of supervising the functioning of the elected village panchayat and to approve the panchayat’s development plan for the village and the associated budget. Consequently, in addition to voting, electors in villages had another form of political participation: they could attend Gram Sabha meetings and also participate in its discussions. This paper also analyses the factors which determine attendance and participation in such meetings. A worrisome feature of the results was the high proportion of married women reporting that they cast their vote according to their husbands’ instructions and further that, this proportion was impervious to the education level of the women. Women’s education would not appear, from these results, to reduce the power of patriarchy. Another source of anxiety was the gender gap in the proportion of men and women who took part in Gram Sabha discussions. This would suggest that the reservation of village panchayat positions (including that of panchayat pradhan, or village president) for women was a step in the right direction for the empowerment of women. In contrast, there were no inter-social group differences in participation in Gram Sabha meetings.
    Keywords: India, Villages, Political Participation, Local government
    JEL: H11 H4
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Andrea Mattozzi; Marcos Y. Nakaguma
    Abstract: This paper studies a committee decision-making problem. Committee members are heterogeneous in their competence, they are biased towards one of the alternatives and career oriented, and they can choose whether to vote or abstain. The interaction between career concern and bias affects the voting behavior of members depending on transparency of individual votes. We show that transparency attenuates the pre-existing biases of competent members and exacerbates the biases of incompetent members. Public voting leads to better decisions when the magnitude of the bias is large, while secret voting performs better otherwise. We provide experimental evidence supporting our theoretical conclusions.
    Keywords: Committees; Voting, Career Concern; Transparency
    JEL: D72 C92 D71
    Date: 2016–11–28
  3. By: Natalia Jimenez (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide & Middlesex University); Angel Solano-Garcia (Departamento de Teoria e Historia Economica, University of Granada & Globe)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze how the punishment behavior of a democratically elected official varies when facing an electoral process (opportunism). To this aim, we conduct an economic experiment in which officials are third party punishers in a public goods game. We consider two different scenarios which differ in the degree of cooperation within the society. We find that officials increase their punishment when they face elections in both scenarios. Contrary to candidates’ expectations, voters always vote for the least severe candidate.
    Keywords: Opportunism, Punishment, Public Goods Games, Voting, Experiments.
    JEL: C92 D72 H4
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Colussi, Tommaso (IZA); Isphording, Ingo E. (IZA); Pestel, Nico (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper studies electoral effects of exposure to religious minorities in the context of Muslim communities in Germany. Using unique data on mosques' construction and election results across municipalities over the period 1980-2013, we find that the presence of a mosque increases political extremism. To establish causality, we exploit arguably exogenous variation in the distance of the election date to the month of Ramadan, when Muslim communities become more visible to the general public. Our findings show that vote shares for both right- and left-wing extremist parties become larger when the election date is closer to Ramadan. We additionally show that the change in minority salience also increases the likelihood of politically motivated crimes against Muslims.
    Keywords: minority salience, Muslims, voting, conflict
    JEL: D72 D74 J15
    Date: 2016–12
  5. By: Horacio A. Larreguy; John Marshall; James M. Snyder, Jr.
    Abstract: Voters are often uncertain about and biased against non-dominant political parties. By reducing the information gap with dominant parties, political advertising may thus disproportionately benefit non-dominant parties electorally. We test this argument in Mexico, where three main parties dominate many localities. To identify the effects of exposure to partisan advertising, we exploit differences across neighboring precincts in campaign ad distributions arising from cross-state media coverage spillovers induced by a 2007 reform that equalized access to ad slots across all broadcast media. Our results show that ads on AM radio increase the vote shares of the PAN and PRD, but not the previously-hegemonic PRI. Consistent with our model, campaign advertising is most effective in poorly informed and politically uncompetitive electoral precincts, and against locally dominant parties of intermediate strength.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2016–12
  6. By: Thomas Groll (Columbia University); Anja Prummer (Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: We study lobbying in a setting in which decision-makers share resources in a network. Two opposing interest groups choose which decision-maker they want to target with their resource provision, and their decision depends on the decision-makers' ideologies as well as the network structure. We characterize the lobbying strategies in various network settings and show that a higher resource flow as well as homophily reinforce decision-makers' ideological bias. We highlight that competing lobbyists' efforts do not neutralize each other and their payoffs and competitive advantages depend on the networks they face. Our findings are consistent with empirically established lobbying activities.
    Keywords: Networks, Lobbying, Targeting, Flow of resources, Ideology, Centrality, Homophily, Colonel Blotto, Externalities
    JEL: D72 D78 D83 D85
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Anja Prummer (Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: This paper characterizes the optimal advertising strategy of candidates in an election campaign, where groups of heterogeneous voters are targeted through media outlets. We discuss its effects on the implemented policy and relate it to the well-documented increase in polarization. Additionally, we empirically establish that polarization displays electoral cycles. These cycles emerge in the model as candidates find it optimal to cater to different groups of voters and thus to adjust policies. Further, technologies that allow targeting voters more precisely tend to increase polarization. Our prediction is confirmed empirically as an increase in internet penetration leads to higher polarization.
    Keywords: Targeting, Media, Networks, Voting
    JEL: D85 D72 D83
    Date: 2016–12
  8. By: Shino Takayama (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Yuki Tamura (Department of Economics, University of Rochester); Terence Yeo (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: We study the existence problem of Nash equilibrium as well as party polarization in an electoral competition model. In our model, political parties also value holding office (office rent) in addition to maximizing their party members’ utility. A class of models with an uncertainty about the median voter position has been increasingly important and Drouvelis, Saporiti and Vriend (2014) present an experimental study to support a model with office rent. But the inclusion of office rent renders the payoff of each party discontinuous. This makes it difficult to apply a usual fixed point argument to prove the existence of Nash equilibrium. By using a recently developed concept, C-security in McLennan, Monteiro and Tourky (2011), we provide conditions under which a pure strategy Nash equilibrium (PSE) or a mixed strategy Nash equilibrium (MSE) exists within a fairly general setting, and further the analysis by presenting conditions under which various types of policy choices, including polarization, arise in equilibrium.
    Keywords: Noncooperative games, electoral competition, existence of equilibrium
    Date: 2016–12–22
  9. By: Marina Agranov (California Institute of Technology); Christopher Cotton (Queen's University); Chloe Tergiman (Penn State University)
    Abstract: We develop a model of repeated multilateral bargaining that links cycles via the identity of the agenda setter. In sharp contrast to the standard history-independent equilibrium predictions, in an experiment, we observe stable and persistent coalitions in terms of member identity, allocations to coalition partners, and agenda-setter identity. Our results call into question the validity of restricting attention to static, history-independent strategies in dynamic bargaining games. We show that weakening the standard equilibria concepts to allow players to condition on a single piece of history is enough to generate equilibria which are consistent with observed laboratory outcomes.
    Keywords: experiment, legislative bargaining, vote of confidence, legislative decision making, political institutions, dynamic bargaining
    JEL: C78 C92 D02 C73 D72
    Date: 2016–12
  10. By: Bloch, Francis (Université Paris 1 and Paris School of Economics); Dutta, Bhaskar (University of Warwick and Ashoka University); Robin, Stéphane (Université de Lyon); Zhu, Min (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the formation of partnerships in social networks. Agents randomly request favors and turn to their neighbors to form a partnership. If favors are costly, agents have an incentive to delay the formation of the partnership. In that case, for any initial social network, the unique Markov Perfect equilibrium results in the formation of the maximum number of partnerships when players become infinitely patient. If favors provide benefits, agents rush to form partnerships at the cost of disconnecting other agents and the only perfect initial networks for which the maximum number of partnerships are formed are the complete and complete bipartite networks. The theoretical model is tested in the lab. Subjects generally play according to their equilibrium strategy and the efficient outcome is obtained over 78% of the times. Decisions are affected by the complexity of the network. Two behavioral rules are observed during the experiment: subjects accept the formation of the partnership too often and reject partnership offers when one of their neighbors is only connected to them.
    Keywords: social networks ; partnerships ; matchings in networks ; non-stationary networks ; laboratory experiments JEL classification numbers: D85 ; C78 ; C91
    Date: 2017

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