nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒01‒29
nine papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Selection of questions for VAAs and the VAA-based elections By Tangian, Andranik S.
  2. Does NOTA Affect Voter Turnout? Evidence from State Legislative Elections in India By Mandal, Arindam; Mandal, Biswajit; Bhattacharjee, Prasun
  3. Confirmation Bias and Electoral Accountability By Lockwood, Ben
  4. Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma By Matthew Embrey; Guillaume R. Frechette; Sevgi Yuksel
  5. The Myopic Stable Set for Social Environments By Demuynck, Thomas; Herings, P. Jean-Jacques; Saulle, Riccardo; Seel, Christian
  6. Political Determinants of Competition in the Mobile Telecommunication Industry By Mara Faccio; Luigi Zingales
  7. A Model of Protests, Revolution, and Information By Salvador Barberà; Matthew O. Jackson
  8. Over the top: Team composition and performance in Himalayan expeditions By Bernd Frick; Anica Rose
  9. An experimental investigation of intra-household resource allocation in rural India By Savita Kulkarni; Anirudh Tagat; Hansika Kapoor

  1. By: Tangian, Andranik S.
    Abstract: During the 2016 election to the Student Parliament of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), an experiment on 'The Third Vote' was conducted. The goal was to test an alternative election method based on the idea of internet voting advice applications (VAAs). Under the election method tested, the voters cast no direct votes for candidate parties; rather, they are asked about their preferences on the policy issues as declared in the party manifestos. These embedded referenda measure the degree to which the parties' positions match the policy preferences of the electorate. The parliament seats are then distributed among the parties in proportion to their indices of representativeness: popularity (the average percentage of the population represented on all the issues) and universality (frequency in representing a majority). The Third Vote Experiment reveals that the critical point is the selection of questions: unless they draw sufficient distinctions between the parties, it can cause a malfunction of both the VAA and the VAA-based election method. To solve this problem, this paper develops a model for contrasting as much as possible between the parties by maximizing the total distance between the party policy profiles while simultaneously reducing the number of questions. The guaranteed best solution is obtained by means of an exhaustive search on all the possible combinations of m out of n initial questions. However, since this search is cumbersome, a stepwise removal of questions is proposed. This alternative is shown to offer a good compromise between formal rigor and computational efficiency.
    Keywords: policy representation,elections,theory of voting,feature selection,variable selection
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Mandal, Arindam; Mandal, Biswajit; Bhattacharjee, Prasun
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of introduction of the ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option in Indian legislative elections. NOTA was introduced as a ballot option following the Supreme Court ruling in 2013 based on the argument that more choices to voters will enhance voter participation. We take advantage of the state-time variation in introduction of NOTA option in state legislative assembly elections in 2013 to study its impact on voter turnout. Using election data from five major Indian states between 2008 and 2013, we find evidences suggesting that NOTA may not have led to increased voter participation. However, our results are not conclusive.
    Keywords: Voting, Election, NOTA, None of the Above, Reservation
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Lockwood, Ben
    Abstract: This paper considers the implications of an important cognitive bias in information processing, confirmation bias, in a political agency setting. When voters have this bias and when only the politician's actions are observable before the election, it decreases pandering by the incumbent, and can raise voter welfare as a consequence. This result is driven by the fact that the noise aspect of confirmation bias, which decreases pandering, dominates the bounded rationality aspect, which increases it. The results generalize in several directions, including to the case where the voter can also observe payoffs with some probability before the election. We identify conditions when confirmation bias strengthens the case for decision-making by an elected rather than an appointed official.
    Keywords: accountability; confirmation bias; elections
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Matthew Embrey (University of Sussex); Guillaume R. Frechette (NYU); Sevgi Yuksel (UCSB)
    Abstract: More than half a century after the first experiment on the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma, evidence on whether cooperation decreases with experience - as suggested by backward induction - remains inconclusive. This paper provides a meta-analysis of prior experimental research and reports the results of a new experiment to elucidate how cooperation varies with the environment in this canonical game. We describe forces that affect initial play (formation of cooperation) and unraveling (breakdown of cooperation). First, contrary to the backward induction prediction, the parameters of the repeated game have a significant effect on initial cooperation. We identify how these parameters impact the value of cooperation - as captured by the size of the basin of attraction of Always Defect – to account for an important part of this effect. Second, despite these initial differences, the evolution of behavior is consistent with the unraveling logic of backward induction for all parameter combinations. Importantly, despite the seemingly contradictory results across studies, this paper establishes a systematic pattern of behavior: subjects converge to use threshold strategies that conditionally cooperate until a threshold round; and conditional on establishing cooperation, the first defection round moves earlier with experience. Simulation results generated from a learning model estimated at the subject level provide insights into the long-term dynamics and the forces that slow down the unraveling of cooperation.
    Keywords: repeated games, prisoners dilemma, threshold strategies, basin of attraction
    JEL: C73 C92
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Demuynck, Thomas (universite libre de bruxelles); Herings, P. Jean-Jacques (General Economics 1 (Micro)); Saulle, Riccardo (General Economics 1 (Micro)); Seel, Christian (General Economics 1 (Micro))
    Abstract: We introduce a new solution concept for models of coalition formation, called the myopic stable set. The myopic stable set is defined for a very general class of social environments and allows for an infinite state space. We show that the myopic stable set exists and is non-empty. Under minor continuity conditions, we also demonstrate uniqueness. Furthermore, the myopic stable set is a superset of the core and of the set of pure strategy Nash equilibria in noncooperative games. Additionally, the myopic stable set generalizes and unifies various results from more specific environments. In particular, the myopic stable set coincides with the coalition structure core in coalition function form games if the coalition structure core is non-empty; with the set of stable matchings in the standard one-to-one matching model; with the set of pairwise stable networks and closed cycles in models of network formation; and with the set of pure strategy Nash equilibria in finite supermodular games, finite potential games, and aggregative games. We illustrate the versatility of our concept by characterizing the myopic stable set in a model of Bertrand competition with asymmetric costs, for which the literature so far has not been able to fully characterize the set of all (mixed) Nash equilibria.
    Keywords: Social environments, group formation, stability, Nash equilibrium
    JEL: C70 C71
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Mara Faccio; Luigi Zingales
    Abstract: We study how political factors shape competition in the mobile telecommunication sector. We show that the way a government designs the rules of the game has an impact on concentration, competition, and prices. Pro-competition regulation reduces prices, but does not hurt quality of services or investments. More democratic governments tend to design more competitive rules, while more politically connected operators are able to distort the rules in their favor, restricting competition. Government intervention has large redistributive effects: U.S. consumers would gain $65bn a year if U.S. mobile service prices were in line with German ones and $44bn if they were in line with Danish ones.
    JEL: D72 L11 P16
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Salvador Barberà; Matthew O. Jackson
    Abstract: A revolt or protest succeeds only if sufficient people participate. We study how potential participants’ ability to coordinate is affected by their information. We dis- tinguish four phenomena that affect whether information either encourages or inhibits protests and revolutions: (i) Unraveling: When agents learn about each others’ types, some are discouraged by meeting partisans of the status quo. This can unravel, as even confident agents realize that enough supporters will be discouraged to preclude a successful revolution. (ii) Homophily: Learning someone else’s type under homophily is less informative since that individual is more likely to be similar to the learner. This can lead people to be less confident of a revolution, but can also stop potential unraveling. (iii) Extremism: Meeting other protestors, and seeing pilot demonstrations or outcomes in similar countries, reveal not only how much support for change exists, but also from which constituencies it emerges. This can undercut a revolution if factions differ sufficiently in their preferred changes. (iv) Counter Demonstrations: partisans for the status quo can hold counter-demonstrations to signal their strength. We also discuss why holding mass demonstrations before a revolution may provide better signals of peoples willingness to actively participate than other less costly forms of communication (e.g., via social media), and how governments use redistribution and propaganda to avoid a revolution.
    Keywords: D74, D72, D71, D83, C72
    Date: 2017–01
  8. By: Bernd Frick (Paderborn University); Anica Rose (Paderborn University)
    Abstract: Using a large sub-sample of expeditions from the “Himalayan Database”, we analyze the impact of a climbing team’s cultural value diversity on various performance outcomes. Irrespective of an already large (and still growing) body of theoretical and empirical research on the diversity-performance link, the study of the multifaceted concept “culture” under rather extreme conditions has hitherto been largely ignored. We extend the literature by focusing on the effects of the cultural value diversity of a commercial climbing team on expedition outcomes. We test our hypotheses using data from 1,168 expeditions that took place between 1990 and 2014 involving mostly “amateur” climbers from all over the world. We find that the probability of team success is positively influenced by a culturally more heterogeneous team composition. Individual-level analyses further reveal that an increase in a team member’s cultural distance increases the probability of individual success, but also the probability of experiencing an injury or death. This result shows that the higher collective performance in culturally diverse teams is driven by the isolation of single team members.
    Keywords: team diversity; team performance; cultural value diversity
    JEL: M14
    Date: 2017–01
  9. By: Savita Kulkarni; Anirudh Tagat; Hansika Kapoor
    Abstract: This study aims to investigate intra-household bargaining outcomes elicited in an artefactual field experiment design where participants completed a purchase task of real commodities. Married couples separately expressed their initial preferences over commodities. The bargaining process in the experiment was exogenously introduced by sharing information about partners’ preferences in the treatment group. We hypothesized that the spouse with weaker bargaining position at the household level would consider the information of their partner’s preferences while making own consumption decisions more compared to their partner. Therefore, they may deviate from their own preferences when purchasing commodities. More than 230 married couples from two villages in the Tamil Nadu state of India participated in the experiment. It was observed that information about partners’ spending preferences resulted in reduced final allocations for female participants. However, the deviation was not significantly different from the original intention to spend. Therefore, information about partners’ preferences may not be an effective medium to elicit bargaining power in the context of jointly-consumed household commodities. Subgroup analyses were performed to identify any heterogeneous treatment effects.
    Keywords: intra-household bargaining, gender, artefactual field experiment, women’s empowerment, welfare schemes
    JEL: C93 D13 J12 J16 O15
    Date: 2016

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