nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒02‒05
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Electoral Competition and Party Positioning By De Donder, Philippe; Gallego, Maria
  2. Leveling up? An inter-neighborhood experiment on parochialism and the efficiency of multi-level public goods provision By Gallier, Carlo; Goeschl, Timo; Kesternich, Martin; Lohse, Johannes; Reif, Christiane; Römer, Daniel
  3. A Spatial Analysis of Foreign Aid and Civil Society By Vecci, Joseph; Zelinsky, Tomas
  4. Do political parties matter? Endogenous fragmentation, partisanship, and local public expenditures in Finland By Benoît LE MAUX; Kristýna DOSTÁLOVÁ; Antti MOISIO
  5. Common Resources Management and the "Dark Side" of Collective Action: an Impact Evaluation for Madagascar’s Forests By Sébastien Desbureaux
  6. One in a Million: Field Experiments on Perceived Closeness of the Election and Voter Turnout By Alan Gerber; Mitchell Hoffman; John Morgan; Collin Raymond
  7. The Myopic Stable Set for Social Environments By Thomas Demuynck; Jean-Jacques Herings; Riccardo Saulle; Christian Seel
  8. Games with a Permission Structure: a survey on generalizations and applications By René van den Brink

  1. By: De Donder, Philippe; Gallego, Maria
    Abstract: We survey the literature on the positioning of political parties in uni - and multidimensional policy spaces. We keep throughout the survey the assumption that there is an exogenous number of parties who commit to implement their policy proposals once elected. The survey stresses the importance of three modeling assumptions: (i) the source of uncertainty in election results, (ii) the parties'objectives (electoral - maximizing their expected vote share, or their probability of winning the elections'policy oriented or both), and (iii) the voters'preferences(if and how they care for parties beyond the policies implemented by the winner).
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Gallier, Carlo; Goeschl, Timo; Kesternich, Martin; Lohse, Johannes; Reif, Christiane; Römer, Daniel
    Abstract: Many public goods can be provided at different spatial levels. Evidence from social identity theory and in-group favoritism raises the possibility that where higher-level provision is more efficient, subjects’ narrow concern for local outcomes (parochialism) could harm efficiency. Building on the experimental paradigm of multi-level public good games and the ‘neighborhood attachment’ concept, we conduct an artefactual field experiment with 600 participants in a setting conducive to parochial behavior. In an inter-neighborhood intra-region design, subjects allocate an endowment between a personal account, a local, and a regional public good account. The between-subjects design varies across two dimensions: One informs subjects that the smaller local group consists of members from their own neighborhood (‘neighbors’). The other varies the relative productivity at the two public goods provision levels. We find evidence for parochialism, but contrary to our hypothesis, parochialism does not interfere with efficiency: The average subject responds to a change in relative productivities at the local and regional level in the same way, whether aware of their neighbors’ presence in the small group or not. The results even hold for subjects with above-median neighborhood attachment and subjects primed on neighborhood attachment.
    Keywords: Social identity; parochialism; multi-level public goods; artefactual field experiment.
    Date: 2017–02–01
  3. By: Vecci, Joseph (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Zelinsky, Tomas (Faculty of Economics, Technical University of Kosice, Kosice, Slovakia)
    Abstract: We use a Spatial Durbin Model to examine the relationship between civil society aid projects and measures of civil society including membership and participation in community groups and satisfaction with democracy in Nigeria and Uganda. We then study the effect of civil society aid programs on corruption, a proxy for elite capture. The spatial model allows us to estimate the effects of project spillovers that may indirectly impact non project areas. We find that civil society aid projects are associated with a decrease in the creation of community groups and attendance at community meetings in Nigeria. In Uganda, we find that civil society aid projects have a negative effect on the membership of community groups in neighboring areas. We also find that civil society projects have a positive effect on satisfaction with democracy, but they reduce satisfaction in neighbouring areas in both Nigeria and Uganda. Our corruption measures reveal that corruption has a positive direct correlation with civil society aid projects in Uganda. A number of robustness measures are used to account for selection.
    Keywords: Foreign Aid; civil society; corruption; Africa; development
    JEL: D72 D73 F35 O10
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Benoît LE MAUX (University of Rennes 1, CREM-CNRS, Condorcet Center for Political Economy, France); Kristýna DOSTÁLOVÁ (University of Rennes 1, CREM-CNRS, France); Antti MOISIO (Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis)
    Abstract: Both the Weak Government Hypothesis and the Partisan Theory state that institutional settings are sufficiently permissive to allow elected politicians to maximize their own utility at the expense of citizens’ preferences. We test this statement using data on Finnish local public expenditures. One important point is that the composition of the government can be explained by the hetero-geneity of voters’ preferences, hence the need for appropriate techniques to control for a potential selection bias. Using propensity score matching (PSM) methods, we demonstrate that neither the Weak Government Hypothesis nor the Partisan Theory provide an explanation of public spending differences. What appears to be the influence of government composition is in fact shown to be a demand driven process.
    Keywords: Political fragmentation, Partisan effects, Local expenditures, Propensity score matching
    JEL: H72 H40 D72
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Sébastien Desbureaux (CERDI, Université d'Auvergne & CIRAD)
    Abstract: A sufficient level of collective action between community members is often presented as a strong pre-requisite to sustainably governing local common property resources(CPR). What if in some contexts instead, strong collective action led to short-term depletion of CPR instead of their sustainable use? This paper brings to light causal evidence on the environmental impact of establishing community-managed forests in Madagascar and highlights the complexities underlying collective action in their sustainable management. I compile fine-scale deforestation data over 15 years, use a unique spatial census of locally managed CPR and mobilize firsthand field data from four case studies to show that transferring management rights to local communities has failed to decrease deforestation. Instead, the policy has led to an increase in deforestation in some areas, often when collective action was strong, not when it was weak. This is what I call the possible "dark side" of collective action.
    Keywords: Commons, Collective Action, Impact Evaluation, Experimental Economics, Forests, Madagascar
    JEL: Q15 Q23 D02
    Date: 2016–12
  6. By: Alan Gerber; Mitchell Hoffman; John Morgan; Collin Raymond
    Abstract: A common feature of many models of voter turnout is that increasing the perceived closeness of the election should increase voter turnout. However, cleanly testing this prediction is difficult and little is known about voter beliefs regarding the closeness of a given race. We conduct a field experiment during the 2010 US gubernatorial elections where we elicit voter beliefs about the closeness of the election before and after showing different polls, which, depending on treatment, indicate a close race or a not close race. We find that subjects update their beliefs in response to new information, but systematically overestimate the probability of a very close election. However, the decision to vote is unaffected by beliefs about the closeness of the election. A follow-up field experiment, conducted during the 2014 gubernatorial elections but at much larger scale, also points to little relationship between poll information about closeness and voter turnout.
    JEL: D03 D72 H10 P16
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Thomas Demuynck; Jean-Jacques Herings; Riccardo Saulle; Christian Seel
    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 infinite 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: 2017–01
  8. By: René van den Brink (Department of Econometrics and OR, VU University and Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: In the field of cooperative games with restricted cooperation, various restrictions on coalition formation are studied. The most studied restrictions are those that arise from restricted communication and hierarchies. This survey discusses several models of hierarchy restrictions and their relation with communication restrictions. In the literature, there are results on game properties, Harsanyi dividends, core stability, and various solutions that generalize exisiting solutions for TU-games. In this survey we mainly focus on axiomatizations of the Shapley value in different models of games with a hierarchically structured player set, and their applications. Not only do these axiomatizations provide insight in the Shapley value for these models, but also by considering the types of axioms that characterize the Shapley value, we learn more about different network structures. A central model of games with hierarchies are the games with a permission structure where players in a cooperative transferable utility game are part of a permission structure in the sense that there are players that need permission from other players before they are allowed to cooperate. This permission structure is represented by a directed graph. Generalizations of this model are, for example, games on antimatroids, and games with a local permission structure. Besides discussing these generalizations, we briefly discuss some applications, in particular auction games and hierarchically structured firms.
    Keywords: Cooperative TU-game; hierarchy; permission structure; antimatroid; local permission structure; applications.
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2017–01–30

This nep-cdm issue is ©2017 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.