nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
twelve papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. How Do Electoral Quotas Influence Political Competition? Evidence from Municipal, State, and National Elections in India By Adam Michael Auerbach; Adam Ziegfeld
  2. Redistributive Politics, Power Sharing and Fairness By Dario Debowicz; Alejandro Saporiti; Yizhi Wang
  3. The symmetric equilibria of symmetric voter participation games with complete information By Nöldeke, Georg; Peña, Jorge
  4. The income distribution of voters: a case study from Germany By Engelhardt, Carina; Wagener, Andreas
  6. How do inventor networks affect urban invention? By Laurent Bergé; Nicolas Carayol, GREThA, UMR CNRS 5113, Université de Bordeaux; Pascale Roux
  7. The Political Foundations of Redistribution in Post-industrial Democracies By Duane Swank
  8. Civic Crowdfunding: A collective option for local public By Claire Charbit; Guillaume Desmoulins
  9. Can Television Reduce Xenophobia? - The Case of East Germany By Lars Hornuf; Marc Oliver Rieger
  10. Deservingness, Self-Interest and the Welfare State: Why Some Care More about Deservingness than Others and Why It Matters By Charlotte Cavaillé
  11. The political economy of peripheral tax reform : the Spanish fiscal transition By Torregrosa Hetland, Sara
  12. Arab Countries Between Winter and Spring: Where Democracy Shock Goes Next! By Hany Abdel-Latif; Tapas Mishra; Anita Staneva

  1. By: Adam Michael Auerbach (American University); Adam Ziegfeld (George Washington University)
    Abstract: Countries around the world use electoral quotas to ensure that underrepresented groups gain legislative representation. Despite the fact that electoral quotas are political interventions, the large literature on the subject has mostly ignored their impact on political competition. We argue that electoral quotas diminish the number of viable candidates and increase the extent to which competition revolves around major parties. Furthermore, these effects should be most pronounced in lower-level elections, where candidates can more easily run outside major-party labels. To test our hypotheses, we draw on a rich set of quantitative and interview data collected from original fieldwork in India. We find substantial evidence that the effective number of candidates is lower in electoral districts with quotas and vote shares for major parties are higher. These effects are largest in local elections and smallest in national elections. The paper advances research on electoral competition, party politics, and institutional design.
    Keywords: Quotas, Elections, Political Parties, India
    JEL: D72 H77
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Dario Debowicz; Alejandro Saporiti; Yizhi Wang
    Abstract: We study the effect of power sharing over income redistribution among different socio-economic groups in a model of redistributive politics with fairness concern. We prove that a unique pure-strategy equilibrium exists under fairly general conditions; and we show that equilibrium transfers depend on the interplay of four main factors: (i) the gap between the population and the group average pre-tax income; (ii) the relative ideological neutrality of the poor, (iii) parties’ and voters’ concern with income inequality, and (iv) the proportionality of the electoral rule. A number of comparative statics predictions emerge from our characterization. Among them, our analysis shows that the net transfers to the middle class and the rich (resp., the poor) increase (resp., decrease) with power sharing disproportionality. Further, we prove that the Gini coefficient associated with the distribution of disposable incomes also rises with the disproportionality of the power sharing rule, which amount to say that income inequality rises as policymaking power gets more concentrated in the majority winning party. We confront these predictions to the data, using an unbalanced panel of developed and developing democracies. The empirical evidence strongly supports both, the positive effect of the income gap over the group transfers, and the relationship between the Gini index (and respectively, the group transfers) and power sharing disproportionality.
    Keywords: Income Redistribution, Targeted Spending, Swing Voter, Electoral Rule, Power Sharing, Fairness, Income Inequality
    JEL: C72 D72 D78
    Date: 2016–10
  3. By: Nöldeke, Georg; Peña, Jorge
    Abstract: We characterize the symmetric Nash equilibria of the symmetric voter participation game with complete information introduced by Palfrey and Rosenthal (1983). Our results confirm their conjecture on the existence, multiplicity, and comparative statics of such equilibria and yield more precise information on how changes in team size affect the location of equilibria.
    JEL: D72 C72 C02
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Engelhardt, Carina; Wagener, Andreas
    Abstract: Although voter turnout in the 2013 general election to the German Bundestag differed considerably across income brackets, the income distribution of voters did not differ, in a statistically significant way, from that of the entire population. The non-uniform turnout, thus, is unlikely to affect the political support for, or the feasibility of, policies that are sensitive with respect to the income distribution.
    Keywords: Majority Voting; Income Distribution; Redistribution
    JEL: D72 H53 D31
    Date: 2017–03
  5. By: Emanuele Bracco; Maria De Paola; Colin Green; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: Immigration has increasingly taken centre-stage in the political landscape. Part of this has been rise in far-right, anti-immigration parties in a range of countries. Existing evidence suggests that the presence of immigrants has a substantial effect on the political views of the electorate, generating an advantage to these parties with anti-immigration or nationalist platforms. This paper explores a closely related but overlooked issue: how immigrant behavior is influenced by these parties. We focus on immigrant location decisions in Northern Italy which has seen the rise of the anti-immigration party Lega Nord. We construct a dataset of mayoral elections in Italy for the years 2002-2014, and calculate the effect of electing a mayor belonging to, or supported by Lega Nord. To identify this relationship we focus on mayors who have been elected with narrow margins of victory in a Regression Discontinuity framework. The election of Lega Nord mayor discourages immigrants from moving into the municipality.
    Keywords: Immigration, Geographical Mobility, Voting Behavior, Political economy, Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: J15 J61 D72
    Date: 2017–03
  6. By: Laurent Bergé (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Nicolas Carayol, GREThA, UMR CNRS 5113, Université de Bordeaux (GREThA, UMR CNRS 5113, Université de Bordeaux); Pascale Roux (GREThA, UMR CNRS 5113, Université de Bordeaux)
    Abstract: Social networks are expected to matter for invention in cities, but empirical evidence is still puzzling. In this paper, we provide new results on urban patenting covering more than twenty years of European patents invented by nearly one hundred thousand inventors located in France. Elaborating on the recent economic literatures on peer effects and on games in social networks, we assume that the productivity of an inventor’s efforts is positively affected by the efforts of his or her partners and negatively by the number of these partners’ connections. In this framework, inventors’ equilibrium outcomes are proportional to the square of their network centrality, which encompasses, as special cases, several well-known forms of centrality (Degree, Katz-Bonacich, Page-Rank). Our empirical results show that urban inventors benefit from their collaboration network. Their production increases when they collaborate with more central agents and when they have more collaborations. Our estimations suggest that inventors’ productivity grows sublinearly with the efforts of direct partners, and that they incur no negative externality from them having many partners. Overall, we estimate that a one standard deviation increase in local inventors’ centrality raises future urban patenting by 13%.
    Keywords: invention ; cities; network centrality; co-invention network; patent data
    JEL: O31 R11 D85
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Duane Swank
    Abstract: Fiscal redistribution by the state provides a powerful counterweight to the growth of market income inequality in post-industrial democracies. Yet, significant questions remain about what explains the substantial variation in redistribution across nations and time in the contemporary era. In addition to recognizing the response of election-minded governments to the growth in insecurities and demands for redistribution associated with post-industrialization, I argue that where social democratic parties rule, and where employers and labor remain highly organized, inequality is blunted through redistribution of income by cash transfers and direct taxes and policies targeted at low income strata. This should be the case because the organizational scope, centralization, and policymaking integration of labor and capital facilitates the creation of post-industrial political coalitions necessary for redistributive policy making and implementation by social democratic governments, and organizationally suppresses insider politics by sectorally fragmented actors and excessive rent seeking by narrow interest groups. Labor organization, in particular, directly promotes demands for redistribution through several channels. I use 1979 to 2011 data from 18 democracies and estimate models of redistribution and policies for “outsiders.†The main argument is supported by the evidence: social democratic government has especially significant egalitarian impacts on unemployment benefits and minimum income supports for low income workers as well as active labor market policies at high levels of labor and employer organization. Labor organization, itself, has significant and substantively large effects on fiscal redistribution. I use these results and evidence on recent trends in key determinants of redistribution to reflect on whether an era of “permanent inequality†is inevitable or simply a political possibility.
    Date: 2015–10
  8. By: Claire Charbit; Guillaume Desmoulins
    Abstract: This paper investigates the potential of civic crowdfunding as an innovative and collective option for contributing to the production of local public goods. It is articulated around two pillars. The first section provides a general understanding of crowdfunding practices and focuses principally on its civic component. Civic crowdfunding should be distinguished from other types of crowdfunding since it pursues an objective of general interest and mainly concerns place-based projects instigated by citizens and civil society organisations. The aim of this section is to better understand this field, from the general principles to the specific characteristics of actors and their motivations. The second section goes a step further towards the analysis of this practice with regards to the provision of local public goods. Crowdfunded local public goods usually belong to a specific category of public goods, “urban commons”, which generate significant challenges in terms of production, governance and sustainability. Building on the theory of contracts to better understand the interaction among stakeholders in this process, a new model of co-production relying on civic crowdfunding is proposed. Subnational governments would have a key role to play in enabling this practice and facilitating citizen empowerment through the mobilisation of platforms assets. Civic crowdfunding can provide opportunities for subnational governments in terms of citizens/user information, funding, communication, trust and territorial attractiveness. This paper outlines a series of key questions to guide policy makers in experimenting this practice.
    Keywords: citizen engagement, civic crowdfunding, co-production, local pubic goods
    JEL: G20 H40 R10 R50
    Date: 2017–03–17
  9. By: Lars Hornuf (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, Trier University); Marc Oliver Rieger (Trier University)
    Abstract: Can television have a mitigating e?ect on xenophobia? To examine this question, we exploit the fact that individuals in some areas of East Germany – due to their geographic location – could not receive West German television until 1989. We conjecture that individuals who received West German television were exposed more frequently to foreigners and thus have developed less xenophobia than people who were not exposed to those programs. Our results show that regions that could receive West German television were less likely to vote for right-wing parties during the national elections from 1998 to 2013. Only recently, the same regions were also more likely to vote for left-wing parties. Moreover, while counties that hosted more foreigners in 1989 were also more likely to vote for right-wing parties in most elections, we find counties that recently hosted more foreign visitors showed less xenophobia, which is in line with intergroup contact theory.
    Keywords: Mass media; Television; Xenophobia; Attitudes towards foreigners; East Germany; Natural experiment
    JEL: D72 L82 P3
    Date: 2017–02
  10. By: Charlotte Cavaillé
    Abstract: A common assumption in political economy is that voters are self-regarding maximizers of material goods, choosing their preferred level of social spending accordingly. In contrast, students of American social policy have emphasized the key role of an other-regarding motive that makes support for social transfers conditional on the perceived deservingness of recipients. The two motives often conflict as large portions of the poor (rich) find recipients undeserving (deserving). Under what conditions might one motive trump the other? I argue that material self-interest overruns perceptions of deservingness when the share of income affected by social transfers is high. Using European data, I show that low (high) income individuals are less (more) likely to be driven by considerations of deservingness. This framework has important macro-level implications: the more working-age benefits are evenly spread across income groups, the less likely considerations of deservingness will permeate public debates on welfare state reform.
    Keywords: Social policy preferences, Deservingness, Self interest, Heuristic, Welfare state reform
    Date: 2015–09
  11. By: Torregrosa Hetland, Sara (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: The Spanish fiscal system underwent profound reforms between 1977 and 1986, in close connection to the transition from dictatorship to democracy. These were meant to bring the country towards the welfare state model of its European neighbours. Some practical results in terms of progressivity and redistribution, however, were not outstanding, and inequality did not significantly decrease after democratization. In recent times, the system has shown its incapacity to sustain European-level welfare services. Can a historical analysis help us understand the constraints faced by this young welfare state in the periphery? This paper looks at two factors in the political economy of tax reform: social preferences and the decision-making institutions. Perhaps the general citizen – or the decisive voter – was not very keen on redistribution. Alternatively, the new political system might not have translated effectively the public stances onto policies. Furthermore, at this time of the transition, international developments were changing the emphasis from equity to efficiency in tax system design, and increasing capital mobility provided an enhanced capacity to escape from taxation.
    Keywords: redistribution; tax reform; public policy; democratization; distributive preferences;
    JEL: D72 D78 H20 N44
    Date: 2017–03–13
  12. By: Hany Abdel-Latif (Swansea University); Tapas Mishra; Anita Staneva
    Abstract: This paper presents rigorous mechanisms to study how persistent democratic shocks in one country produce spillover effects and comprise a major determinant in dynamic growth interdependence among nations. Taking the case of the Arab Spring in particular and employing both spatial and panel VAR mechanisms, we demonstrate that stronger relational ‘proximity’ among nations with respect to democracy is likely to trigger similar institutional reforms and growth upsurges in the neighborhood. Democratization event chronology is employed to identify transitional dynamics among countries’ democratic pathways. A comprehensive model of transmission mechanism and response of democratic is further initiated by estimating a Global Vector Autoregression method among nineteen Arab countries. Our analysis reveals patterns of discrete changes in regimes that run counter to the dominant aggregate trends of democratic waves or sequences, presenting how the ebb and flow of democracy varies among the world’s regions. The main finding suggests that the current revolutionary waves in the Arab World can be understood in light of the economic situation in a given country. More specifically, we find that high and upper middle income countries are immune to the recent democratic shock transference, whereas the lower middle and low income countries seem to be perfect candidates of another revolutionary wave.
    Date: 2015–10

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