nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒04‒09
twelve papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Electing a parliament: an experimental study By Francesco De Sinopoli; Giovanna Iannantuoni; Maria Vittoria Levati; Ivan Soraperra
  2. Multi winner Approval Voting: An Apportionment Approach By Brams, Steven J.; Kilgour, D. Marc; Potthoff, Richard F.
  3. Simultaneous and sequential voting under general decision rules By Bolle, Friedel
  4. Voting behaviour in the European Parliament and economic governance reform: does nationality matter? By Elisa Cencig; Laura Sabani
  5. Choice of the Group Increases Intra-Cooperation By Babkina, Tatiana; Myagkov, Mikhail; Lukinova, Evgeniya; Peshkovskaya, Anastasiya; Menshikova, Olga; Berkman, Elliot T.
  6. Place of registration and place of residence: the detrimental impact of transport cost on electoral participation By Christine Fauvelle-Aymar; Abel François
  7. The performance of four possible rules for selecting the Prime Minister after the Dutch Parliamentary elections of March 2017 By Colignatus, Thomas
  8. Perfection of the Jury Rule by Rule-Reforming Voters By Krishna K Ladha
  9. Can Television Reduce Xenophobia? The Case of East Germany By Lars Hornuf; Marc Oliver Rieger
  11. Women form social networks more selectively and less opportunistically than men By Friebel, Guido; Lalanne, Marie; Richter, Bernard; Schwardmann, Peter; Seabright, Paul
  12. How to choose a delegation for a peace conference? By Can, Burak; Csóka, Péter; Ergin, Emre

  1. By: Francesco De Sinopoli (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Giovanna Iannantuoni (University of Milano-Bicocca); Maria Vittoria Levati (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Ivan Soraperra (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: We use laboratory experiments to explore what electoral outcomes emerge and how voters behave in a setting in which the electorate must determine the number of seats that two parties obtain in the parliament. Previous experimental work has mainly focused on winner-take-all elections and voting over fixed agendas, and has not studied elections where participants decide on the composition of a parliament. We consider two electoral systems, multidistrict majoritarian and single district proportional. Relying on De Sinopoli et al.'s (2013) model of a parliamentary election, we obtain a unique perfect equilibrium outcome under both systems and exploit this uniqueness to gauge, and compare, the predictive value of the equilibrium concept in the two systems. The experimental results are broadly supportive of the theory and reveal that electoral outcomes and individual votes are more often in line with the equilibrium in the proportional than in the majoritarian system.
    Keywords: Voting, Majority election, Proportional election, Experiment
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2016–07
  2. By: Brams, Steven J.; Kilgour, D. Marc; Potthoff, Richard F.
    Abstract: We extend approval voting so as to elect multiple candidates, who may be either individuals or members of a political party, in rough proportion to their approval in the electorate. We analyze two divisor methods of apportionment, first proposed by Jefferson and Webster, that iteratively depreciate the approval votes of voters who have one or more of their approved candidates already elected. We compare the usual sequential version of these methods with a nonsequential version, which is computationally complex but feasible for many elections. Whereas Webster apportionments tend to be more representative of the electorate than those of Jefferson, the latter, whose equally spaced vote thresholds for winning seats duplicate those of cumulative voting in 2-party elections, is even-handed or balanced.
    Keywords: Approval voting, apportionment methods, multiple winners, proportional representation, cumulative voting
    JEL: C6 C63 C7 C72 C8 D6 D63 D7 D71 D72
    Date: 2017–03–26
  3. By: Bolle, Friedel
    Abstract: In an economic theory of voting, voters have positive or negative costs of voting in favor of a proposal and positive or negative benefits from an accepted proposal. When votes have equal weight then simultaneous voting mostly has a unique pure strategy Nash equilibrium which is independent of benefits. Voting with respect to (arbitrarily small) costs alone, however, often results in voting against the "true majority". If voting is sequential as in the roll call votes of the US Senate then, in the unique subgame perfect equilibrium, the "true majority" prevails (Groseclose and Milyo, 2010, 2013). In this paper, it is shown that the result for sequential voting holds also with different weights of voters (shareholders) or with multiple necessary majorities (EU decision making). Simultaneous voting in the general model can be plagued by non-existent or non-unique pure strategy equilibria under most preference constellations.
    Keywords: voting,free riding,binary decisions,unique equilibria
    JEL: H41 D71
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Elisa Cencig; Laura Sabani (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: This paper analyses MEPs’ voting behaviour on all regulations and directives forming the Six-Pack and the Two-Pack together with the key vote required to establish the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Whereas scholarly work has traditionally showed MEPs voting behaviour to be primarily driven by ideology (more specifically, by the MEP’s party group affiliation), we expect to find MEPs’ national origins to play a counterbalancing role and – at least partially – weaken intra-party position on key economic governance matters, where a conflict of interest might exist between creditor and debtor member countries. Logistic regressions were run to test our hypothesis and results do confirm that national interests and country-level economic variables can be strong predictors of MEPs’ votes in a considerable number of cases, opening up new avenues for future research on territorial cleavages in the European Parliament.
    Keywords: European Union, crisis, econometrics, economics.
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Babkina, Tatiana; Myagkov, Mikhail; Lukinova, Evgeniya; Peshkovskaya, Anastasiya; Menshikova, Olga; Berkman, Elliot T.
    Abstract: This research investigates how variation in sociality, or the degree to which one feels belonging to a group, affects the propensity for participation in collective action. By bringing together rich models of social behavior from social psychology with decision modeling techniques from economics, these mechanisms can ultimately foster cooperation in human societies. While variation in the level of sociality surely exists across groups, little is known about whether and how it changes behavior in the context of various economic games. Specifically, we found some socialization task makes minimal group members behavior resemble that of an established group. Consistent with social identity theory, we discovered that inducing this type of minimal sociality among participants who were previously unfamiliar with each other increased social identity, and sustained cooperation rates in the newly formed groups to the point that they were comparable to those in the already established groups. Our results demonstrate that there are relatively simple ways for individuals in a group to agree about appropriate social behavior, delineate new shared norms and identities.
    Keywords: collective action, group formation, cooperation
    JEL: C01 D0 D23 D50
    Date: 2016–07–18
  6. By: Christine Fauvelle-Aymar; Abel François
    Abstract: Few studies have tried to assess the empirical impact of transport cost on electoral turnout. Unfortunately, these researches suffer from different limits, especially limites related to the endogeneity of the voting station localization. Our study, based on French data, overcomes the main usual empirical difficulties. In particular, the French case provides a very valuable opportunity for testing the impact of transport cost on individual decision of turnout, because voters can be registered in another municipality than their residential municipality. As such, some of them have to travel important distance in order to cast their ballot. And this distance is totally exogenous to the electoral manipulation of places of voting location potentially made by local administration. So, we show that distance, and in fine cost of voting, have a highly significant impact on electoral turnout: at average distance (122 km) a 1% increase of distance induces a 0.05% decrease at the first round of 2012 presidential election and 0.04% at the second round. This result is robust to many tests: if we change the empirical method carried out or the election studied or if we control for the weight of the largest distance, the results remain the same.
    Keywords: Electoral turnout; cost of voting; transport cost; transport cost; electoral registration; voting paradox
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2017–03–30
  7. By: Colignatus, Thomas
    Abstract: Economic policy depends not only on national elections but also on coalition bargaining strategies. In coalition government, minority parties bargain on policy and form a majority coalition, and select a Prime Minister from their mids. In Holland the latter is done conventionally with Plurality, so that the largest party provides the chair of the cabinet. Alternative methods are Condorcet, Borda or Borda Fixed Point. Since the role of the Prime Minister is to be above all parties, to represent the nation and to be there for all citizens, it would enhance democracy and likely be optimal if the potential Prime Minister is selected from all parties and at the start of the bargaining process. The performance of the four selection rules is evaluated using the results of the 2017 Dutch Parliamentary elections. Plurality gives VVD. VVD is almost a Condorcet winner except for a tie with 50Plus. Borda and BordaFP give CU as the prime minister. The impossibility theorem by Kenneth Arrow (Nobel memorial prize in economics 1972) finds a crucially different interpretation.
    Keywords: Political economy; public choice; political science; optimal representation; electoral systems; elections; coalition; impossibility theorem
    JEL: D71 C88 A2
    Date: 2017–03–17
  8. By: Krishna K Ladha (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode)
    Abstract: With no authority to change the constitution, a jury does the next best thing: it adopts the optimal rule given the constitution. At equilibrium, some jurors, called the rule reformers, vote independent of their information producing the second-best rule. The remaining jurors vote on the basis of their information enabling aggregation of the dispersed information. Arising from this asymmetric voting in a simultaneous jury game is an equivalence class of asymmetric strong Nash equilibria in pure strategies at which the information aggregation is at its best. Thus, the strategic act of rule reforming enables individual rationality to yield collective rationality. The coordination problem, as to which juror would play which role, can be solved by letting the jurors make a non-binding pre-play agreement specifying each juror’s role; the agreement is self enforcing. The results hold for any voting rule, and any costs of erroneous conviction and acquittal.
  9. By: Lars Hornuf; Marc Oliver Rieger
    Abstract: Can television have a mitigating effect 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 P30
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Krishna K Ladha (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode); Gary J. Miller (Washington University, St. Louis)
    Abstract: Recent game-theoretic literature on juries proposes many reforms including the abandonment of the unanimity rule. Considering the scope of the proposed change, this paper sets out to do one thing: it tests the critical game-theoretic assumption that jurors vote on the basis of being pivotal. The test is devised such that if the groups do well in aggregating dispersed information, they would support the game-theoretic view of juries; if not, they would oppose the game-theoretic view. Here is how. In theory, as shown in the paper, large enough juries remain relatively unaffected when public signals the jurors observe happen to be misleading because theoretical juries do not erroneously overweight the public signals at the expense of the private signals. In reality, however, each individual may overweight misleading public signals leading real juries to a terrible outcome. It is this potential for direct contradiction between theoretical and experimental juries that makes our experimental test sharper than previous tests: given misleading public signals, rational voting would still produce information aggregation; naïve voting would not. In prior research with no public signals, both rational and naïve voting produced information aggregation. Hence, we present a sharper test. Certain public policy implications of our work pertaining to the media are offered.
  11. By: Friebel, Guido; Lalanne, Marie; Richter, Bernard; Schwardmann, Peter; Seabright, Paul
    Abstract: We test two hypotheses, based on sexual selection theory, about gender differences in costly social interactions. Differential selectivity states that women invest less than men in interactions with new individuals. Differential opportunism states that women's investment in social interactions is less responsive to information about the interaction's payoffs. The hypotheses imply that women's social networks are more stable and path dependent and composed of a greater proportion of strong relative to weak links. During their introductory week, we let new university students play an experimental trust game, first with one anonymous partner, then with the same and a new partner. Consistent with our hypotheses, we find that women invest less than men in new partners and that their investments are only half as responsive to information about the likely returns to the investment. Moreover, subsequent formation of students' real social networks is consistent with the experimental results: being randomly assigned to the same introductory group has a much larger positive effect on women's likelihood of reporting a subsequent friendship.
    Keywords: social networks,gender differences,trust game
    JEL: C91 D81 J16
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Can, Burak (General Economics 1 (Micro)); Csóka, Péter (corvinus university of budapest); Ergin, Emre (General Economics 1 (Micro))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how to choose a delegation, a committee to represent a society such as in a peace conference. We propose normative conditions and seek optimal, consistent, neutral and non-manipulable ways to choose a delegation. We show that a novel class of threshold rules are characterized by these criteria. The rules impose that a delegation is chosen when its combined support in the society first reaches a particular percentage of the public opinion - depending on the size of the delegation. Conversely, minority opinions that are not reflected in the delegation should always be below a threshold, which follows a geometric series.
    Keywords: aggregation rules, committee selection, conflict management, Kemeny Distance, strategy-proofness
    JEL: C70 D71
    Date: 2017–04–06

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