nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒05‒28
fifteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Pocketbook Voting, Social Preferences, and Expressive Motives in Referenda By Meya, Johannes; Poutvaara, Panu; Schwager, Robert
  2. Electoral Fraud and Voter Turnout: An experimental study By Vardan Baghdasaryan; Giovanna Iannantuoni; Valeria Maggian
  3. Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections By Emanuele Bracco; Federico Revelli
  4. Decision process, preferences over risk and consensus rule: a group experiment By Morone, Andrea; Nuzzo, Simone; Temerario, Tiziana
  5. Electoral Systems and Immigration By Giuseppe Russo; Francesco Salsano
  6. You shall not build! (until tomorrow) [:] Electoral cycles and housing policies in Germany By Martin, Thorsten
  7. Committee Search with Ex-ante Heterogeneous Agents: Theory and Experimental Evidence By Inukai, Keigo; Kawata, Keisuke; Sasaki, Masaru
  8. Corporate Voting By Miller, Alan
  9. Interaction of Unofficial Philosophy and the Scientific and Technical Community in the Late USSR: The Case of Obninsk By Khandozhko, Roman
  10. Opinion Copulas, Homophily and Multimodal Marginals By Askitas, Nikos
  11. Cooperation in Social Dilemmas through Position Uncertainty By Andrea Gallice; Ignacio Monzon
  12. Designing International Environmental Agreements under Participation Uncertainty By Mao, Liang
  13. Coalitional desirability and the equal division value By Sylvain Béal; Eric Rémila; Phillippe Solal
  14. Collaborative communities in the city: From policies for to policies through third-places? By François-Xavier De Vaujany
  15. How Transaction Costs Obstruct Collective Action: Evidence from California’s Groundwater By Andrew B. Ayres; Eric C. Edwards; Gary D. Libecap

  1. By: Meya, Johannes; Poutvaara, Panu; Schwager, Robert
    Abstract: We develop and test a theory of voting and turnout decisions that integrates self-interest, social preferences, and expressive motives. Our model implies that if pocketbook benefits are relevant, voters either perceive their impact on the outcome to be non-negligible, or expressive motivations do not play a role in the decision on how to vote. Conversely, if own pocketbook benefits do not explain voting, then voting is expressive. If the perceived probability of being pivotal is non-negligible, social preferences and expressive concerns are observationally equivalent. Our empirical analysis studies collective choices which are analogous to decisions on local public goods. We consider referenda among university students on whether to collectively purchase deeply discounted flat rate tickets for public transportation and cultural amenities. Individual usage data allow quantifying the monetary benefits associated with each ticket. As voters had precise information on the individual costs and benefits, our setting comprises a real-world laboratory of direct democracy. We find that monetary benefits strongly influence participation and voting. However, social or expressive motives, such as stated altruism, environmental concerns, and paternalism, are decisive for a significant minority. Our results rule out purely expressive voting and imply that a substantial share of the electorate perceived their impact on the outcome to be non-negligible.
    Keywords: pocketbook voting; social preferences; expressive voting; instrumental voting; public goods; altruism; referendum
    JEL: D72 H41 D64
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Vardan Baghdasaryan (American University of Armenia - American University of Armenia); Giovanna Iannantuoni (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca [Milano]); Valeria Maggian (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Etienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In this paper we experimentally investigate the consequences of electoral fraud on voter turnout. The experiment is based on a strategic binary voting model where voters decide whether to cast a costly vote in favour of their preferred candidate or to abstain. The minority candidate can illicitly influence the electoral process by applying ballot-box stuffing. In the experiment we implement two different framings: we compare voter turnout in a neutral environment and with framed instructions to explicitly replicate elections. This approach enables to both test the model's predictions and to estimate the framing effects of voting and fraud. Comparison of experimental results with theoretical predictions reveals over-voting, which is exacerbated when fraud occurs. Turnout increases as predicted with moderate level of fraud while, with higher electoral fraud, voters fail to recognize that the existence of a relatively larger number of "agents" voting with certainty considerably decreases the benefits of voting. Importantly, framing matters, as revealed by the higher turnout of those in the majority group, against which the fraud is applied.
    Keywords: Laboratory experiment,Framing,Voting,Electoral fraud,Ballot box stuffng and Voter turnout
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Emanuele Bracco; Federico Revelli
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of holding concurrent elections in multi-tiered government structures on turnout decision and voting behaviour, based on municipal and provincial electoral data from Italy during the 2000s. When the less-salient provincial elections are held concurrently with the highly salient municipal elections, we observe three main effects: (1) turnout increases significantly by almost ten percentage points; (2) issues that are specific of the more salient (mayoral) contest affect the less salient (provincial) contest, with mayors' fiscal decisions impacting on the vote share of provincial incumbents; (3) issues that are specific to the less salient (provincial) contest stop affecting provincial elections outcomes. These findings shed light on how voters acquire information on incumbent politicians, and proves that the effectiveness of an election as an accountability tool may be hindered by the concurrence with higher-stakes elections.
    Keywords: concurrent elections, turnout, political accountability, local elections, coat-tails
    JEL: D70 H70
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Morone, Andrea; Nuzzo, Simone; Temerario, Tiziana
    Abstract: The recent literature on individual vs. group decisions over risk has brought about divergent results, mainly depending on the institutional rules through which groups take decisions. While some studies where group decisions relied on the majority rule showed no appreciable difference between individuals and groups’ preferences, others where unanimity among group members was required found collective decisions to be less risk averse than individual ones. Of course, these studies share the imposition of a choice rule to determine the groups’ outcome. Alternatively, in the study at hand, we elicited groups’ preferences over risk using a consensus rule, i.e. leaving groups free to endogenously solve the potential disagreement among their members, just as in many real life instances. Our results from a logit regression unambiguously show that individuals’ preferences are systematically further from the risk neutrality than those of groups. In particular, individuals are more risk seeker than groups when facing gambles with positive expected payoff difference and more risk averse in the opposite case.
    Keywords: Risk attitudes, group’s behaviour
    JEL: C91 C92 D01
    Date: 2017–05–23
  5. By: Giuseppe Russo (Università di Salerno and CSEF); Francesco Salsano (Università di Milano)
    Abstract: Unexplored stylized facts on OECD countries suggest that plurality electoral systems are associated with higher openness to immigration. We propose an explanation based on a retrospective voting model where immigration hurts voters but benefits a rent-seeking policymaker who appropriates part of the income generated by immigrants.To be reappointed, the policymaker must distribute compensation. With respect to proportional systems, plurality systems make it possible to compensate only a few decisive districts and leave higher after-compensation rents, producing therefore higher immigration. In our model, non-decisive districts receive no compensation at all under both electoral systems, providing a rationale for widespread anti-immigration attitudes. Notably, our results also help to explain why governments often seem more pro-immigration than voters. Finally, our model suggests that proportional systems may incentivize the enfranchisement of immigrants with voting rights and that opposition to immigration is more territorially dispersed in plurality systems. Basic evidence supports both predictions.
    Keywords: electoral systems, rent extraction, retrospective voting, immigration
    JEL: D72 D78 F22 H00 H40
    Date: 2017–05–15
  6. By: Martin, Thorsten
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether local politicians adjust their approval of housing licenses during election times in Germany. For my research, I use a balanced Panel of 4,983 West German municipalities from 2002 to 2010. Due to the timing of local elections in Germany, I can disentangle the election effect from common time effects. My results suggest a decrease in new construction approvals for residential housing areas during election years of around 11 % evaluated at the mean, and an increase of similar magnitude in the years following the election. Furthermore, I am able to show that the decrease during election times is associated with the share of homeowners in a municipality. Hence, my research adds to the literature on political business cycles as well as to the existing literature on homevoters and their potential effect on housing policies during election times.
    Keywords: Urban development policies, land use regulations, homevoter, political business cycle, housing policies
    JEL: D72 H79 R31
    Date: 2017–05–07
  7. By: Inukai, Keigo (Osaka University); Kawata, Keisuke (University of Tokyo); Sasaki, Masaru (Osaka University)
    Abstract: The paper develops a committee search model with ex-ante heterogeneous agents and designs laboratory experiments to test theoretical predictions. In the theoretical part of the study, there exists one and only one pivotal voter, who can perfectly and dominantly control the voting results of the committee search activities. The most important prediction is that nonpivotal voters become less picky in committee search than in single-agent search, but that a pivotal voter's voting behavior remains unchanged, regardless of the type of voting rules for the search. However, our experimental results did not support this prediction; not only the nonpivotal voters but also the pivotal voter became less picky in the committee search games. In addition, we found gender differences in voting behavior; females show more concern for other group members' payoff as well as themselves than do males.
    Keywords: experiments, committee search, plurality voting rules
    JEL: C91 D72 D83
    Date: 2017–05
  8. By: Miller, Alan
    Abstract: I introduce a model of corporate voting. I characterize the shareholder majority rule as the unique corporate voting rule that satisfies four axioms: anonymity, neutrality, share monotonicity, and merger, a property that requires consistency in election outcomes following stock-for-stock mergers.
    Keywords: Corporate voting, axioms, shareholder majority rule, quotas rules, merger, one share-one vote
    JEL: D71 D72 K22
    Date: 2017–05–17
  9. By: Khandozhko, Roman (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: The paper deals with the formation of philosophical interest of Soviet physicists in the 1950-80's and the social forms of realization of this interest, such as friendship groups with informal leadership, the official network of methodological seminars and the movement of systemic methodology. On the example of the Moscow Methodological Circle author demonstrates how the political pressure on the intellectual community in the period of "stagnation" first led to the emergence of esoteric and half-closed informal methodological seminar, and then to its "penetration" into peripheral institutional niches, such as the party education network of the one of the Soviet atomic centers. Leader of the seminar philosopher G.P. Schedrovitsky managed to apply systemic technical approach to the relevant for the Soviet modernity theme of the instrumentalization of thinking and the creation of a collective subject. As a result, this system of "practical philosophy" became popular among Soviet engineer-physicists working in the atomic project.
    Date: 2017–05
  10. By: Askitas, Nikos (IZA)
    Abstract: An empirically founded and widely established driving force in opinion dynamics is homophily i.e. the tendency of "birds of a feather" to "flock together". The closer our opinions are the more likely it is that we will interact and converge. Models using these assumptions are called bounded confidence models (BCM) as they assume a tolerance threshold after which interaction is unlikely. They are known to produce one or more clusters, depending on the size of the bound, with more than one cluster being possible only in the deterministic case. Introducing noise, as is likely to happen in a stochastic world, causes BCM to produce consensus which leaves us with the open problem of explaining the emergence and sustainance of opinion clusters and polarisation. We investigate the role of heterogeneous priors in opinion formation, introduce the concept of opinion copulas, argue that it is well supported by findings in Social Psychology and use it to show that the stochastic BCM does indeed produce opinion clustering without the need for extra assumptions.
    Keywords: clustering, agglomerations, opinion, social integration theory, complexity, internet, contagion of ideas, behaviour, copula, multimodal, adaptive, self-organizing, information cascades, fads
    JEL: C92 E03 G02
    Date: 2017–05
  11. By: Andrea Gallice; Ignacio Monzon
    Abstract: Abstract We propose a simple mechanism that sustains full cooperation in one-shot social dilemmas among a finite number of self-interested agents. Players sequentially decide whether to contribute to a public good. They do not know their position in the sequence, but observe the actions of some predecessors. Position uncertainty provides an incentive to contribute in order to induce potential successors to also do so. Full contribution can then emerge in equilibrium. Our mechanism also leads to full cooperation in the prisoners' dilemma.
    Keywords: Social Dilemmas; Position Uncertainty; Public Goods; Voluntary Contributions; Fundraising
    JEL: C72 D82 H41
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Mao, Liang
    Abstract: We analyze the design of optimal international environmental agreement (IEA) by a three-stage coalition formation game. A certain degree of participation uncertainty exists in that each country choosing to sign the IEA for its best interest has a probability to make a mistake and end up a non-signatory. The IEA rule, which specifies the action of each signatory for each coalition formed, is endogenously determined by a designer, whose goal is to maximize the expected payoff of each signatory. We provide an algorithm to determine an optimal rule and compare this rule to some popular rules used in the literature.
    Keywords: International environmental agreement; coalition formation; participation uncertainty, stable coalition
    JEL: C72 H41 Q54
    Date: 2017–05–15
  13. By: Sylvain Béal (Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, CRESE); Eric Rémila (Université de Saint-Etienne, Gate); Phillippe Solal (Université de Saint-Etienne, Gate)
    Abstract: We introduce three natural collective variants of the well-known axiom of Desirability (Maschler and Peleg, 1966), which require that if the (per capita) contributions of a rst coalition are at least as large as the (per capita) contributions of a second coalition, then the (average) payo in the rst coalition should be as large as the (average) payo in the second coalition. These axioms are called Coalitional desirability and Average coalitional desirability. The third variant, called Uniform coalitional desirability applies only to coalitions with the same size. We show that Coalitional desirability is very strong: no value satis es simultaneously this axiom and Eciency. To the contrary, the combination of either Average coalitional desirability or Uniform coalitional desirability with Eciency and Additivity characterizes the Equal Division value.
    Keywords: Desirability, Coalitional desirability, Average coalitional desirability, Uniform coalitional desirability, Equal Division value, Shapley value.
    Date: 2017–04
  14. By: François-Xavier De Vaujany (Management & Organisation - DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Collaborative communities, spaces and movements are increasingly structuring the emergent collaborative economy. The Alpha Version of this White Paper is grounded in the discussion of a key trend: the growing convergence between managerial and political agencies. More than ever, the agency of managers has transformed society and the modalities of ‘living together’ (public communication, modalities of representativeness of a collectivity, a discourse or a practice, systems of legitimacy). The phenomenon is not that new. In the 30s, Henry Ford and his T model transformed American society and part of its sense of togetherness. With the mass production of cars and the social or economic compromise underpinning it, Ford also managed to institutionalize a political model. Since the 90s, the political effects of managerial actions have taken an extent (potentially global), a depth (related to the very mechanisms of democracy and the shape of democratic forums) and an unpredictability (global actors emerge sometimes within one year) which has rarely been reached in the history of capitalism. It could be said that today, public policies are originated by a myriad of actors-entrepreneurs often de-territorialized from any local and national interests. How did we get there? The Alpha version of this White Paper underlines three concomitant phenomena: a radical evolution of connectivity modes, a change in the modalities and the processes of sense-making (a new “semiosis”) and the emergence of new kinds of political consciousness. These transformations (started at the end of the 40s and which have accelerated since the 90s) induce new convergences between the transformative capacities of managers (in particular those of entrepreneurs) and those of politicians (as institutional actors with a mandate for political actions). Collaborative communities and collaborative spaces crystallize the aforementioned dimensions. Coworking spaces, maker spaces, fab labs, hacker spaces and living labs are as much managerial phenomena (they are the new forms of an acting together which can imbricate with more classic managerial forms) as political ones (they are also at the heart of renewed forms of ‘living together, ways of life and communitarian decision modes). From RGCS seminars, meetings of our Standing Groups, but also ongoing research, the RGCS coordinator summarizes here four key tendencies (indistinctively managerial and political) identified during one year of discussions and observations. After having stressed the Napoleon complex aspect of local, national and international policies, it insists on the importance of coordinated policies (both between public actors, between collaborative movements, and between collaborative movements and public actors). This White Paper targets new citizens-entrepreneurs-makers, politicians and strategic decision-makers. Collaborative communities do not only need to be the objects of fragmented policies or multiple local initiatives. They could and they should model the heart of integrative policies about entrepreneurship, innovation, urbanism, social inclusion, culture and education at the heart of the city
    Keywords: Collaborative communities, collaborative entrepreneurship, new work practices, coworkers, makers, hackers, third-places, politics, entrepreneurship
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Andrew B. Ayres; Eric C. Edwards; Gary D. Libecap
    Abstract: Collective action to remedy the losses of open access to common-pool resources often is late and incomplete, extending rent dissipation. Examples include persistent over-exploitation of oil fields and ocean fisheries, despite general agreement that production constraints are needed. Transaction costs encountered in assigning property rights are an explanation, but analysis of their role is limited by a lack of systematic data. We examine governance institutions in California’s 445 groundwater basins using a new dataset to identify factors that influence the adoption of extraction controls. In 309 basins, institutions allow unconstrained pumping, while an additional 105 basins have weak management plans. Twenty of these basins are severely overdrafted. Meanwhile, users in 31 basins have defined groundwater property rights, the most complete solution. We document the critical role of transaction costs in explaining this variation in responses. This research adds to the literatures on open access, transaction costs, bargaining, and property rights
    JEL: K11 N52 P48 Q15 Q25 Q58
    Date: 2017–05

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