nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒06‒18
seven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Polls, the Press, and Political Participation: The Effects of Anticipated Election Closeness on Voter Turnout By Leonardo Bursztyn; Davide Cantoni; Patricia Funk; Noam Yuchtman
  2. Federal Tax Policies, Congressional Voting, and the Fiscal Advantage of Natural Resources By Fidel Perez-Sebastian; Ohad Raveh
  3. A new evaluation and decision making framework investigating the elimination-by-aspects model in the context of transportation projects' investment choices By R Khraibani; A De Palma; N Picard; I Kaysi
  4. Decentralization and electoral swings. By Ignacio Lago; André Blais
  5. Manufacturing and the 2016 Election: An Analysis of US Presidential Election Data By Caroline Freund; Dario Sidhu
  6. Kinship Systems, Cooperation and the Evolution of Culture By Benjamin Enke
  7. Money and Politics: The Effects of Campaign Spending Limits on Political Competition and Incumbency Advantage By Eric Avis; Claudio Ferraz; Frederico Finan; Carlos Varjão

  1. By: Leonardo Bursztyn; Davide Cantoni; Patricia Funk; Noam Yuchtman
    Abstract: We exploit naturally occurring variation in the existence, closeness, and dissemination of pre-election polls to identify a causal effect of anticipated election closeness on voter turnout in Swiss referenda. Closer elections are associated with greater turnout only when polls exist. Examining within-election variation in newspaper reporting on polls across cantons, we find that close polls increase turnout significantly more where newspapers report on them most. This holds examining only "incidental" exposure to coverage by periodicals whose largest audience is elsewhere. The introduction of polls had larger effects in politically unrepresentative municipalities, where locally available information differs most from national polls.
    JEL: D72 P16
    Date: 2017–06
  2. By: Fidel Perez-Sebastian; Ohad Raveh
    Abstract: What determines legislatorsvoting behavior over federal tax policies? Conventional wisdom points primarily at party a¢ liation. This paper presents a novel mechanism of voting patterns across state-levels of scal advantage. We construct a political economy model of scal federalism with state scal asymmetries that originate in heterogeneity in natural resource abundance, representing a non-mobile source of income that provides a scal advantage in the inter-state scal competition. The model shows that representatives of natural resource rich states are more willing to vote in favor of federal tax increases, despite the lower net scal bene ts their states receive. This occurs because these states can reduce their tax rates as a response to an increase in the federal tax rate, and hence attract capital from the rest of the nation to the extent of increasing their pre-shock tax base. Data on roll-call votes in the U.S. Congress over major changes in federal tax bills in the post WW-II period support the predicted voting patterns. Speci cally, we nd that elected o¢ cials of resource rich states are more (less) supportive of capital-related federal tax increases (decreases), controlling for their party a¢ liation, ideology, federal transfers, and economic conditions. Our results indicate that the scal advantage channel is as dominant as party a¢ liation in driving legislatorsvoting decisions over federal tax policies.
    Keywords: Federal tax changes, voting behaviour, federalism, natural resources
    JEL: D72 H77 Q32
    Date: 2017
  3. By: R Khraibani (Université de Cergy Pontoise); A De Palma (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); N Picard (Université de Cergy Pontoise); I Kaysi (American University of Beirut [Beyrouth])
    Abstract: The Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA) framework, a new evaluation and decision making framework (and methodology) for large transportation projects, is proposed to elicit, structure and quantify the preferences of stakeholder groups across project alternatives. The decision rule used for group decision making within TEBA is the individual non-compensatory model of choice elimination by aspects (EBA). TEBA is designed to bring out the decision rule employed by decision makers when ranking the options presented, incorporate various criteria types and ease communication of relevant information related to options and criteria for multiple stakeholder groups. It is a platform for democratizing the decision making process. The TEBA framework was tested using a case study investigating alternative land connections between Beirut and Damascus. Key results showed that (1) stakeholders have employed EBA in making decisions, (2) a defined group of decision makers will rank options differently when provided with modified sets of criteria, (3) the public sector and general public groups ranked Impact on Employment among the top criteria, (4) the most important criterion per group from EBA was as expected; (5) the EBA analysis suggested that only 3 to 4 criteria are significant in reaching a decision; (6) aggregation of user assigned weights masked relative importance of criteria in some cases; and (7) analysis of user assigned weights and Minimum Threshold (MT) values suggest higher risk perception with increased criterion importance. Policy implications include recommendation to reach out to stakeholders for input on decisions, including the " people " but refrain from relying on criteria weights assigned by " experts " and reduce the " experts " ' role in decision making. Also, it is recommended to model the decision making in a probabilistic framework rather than a deterministic " one score " approach, seek to identify a consensus ranking, place particular attention on determining the values of the criteria that emerged as " top " at the evaluation stage and continue to emphasize risk measures.
    Keywords: Cost Benefit Analysis,Behavioral Choice ,Elimination by Aspects,Consensus Model / Joint Decision Making,Index of Dispersion,Transportation Investment,Collective Decision Making
    Date: 2016–03–21
  4. By: Ignacio Lago; André Blais
    Abstract: We explore how the uniformity of electoral swings in the district vote within countries is affected by the level of economic and political decentralization. We rely on district-level data from OECD countries in two consecutive elections before and after the Great Recession to show that as regional governments exert more influence over the central government districts deviate less from the overall pattern of change in the support of the national incumbent party. The causal mechanism accounting for the effect of decentralization on dynamic nationalization is examined with individual panel data from national elections in Canada and Spain.
    Keywords: Decentralization, dynamic nationalization, electoral swing, Great Recession.
    JEL: R1 R12
    Date: 2017–06
  5. By: Caroline Freund (Peterson Institute for International Economics); Dario Sidhu (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: Much of the public discourse and media analysis of the surprise outcome of the 2016 US presidential election has emphasized the role of manufacturing workers. This paper examines the importance of manufacturing jobs and job loss as determinants of voting patterns using county-level voting data from recent presidential elections. The share of employment in the manufacturing sector and long-run manufacturing job loss at the county level are not statistically significant in explaining the change in Republican vote shares from 2012 to 2016, when controlling for standard voting determinants. However, the change in the Republican vote share is positively correlated with manufacturing in predominantly white counties and negatively correlated with manufacturing in ethnically diverse counties, with these effects roughly offsetting each other. The paper further shows that this polarization between white and nonwhite manufacturing counties is more closely associated with polarizing candidates than a polarized electorate.
    Keywords: identity politics, job loss, voting
    JEL: D72 P16
    Date: 2017–05
  6. By: Benjamin Enke
    Abstract: Cultural psychologists and anthropologists argue that societies have developed heterogeneous systems of social organization to cope with social dilemmas, and that an entire bundle of cultural characteristics has coevolved to enforce cooperation within these different systems. This paper develops a measure of the historical tightness of kinship structures to provide empirical evidence for this large body of theories. In the data, societies with loose ancestral kinship ties cooperate and trust broadly, which is apparently sustained through a belief in moralizing gods, universally applicable moral principles, feelings of guilt, and large-scale institutions. Societies with a historically tightly knit kinship structure, on the other hand, exhibit strong in-group favoritism: they cheat on and are distrusting of out-group members, but readily support in-group members in need. This cooperation scheme is enforced by moral values of in-group loyalty, conformity to tight social norms, emotions of shame, and strong local institutions. These relationships hold across historical ethnicities, contemporary countries, ethnicities within countries, and migrants. The results suggest that religious beliefs, language, emotions, morality, and social norms all coevolved to support specific social cooperation systems.
    JEL: D0 O0
    Date: 2017–06
  7. By: Eric Avis (UC Berkeley); Claudio Ferraz (Department of Economics, PUC-Rio); Frederico Finan (UC Berkeley); Carlos Varjão (Stanford)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of campaign spending limits on political competition and incumbency advantage. We study a reform in Brazil that imposed limits on campaign spending for mayoral elections. These limits were implemented with a discontinuous kink which we exploit for causal identification. We find that stricter limits increase political competition by creating a larger pool of candidates that is on average less wealthy. Moreover, we find that stricter spending limits reduce the incumbency advantage, causing mayors to be less likely to be reelected. These findings are consistent with a contest model with spending caps and endogenous candidate entry.Creation-Date: 2017-06

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