nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒07‒02
twenty-one papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Political Cost of Being Soft on Crime: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Drago, Francesco; Galbiati, Roberto; Sobbrio, Francesco
  2. Polls, the Press, and Political Participation: The Effects of Anticipated Election Closeness on Voter Turnout By Bursztyn, Leonardo; Cantoni, Davide; Funk, Patricia; Yuchtman, Noam
  3. Strategic vote trading under complete information By Dimitrios Xefteris; Nicholas Ziros
  4. Should Jurors Deliberate? By Guha, Brishti
  5. Preferential Votes and Minority Representation By Margherita Negri
  6. Good Politicians' Distorted Incentives By Margherita Negri
  7. Network Formation and Disruption - An Experiment - Are Efficient Networks too Complex? By Sonja Brangewitz; Behnud Mir Djawadi; Angelika Endres; Britta Hoyer
  8. The Myopic Stable Set for Social Environments By Thomas Demuynck; Jean-Jacques Herings; Riccardo D. Saulle; Christian Seel
  9. The Future of Hong Kong Governance: The Pro-independence Legislators' Election Fallout and Beijing's Political Voice in Hong Kong By Tai Wei Lim
  10. Can increased education help reduce the political opportunity gap? By Lindgren, Karl-Oskar; Oskarsson, Sven; Persson, Mikael
  11. Information Design In Coalition Formation Games By Sareh Vosooghi
  12. The equal division kernel: an equitiy approach to coalition formation and payoff distribution in n-person games By Crott, Helmut W.; Albers, Wulf
  14. A Little Less Conversation? Track II Dialogue and Transboundary Water Governance By Paula Hanasz
  15. Mechanisms with Referrals: VCG Mechanisms and Multilevel Mechanisms By Joosung Lee
  16. The new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the politics of municipal climate data By Friederike Gesing
  17. Religion and Society in the Caucasus: Forms of Interaction and Modern Dynamics By Agadzhanyan, Alexander
  18. Contesting an International Trade Agreement By Matthew T. Cole; James Lake; Ben Zissimos
  19. Coalition probabilities in a non-cooperative model of three-persons quota game bargaining By Selten, Reinhard
  20. External Intervention, Identity, and Civil War By Nicholas Sambanis; Stergios Skaperdas; William Wohlforth
  21. Employment of Expert and Civic Participation as a Way to Improve the Legislative Process: Methods and Mechanisms By Shulman, Ekaterina; Maracha, Vyacheslav; Katsaurova, Svetlana

  1. By: Drago, Francesco; Galbiati, Roberto; Sobbrio, Francesco
    Abstract: We provide evidence about voters' response to crime control policies. We exploit a natural experiment arising from the Italian 2006 collective pardon releasing about one third of the prison population. The pardon created idiosyncratic incentives to recidivate across released individuals and municipalities. We show that municipalities where resident pardoned individuals have a higher incentive to recidivate experienced higher recidivism. Moreover, in these municipalities: i) newspapers were more likely to report crime news involving pardoned individuals; ii) voters held worse beliefs on the incumbent governments ability to control crime and iii) with respect to the previous elections, the incumbent national government experienced a worse electoral performance in the April 2008 national elections relative to the opposition coalition. Overall, our findings indicate that voters keep incumbent politicians accountable by conditioning their vote on the observed effects of their policies.
    Keywords: accountability; crime; Natural Experiment; Recidivism.; voting
    JEL: D72 K42
    Date: 2017–06
  2. By: Bursztyn, Leonardo; Cantoni, Davide; Funk, Patricia; Yuchtman, Noam
    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.
    Keywords: media; polls; Voter turnout
    JEL: D72 P16
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Dimitrios Xefteris; Nicholas Ziros
    Abstract: We study two-party elections considering that: a) prior to the voting stage voters are free to trade votes for money according to the rules of the Shapley-Shubik strategic market games; and b) voters' preferences -both ordinal rankings and cardinal intensities- are public information. While under plurality rule no trade occurs, under a power-sharing system (voters' utilities are proportionally increasing in the vote share of their favorite party) full trade is always an equilibrium (two voters -the strongest supporter of each party- buy the votes of all others). Notably, this equilibrium implements proportional justice with respect to the two buyers: the ratio of the parties' vote shares is equal to the ratio of the preference intensities of the two most opposing voters.
    Keywords: Vote trading; Complete information; Strategic market games; Power sharing; Proportional justice.
    JEL: C72 D72 P16
    Date: 2017–06
  4. By: Guha, Brishti
    Abstract: Does the accuracy of verdicts improve or worsen if individual jurors on a panel are barred from deliberating prior to casting their votes? I study this question in a model where jurors can choose to exert costly effort to improve the accuracy of their individual decisions. I find that, provided the cost of effort is not too large, there is a threshold jury size above which it is better to allow jurors to deliberate. For panels smaller than this threshold, it is more effective to instruct jurors to vote on the basis of their private information, without deliberations, and to use a simple majority rule to determine the collective decision (regardless of the voting rule used with deliberations). The smaller the cost of paying attention, the larger the threshold above which the switch to allowing deliberations becomes optimal. However, if the unanimity rule had to be maintained under the no-deliberations system, it would be better to allow deliberation. The results apply to binary decision making in any committee where the committee members incur some effort in reviewing the evidence. Examples are tenure and promotion committees and some board of director meetings on issues such as whether to dismiss a CEO.
    Keywords: Jury deliberations, free riding, costly attention, secret voting, committees.
    JEL: D7 D71 D82 K41
    Date: 2017–06–01
  5. By: Margherita Negri (School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: Under open list proportional representation, voters vote both for a party and for some candidates within its list (preferential vote). Seats are assigned to parties in proportion to their votes and, within parties, to the candidates obtaining the largest number of preferential votes. The paper examines how the number of candidates voters can vote for affects the representation of minorities in parliaments. I highlight a clear negative relationship between the two. Minorities are proportionally represented in parliament only if voters can cast a limited number of preferential votes. When the number of preferential votes increases, a multiplier effect arises, which disproportionately increases the power of the majority in determining the elected candidates.
    Keywords: proportional representation, open list, preferential vote, minority representation
    JEL: D02 D72
    Date: 2017–05–13
  6. By: Margherita Negri (School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: I construct a political agency model that provides a new explanation for sub-optimal policy making decisions by incumbents. I show that electoral incentives can induce politicians to address less relevant issues, disregarding more important ones. Issue importance is defined in terms of the utility voters would receive if the issue was solved. Contrary to existing literature, sub-optimal policy making occurs even when voters are perfectly informed about issues’ characteristics and politicians are policy oriented. I provide an explanation that relies on the negative correlation between issue importance and probability of solving it: for a given effort exerted by incumbents, less relevant issues guarantee higher probability of success. In equilibrium, voters cannot commit to re-elect the incumbent if and only if the most important issue was solved. This is because solving the easy issue also constitutes a positive signal about incumbents’ type. Whenever re-election is sufficiently valuable, then, politicians will choose to address less relevant and easier issues.
    Keywords: political agency, elections, incumbent behavior, politicians’ incentives
    JEL: D02 D72 D78
    Date: 2017–05–06
  7. By: Sonja Brangewitz (Paderborn University); Behnud Mir Djawadi (Paderborn University); Angelika Endres (Paderborn University); Britta Hoyer (Paderborn University)
    Abstract: We experimentally study the emergence of networks under a known external threat. To be more specific, we deal with the question if subjects in the role of a strategic Designer are able to form safe and efficient networks while facing a strategic Adversary who is going to attack their networks. This investigation relates theoretical predictions by Dziubinski and Goyal (2013) to actual observed behaviour. Varying the costs for protecting nodes, we designed and tested two treatments with different predictions for the equilibrium network. Furthermore, the influence of the subjects' farsightedness on their decision-making process was elicited and analysed. We find that while subjects are able to build safe networks in both treatments, equilibrium networks are only built in one of the two treatments. In the other treatment, predominantly safe networks are built but they are not efficient. Additionally, we find that farsightedness -as measured in our experiment- has no influence on whether subjects are able to build safe or efficient networks.
    Keywords: Networks Experiment, Network Design, Network Defence, Network Disruption
    JEL: D03 D85 C91
    Date: 2017–06
  8. By: Thomas Demuynck (Ecares, Université Libre de Bruxelles); Jean-Jacques Herings (Department of Economics, Maastricht University); Riccardo D. Saulle (Department of Economics, Maastricht University); Christian Seel (Department of Economics, Maastricht University)
    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 in finite 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: 2017–06
  9. By: Tai Wei Lim
    Abstract: This article examines the activities, street-level and Legco tactics as well as the political orientation of the pro-autonomy advocates, localists and pro-independence groups in Hong Kong, contextualized within the September 2016 Legislative Council Election, ‘Fishball Revolution’ and Beijing's interpretation of the Basic Law that all took place within 2016. The ‘localists’, an amorphous group that ranges from greater Hong Kong autonomy seekers to outright independence sympathizers, were a major supporter of the street vendors at the site of the ‘Fishball Revolution’. After the ‘Fishball Revolution’ tapered off in early 2016, the second leg of post-Occupy Central resistance began in the Legislative Council when prodemocracy as well as pro-independence individuals ran for the Hong Kong Legislative Council or Legco elections. The study of political factionalism within Hong Kong serves as an important comparative case study in analysing other social movements in the Northeast Asian region.
    Keywords: Hong Kong, Legco, independence, Beijing, China
  10. By: Lindgren, Karl-Oskar (IFAU; Department of Government, Uppsala University; UCLS); Oskarsson, Sven (Department of Government, Uppsala University; UCLS); Persson, Mikael (Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: It is well documented that voter turnout is lower among persons who grow up in families of low socio-economic status compared to persons from high-status families. This paper examines whether reforms in education can help to reduce the socio-economic gap in voting. We distinguish between reforms of two types that may lead to differences in the exercise of voting; (a) changes in the resources allocated to education between different socio-economic groups (reform effects) and (b) changes in return which relate to the impact of education on turnout in different groups. We use this framework to analyze a reform of the Swedish upper secondary school system in the 1990s. This reform increased the length and amount of social science education on vocational training programs. We find that the reform reduced the gap in voting mainly by means of its stronger influence among individuals from families of low socio-economic status.
    Keywords: political inequality; political participation; voting; education
    JEL: H70 I24
    Date: 2017–06–14
  11. By: Sareh Vosooghi (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: I examine a setting, where an information sender conducts research into a payoff-relevant state variable, and releases information to agents, who consider joining a coalition. The agents' actions can cause harm by contributing to a public bad. The sender, who has commitment power, by designing an information mechanism (a set of signals and a probability distribution over them), maximises his payoff, which depends on the action taken by the agents, and the state variable. I show that the coalition size, as a function of beliefs of agents, is an endogenous variable, induced by the information sender. The optimal information mechanism from the general set of public information mechanisms, in coalition formation games is derived. I also apply the results to International Environmental Agreements (IEAs), where a central authority, as an information sender, attempts to reduce the global level of greenhouse gases (GHG) by communication of information on social cost of GHG.
    Keywords: Coalition Formation, Learning, Information Persuasion, International Environmental Agreements
    JEL: D83 D70 C72 Q54
    Date: 2017–06
  12. By: Crott, Helmut W. (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University); Albers, Wulf (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–04–04
  13. By: Runsten, Philip (Dept. of Management and Organization)
    Abstract: The underlying change driving an increased use of groups and teams for coordination is the increasing specialization, and the number of experts and specialists needing to come together and coordinate. This, in turn, drives complexity, and the only way for organizations to deal with complexity in the long run is by intelligence, that is intelligent coordination. Essential in this intelligent coordination of organizations will be the group level. Teams or micro-systems is the operational unit in which the organization’s need of coordination becomes dependent of the intelligence, behavior, emotional and social skills of individuals. These factors create a variance in collective intelligence. Average collective intelligence at micro-system level is therefore a fairly new way of describing organizational performance. The purpose of this report, which is a literature review, is to give an overview of how collective intelligence at micro-system level has been defined, how it relates to organizational performance, what factors have been identified as causing variance and what types of interventions at team level have been discussed. A total of 92 articles and two dissertations were selected based on a search of EBSCO/Business Source Premier.
    Keywords: collective intelligence; Group intelligence; group decision-making; Group problem solving; Group learning; team intelligence; team decision-making; team problem solving; team learning
    Date: 2017–02–23
  14. By: Paula Hanasz
    Abstract: Foreign aid donors are increasingly investing in the good governance of freshwater resources in developing countries. One method used by many such programs is Track II Dialogue—informal discussions between government and non-government stakeholders facilitated by a neutral third party. There are many merits to participatory and discursive governance; however, there are also some limitations. This article considers the advantages and disadvantages of Track II Dialogue in transboundary water governance. It examines the relationship between discursive governance and water justice and analyses the role of the neutral third party facilitator. It also considers to what extent trust and cooperation must be present between riparians for deliberative processes to succeed. These observations are based on an analysis of foreign-led initiatives in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin. Foremost among these is the World Bank-funded South Asia Water Initiative, which aims to improve cooperation between riparian states by facilitating Track II Dialogue.
    Keywords: transboundary water governance, good governance, Track II Dialogue, South Asia, World Bank
    Date: 2017–05–11
  15. By: Joosung Lee (Business School, University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: We study mechanisms for environments in which only some of the agents are directly connected to a mechanism designer and the other agents can participate in a mechanism only through the connected agents' referrals. In such environments, the mechanism designer and agents may have different interest in varying participants so that agents strategically manipulate their preference as well as their network connection to avoid competition or congestion; while the mechanism designer wants to elicit the agents' private information about both preferences and network connections. As a benchmark for an efficient mechanism, we re-define a VCG mechanism. It is incentive compatible and individually rational, but it generically runs a deficit as it requires too much compensation for referrals. Alternatively as a budget-surplus mechanism, we introduce a multilevel mechanism, in which each agent is compensated by the agents who would not be able to participate without her referrals. Under a multilevel mechanism, we show that fully referring one's acquaintances is a dominant strategy and agents have no incentive to under-report their preference if the social welfare is submodular.
    Keywords: Mechanism Design, Referral Program, Reward Scheme, VCG Mechanism, Multilevel Mechanism, Incentive Compatibility, Budget Feasibility
    JEL: D82 D71 C72
    Date: 2017–06
  16. By: Friederike Gesing (ZentraClim: Climate Change and Transnational Policy, University of Bremen, Sustainability Research Center (artec))
    Abstract: This paper provides a qualitative empirical analysis of the emergence of a new transnational municipal initiative, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, launched on January 1st 2017. This new initiative is the result of a merger of two previously existing networks, the Compact of Mayors founded in 2014 by a coalition of city networks under the leadership of UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg, and the Covenant of Mayors founded by the European Commission in 2008. While both these initiatives have been actively engaged in strengthening the role of cities and regions in the transnational climate policy arena, they have subscribed to different rhetoric and political strategies. The paper analyses the disparate logics of municipal climate action characteristic of the two initiatives, evident in the ongoing negotiations over the design of the common Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. The paper draws on ethnographic evidence, interviews and documents to shed light on struggles over the politics of municipal climate data, focusing on disagreement about the role of common targets and tools, and the role of emission data for private investors
    Keywords: Transnational climate policy, municipal climate policy, transnational municipal networks (TMN), climate governance, climate data, data politics, data practices, comparability, city networks, public/private, GHG emissions reporting, Compact of Mayors, Covenant of Mayors, EU climate policy, multi-level governance, climate justice, climate finance, Science and Technology Studies (STS), qualitative environmental research
    Date: 2017–06
  17. By: Agadzhanyan, Alexander (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the growth of religiosity was evident in all three republics of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia); This growth was part of not only the general post-Soviet phenomenon, but also part of a broader trend of desecularization. People in all three republics perceive this growth as a "return" of their original ethnic and cultural identities. However, the growth of religious sentiments and the public role of religions can be interpreted as not only "return", but as a new "invention", at least "reformatting" religion by various actors, from ordinary "religious entrepreneurs" (religious entrepreneurs) to political Elites and governments. In any case, religious meanings and references, closely linked to ethnic ones, have become an inevitable component of public debate, electoral politics, mass mobilization, and individual identities
    Date: 2017–06
  18. By: Matthew T. Cole (Department of Economics, California Polytechnic State University); James Lake (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University); Ben Zissimos (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)
    Abstract: After governments sign an international trade agreement (TA), each government must ratify the TA. Often, this ratification process is lengthy and the outcome highly uncertain. We model a two-country TA where, unlike prior literature, pro-trade and anti-trade interest groups in each country recognize that (i) TA implementation requires ratification by both governments and (ii) they cannot condition contributions on their government's ratification decision. In this new class of contests, which we call 'parallel contests', we show that (i) anti- and pro-trade lobbies lobby in equilibrium, (ii) the probability of TA ratification lends itself to intuitive and tractable comparative statics, and (iii) the protection embodied in negotiated TA tariffs reflects a tension between the liberalizing force of lobbying and inherently protectionist government preferences.
    Keywords: Contests, Trade Agreements, Lobbying
    JEL: F02 F12 F13 D44 D72
    Date: 2017
  19. By: Selten, Reinhard (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–04–04
  20. By: Nicholas Sambanis (Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania); Stergios Skaperdas (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine University); William Wohlforth (Department of Government, Dartmouth College University)
    Abstract: Scholarship on civil wars has focused on domestic causes, but recent research suggests that such causes are actually contingent on systemic conditions. We demonstrate this interaction concerning polarization. We provide statistical evidence for the importance of external intervention in conflict escalation. We then construct models in which external intervention is the catalyst for civil war in combination with other factors, focusing on ethnic or social identitification. In our model, local actors with a foreign patron are emboldened and pursue their objectives violently. Without the specter of intervention, polarization is not often suffcient to induce war. The model qualifies important empirical results that have established a direct, linear relationship between polarization and civil war and shows how it is possible to have war without asymmetric information or credible commitment problems. We present case examples consistent with our theoretical claim. The model serves as a bridge between international relations and comparative political-economy approaches to internal armed conflict.
    Date: 2017–05
  21. By: Shulman, Ekaterina (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Maracha, Vyacheslav (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Katsaurova, Svetlana (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: The problems of the establishment of the institution for assessing the regulatory impact in the Russian Federation are analyzed. The methodology of sociological research is presented, the materials of which reconstruct the position of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia. The possibilities of institutions for assessing the regulatory impact and assessing the actual impact as forms of expert and public participation in the process of lawmaking are considered. The key problems are analyzed and recommendations are developed to increase the effectiveness of public participation in the law-making process and decision-making.
    Date: 2017–05

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