nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒07‒09
twelve papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. A Shut Mouth Catches No Flies: Consideration of Issues and Voting By Salvador Barberà; Anke Gerber
  2. Costly voting, turnout, and candidate valence By Lo Prete, Anna; Revelli, Federico
  3. The Provision of Local Public Goods in Proportional Representation Electoral Systems with Closed and Open Party Lists. By Raul A. Ponce-Rodriguez; Charles R. Hankla; Jorge Martinez-Vazquez; Eunice Heredia-Ortiz
  4. The government as a large shareholder: impact on corporate governance By Fernandes, Marcelo; Novaes, Walter
  5. Monitoring institutions in indefinitely repeated games By Gabriele Camera; Marco Casari
  6. Condorcet Consistency and the strong no show paradoxes By Kasper, Laura; Peters, Hans; Vermeulen, Dries
  7. Who are the ‘ghost’ MPs? Evidence from the French Parliament By Nicolas Gavoille
  8. Political Institutions and Federalism: A “Strong” Decentralization Theorem By Raul A. Ponce-Rodriguez; Charles R. Hankla; Jorge Martinez-Vazquez; Eunice Heredia-Ortiz
  9. Trade and Macro-Economic Issues for International Co-Ordinational in Tense Times By Anne-Laure Delatte; Sébastien Jean
  10. How Vatican II influenced female enfranchisement: A story of rapid cultural change By Anna Maria Koukal
  11. Political legacies of Italian entertainment TV By Ruben Durante; Paolo Pinotti; Andrea Tesei
  12. The politics of horizontal inequality: Indigenous opposition to wind farm development in Mexico By Courtney Jung

  1. By: Salvador Barberà; Anke Gerber
    Abstract: We study collective decision-making procedures involving the formation of an agenda of issues and the subsequent vote on the position for each issue on the agenda. Issues that are not on the agenda remain unsettled. We use a protocol-free equilibrium concept introduced by Dutta et al. (2004) and show that in equilibrium, and under general conditions, any subset of issues may be excluded from the agenda in equilibrium whenever the voting rule belongs to one of two prominent families. What is voted upon and what is not depends on the voters preferences in a subtle manner, suggesting a high degree of instability. We also discuss further conditions under which this “anything goes” result may be qualified. In particular, we study those cases where all issues will be put in the agenda.
    Keywords: agenda formation, issues, voting, anything goes, equilibrium continuation agendas, voting by quota, amendment procedures, manipulation
    Date: 2017–06
  2. By: Lo Prete, Anna; Revelli, Federico (University of Turin)
    Abstract: We build a model of voluntary and costly expressive voting, where the relative weight of ideology and valence issues over voting costs determines how people vote and if they actually turn out to vote. In line with the conventional rational calculus approach, the model predicts that the cost of voting depresses voter turnout. Against the conventional wisdom, though, high voting cost/low turnout elections tend to have a larger share of voters for whom the common value signal on candidates’ valence matches their private value views, thus raising the chances that high valence candidates are elected.
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Raul A. Ponce-Rodriguez (Department of Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez); Charles R. Hankla (Department of Political Science, Georgia State University); Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University); Eunice Heredia-Ortiz (Development Alternatives Inc., DAI)
    Abstract: In this paper we find that the institutional set up of proportional representation systems matters for the welfare properties related with the ideal structure of government providing local public goods. In particular, we study the role of party centralization vs party decentralization in the provision of local public goods. In this paper, we show that the provision of local public goods with inter-regional spillovers by a system of local governments (welfare) dominates the fiscally centralized provision in economies with a proportional representation electoral system and closed party lists. We call this outcome the strong decentralization theorem. For this type of economies, the conventional decentralization theorem (originally identified by Oates 1972) is also satisfied. For economies with a proportional representation and open party lists systems the strong decentralization theorem is satisfied only when party centralization (i.e., the ability of party leaders to nominate candidates in the party’s lists) plays a dominant role in determining the policy platforms of candidates. However, if there is party decentralization (parties lack the ability to influence policy through the nomination process in the party’s list) the strong decentralization theorem is not satisfied. Lastly, the conventional decentralization theorem is satisfied in economies with proportional representation electoral systems and open party lists in both type of party systems: centralized and decentralized.
    Date: 2017–06
  4. By: Fernandes, Marcelo; Novaes, Walter
    Abstract: What is the role that governments play as large shareholders of mixed-owned firms? By solving a bargaining model over investment decisions, we unveil two corporate governance effects of the government's activism as a large shareholder: a voting effect that always lowers the value of minority votes and an interventionism effect that, depending on the government's political interests, either raises or lowers diversion of firm value by controlling shareholders. We apply our model to Brazilian data on voting premia and find that the activism of the Brazilian government from 2008 to 2012 harmed minority shareholders by making their votes less important for business decisions.
    Date: 2017–06–28
  5. By: Gabriele Camera (Chapman University and University of Basel); Marco Casari (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: Does monitoring past conduct facilitate intertemporal cooperation? We designed an experiment characterized by strategic uncertainty and multiple equilibria where coordinating on the efficient outcome is a challenge. Participants, interacting anonymously in a group, could pay a cost either to obtain information about their counterparts, or to create a freely available public record of individual conduct. Both monitoring institutions were actively employed. However, groups were unable to attain higher levels of cooperation compared to a treatment without monitoring. Information about past conduct alone thus appears to be ineffective in overcoming coordination challenges.
    Keywords: coordination, information, equilibrium selection, conventions, social dilemmas
    JEL: C70 C90 D80
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Kasper, Laura (saarland university); Peters, Hans (QE / Mathematical economics and game the); Vermeulen, Dries (QE / Operations research)
    Abstract: We consider voting correspondences that are, besides Condorcet Consistent, immune against the two strong no show paradoxes. That is, it cannot happen that if an additional voter ranks a winning alternative on top then that alternative becomes loosing, and that if an additional voter ranks a loosing alternative at bottom then that alternative becomes winning. This immunity is called the Top Property in the first case and the Bottom Property in the second case. We establish the voting correspondence satisfying Condorcet Consistency and the Top Property, which is maximal in the following strong sense: it is the union of all smaller voting correspondences with these two properties. The result remains true if we add the Bottom Property but not if we replace the Top Property by the Bottom Property. This voting correspondence contains the Minimax Rule but it is strictly larger. In particular, voting functions (single-valued voting correspondences) that are Condorcet Consistent and immune against the two paradoxes must select from this maximal correspondence, and we demonstrate several ways in which this can or cannot be done.
    Keywords: Condorcet Consistency, strong no show paradoxes, Minimax Rule
    JEL: D71 D72
    Date: 2017–06–25
  7. By: Nicolas Gavoille (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia - Condorcet Center for Political Economy, CREM CNRS UMR6211, University Rennes 1, France)
    Abstract: This paper studies the characteristics of the ghost deputies of the French National Assembly, i.e. deputies who do not have any official recorded activity over a whole year. Using a rich dataset providing various information about all deputies from 1959 to 2012, the results indicate that the typical ghost deputy is an old man with a low level of schooling, member of a large party which does not support the government and who is elected in jurisdiction with a low level of political competition. However, personal characteristics are less and less correlated with performance over the years. Finally, ghost deputies face more difficulties to achieve reelection, but are penalized only at the first round, voters exclusively considering national factors at the second round.
    Keywords: Bad politicians, Legislative activity, French politicians, Leg-islative elections, Vote-Popularity function
    JEL: D72 J45
    Date: 2017–06
  8. By: Raul A. Ponce-Rodriguez (Department of Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez); Charles R. Hankla (Department of Political Science, Georgia State University); Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University); Eunice Heredia-Ortiz (Development Alternatives Inc., DAI)
    Abstract: In this article, we investigate how differences in the political institutions necessary for implementing decentralization reform may affect the efficiency and welfare properties of decentralization itself. We incorporate insights from political science and economics into a rigorous and formal extension of the influential “decentralization theorem” first developed by Oates in 1972. In our analysis, we go beyond Oates by producing a strong decentralization theorem that identifies the political conditions under which democratic decentralization dominates centralization even in the presence of interjurisdictional spillovers. More specifically, we find that beneficial outcomes for public service delivery will obtain when democratic decentralization (i.e. the creation of popularly elected sub-national governments) is combined with party centralization (i.e. the power of national party leaders to nominate candidates for sub-national office). We also find that the participation rules of primaries, whether closed or open, have important implications for the expected gains from decentralization. Most notably, we find that, when primaries are closed, even Oates’ conventional decentralization theorem does not hold. In summary, our theory shows that political institutions matter considerably in determining the welfare gains of decentralization outcomes.
    Date: 2017–06
  9. By: Anne-Laure Delatte; Sébastien Jean
    Abstract: This Policy Brief discusses what useful form international economic co-ordination might take, notwithstanding the tense climate witnessed in recent months. On international trade, we argue that aiming at wide-ranging negotiations or more-of- the-same trade liberalizations would be pointless under present circumstances. Instead, efforts should focus on preventing the doom loop of protectionism and retaliation, in a context where the resilience of existing institutions should not be overstated. Updating China’s status is another pressing question which should be tackled seriously, and will require political negotations. Addressing the political concerns about globalization should be another priority, and we argue that it warrants considering including in trade agreements commitments and disciplines regarding non-trade areas such as exchange rates, or social, environmental and fiscal rules. On the macroeconomic front, we point to the rising temptation to use fiscal competition to compensate for low competitiveness. The risk of such strategy is a race to the bottom which would seriously impede the capacity of governements to provide highly-needed public services and infrastructures. A working multi-lateral cooperation shall consolidate the progress achieved thanks to the OECD BEPS initiative and set up a discussion on fiscal issues. Last we call for more accomodative macroeconomic policies to support investment and boost the mild economic activity recovery observed in several countries. This Policy Brief was written as part of the research project on “Major Challenges for Global Macroeconomic Stability and the Role of the G7” in view of the Italian Presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) in 2017, conducted by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) together with a major policy think tank in each of the other G7 member countries. The project’s papers have been presented and discussed at an international conference held in Rome on 27-28 March 2017.
    Keywords: International co-ordination;International Trade;Tax Competition
    JEL: G20
    Date: 2017–06
  10. By: Anna Maria Koukal
    Abstract: The importance of culture for human behavior is well established in the economic literature. So far, most authors have emphasized the long persistence of cultural traits. In contrast, this paper deals with an important case of a rapid update of culturally rooted beliefs and behavior. Using a newly composed historical dataset (1919-1984), this paper provides evidence that the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) had a rapid effect on Catholics’ voting behavior pertaining to female enfranchisement in Switzerland. In various difference-in-differences settings, the Second Vatican Council turns out to increase the acceptance of women’s suffrage in Catholic municipalities, when compared to Protestant municipalities.
    Keywords: Catholic Church; Second Vatican Council; rapid cultural change; female enfranchisement
    JEL: N34 Z12 D72
    Date: 2017–06
  11. By: Ruben Durante; Paolo Pinotti; Andrea Tesei
    Abstract: To what extent are the media to blame for the rise of populist political leaders? Andrea Tesei and colleagues explore the impact of the light entertainment served up by Silvio Berlusconi's commercial TV network, Mediaset, on his later electoral success.
    Keywords: entertainment TV, voting, cognitive abilities, civic engagement
    JEL: L82 D72 Z13
    Date: 2017–07
  12. By: Courtney Jung
    Abstract: In less than a decade, foreign investors have erected more than 3,200 wind turbines across the Isthmus of Techuantepec investing billions of dollars and generating more than 90 per cent of Mexico’s wind energy. The isthmus is also home to more than one thousand indigenous communities whose ancestors settled in the region roughly 3,000 years ago. In most cases, wind farm construction has proceeded without significant community opposition. More recently, however, some indigenous communities have begun to protest against the wind turbines that are taking over their land and transforming their landscape. An intersectional approach highlights two distinct features of the politics of horizontal inequality. First, political strategies and demands may shift over time and across issue areas—opposition to windmills may be generated by exclusion from decision-making, inadequate compensation, or the violation of sacred land. Second, the lens of intersectionality focuses attention on the ways that such categories as race, class, ethnicity, gender, language and region intersect to challenge the ‘group-ness’ of any one of these categories. In the case of indigenous opposition to wind technology in Mexico, intersectionality explains the particular challenges inherent in securing ‘free prior and informed consent’, a cornerstone of contemporary policy toward indigenous peoples.
    Date: 2017

This nep-cdm issue is ©2017 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.