nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒07‒23
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Quorum Rules and Shareholder Power By Patricia Charléty; Marie-Cécile Fagart; Saïd Souam
  2. Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections. By Bracco, Emanuele; Revelli, Federico
  3. Cooperation and Endogenous Repetition in an Infinitely Repeated Social Dilemma By Kenju Kamei
  4. Polls, the Press, and Political Participation: The Effects of Anticipated Election Closeness on Voter Turnout By Leonardo Bursztyn; Davide Cantoni; Patricia Funk; Noam Yuchtman
  5. The Effect of Voluntary Participation on Cooperation By Daniele Nosenzo; Fabio Tufano
  6. Can Gender Quotas in Candidate Lists Empower Women? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design By Bagues, Manuel; Campa, Pamela
  7. Law enforcement and political participation: Italy, 1861-65 By Antonio Accetturo; Matteo Bugamelli; Andrea Lamorgese
  8. Vulnerability and Clientelism By Gustavo Bobonis; Paul Gertler; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro; Simeon Nichter

  1. By: Patricia Charléty; Marie-Cécile Fagart; Saïd Souam
    Abstract: This paper characterizes the equilibria of a costly voting game in which shareholders heterogeneous in both size and preferences strategically vote for or against a proposed resolution or withhold. It is shown that a minimum quorum generates (1) equilibria in which one or several shareholders form voting coalitions in favor of the resolution that is adopted (2) an equilibrium in which shareholders strategically abstain from voting and the resolution is rejected. The size of blockholders and their preferences (in favor or against the resolution) play a crucial role in the existence of equilibria, their nature, the size and the number of voters in coalitions. We derive conditions under which the dominant shareholder controls the meeting. We also examine how large shareholders influence the result of the vote. In particular, we analyze the interaction between blockholders and discuss the situations in which large shareholders jointly control annual meetings or form coalitions to counter the dominant shareholder.
    Keywords: Shareholder Meeting, Strategic voting, Coalitions, Quorum rule, Dominant, Controlling and Reference shareholders.
    JEL: D72 G34 K20
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Bracco, Emanuele; Revelli, Federico (University of Turin)
    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.
    Date: 2017–05
  3. By: Kenju Kamei (Durham Business School)
    Abstract: A large body of theoretical and experimental literature suggests that exogenously imposed infinite repetition can mitigate people’s opportunistic behavior in dilemma situations through personal enforcement. But, do people collectively choose to interact with the same persons, when there is an alternative with random matching? In a framework of an indefinitely-repeated collective action dilemma game, we let subjects collectively choose whether to (i) play with specific others for all rounds or to (ii) play with randomly matched counterparts in every period. The experiment showed that most subjects collectively select the partner matching option. It also indicated that groups achieve a higher level of cooperation when subjects collectively select option (i) by voting, compared with when the same option is exogenously imposed. These findings have an implication that people’s equilibrium selection may be affected by how the basic rules of games are introduced (endogenously or exogenously) to them.
    Keywords: experiment, public goods, cooperation, dilemma, social norms, endogenous choices
    JEL: C92 H41 C73 D72
    Date: 2017–07
  4. By: Leonardo Bursztyn (University of Chicago); Davide Cantoni (Ludwig-Maximilians Universitåt München); Patricia Funk (Università della Svizzera Italiana); Noam Yuchtman (Haas School of Business, University of California--Berkeley)
    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: voter turnout, media, polls
    JEL: D72 P16
    Date: 2017–06
  5. By: Daniele Nosenzo (School of Economics, University of Nottingham); Fabio Tufano (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We study the effects of voluntary participation on cooperation in collective action problems. Voluntary participation may foster cooperation through a mechanism of assortative selection of interaction partners based on false consensus bias, or through a mechanism whereby the decision to not participate can be used as a threat against free-riders. We examine the effectiveness of these mechanisms in a one-shot public goods experiment. Voluntary participation has a positive effect on provision only through the threat of non-participation. Assortative selection of interaction partners seems to play a minor role in our setting, whereas the threat of non-participation is a powerful force to discipline free-riding.
    Keywords: collective action; cooperation; voluntary participation; experiment
    Date: 2017–12
  6. By: Bagues, Manuel; Campa, Pamela
    Abstract: We provide a comprehensive analysis of the short- and medium-term effects of gender quotas in candidate lists using evidence from Spain, where quotas were introduced in 2007 in municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants, and were extended in 2011 to municipalities with more than 3,000 inhabitants. Using a Regression Discontinuity Design, we find that quotas raise the share of women among council members but they do not affect the quality of politicians, as measured by their education attainment and by the number of votes obtained. Moreover, within three rounds of elections, women fail to reach powerful positions such as party leader or mayor, and we do not observe any statistically or economically significant changes in the size and composition of public finances.
    Keywords: gender quotas in candidate lists; regression discontinuity design
    JEL: D72 H72 J16
    Date: 2017–07
  7. By: Antonio Accetturo (Bank of Italy); Matteo Bugamelli (Bank of Italy); Andrea Lamorgese (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Does tougher law enforcement positively affect political participation? This paper addresses this question, which hinges upon the causal impact of formal institutions on informal ones, by using a historical event from 19th century Italy. This event was the Pica Law, which was introduced in 1863 to fight a surge of criminal violence in Southern Italy and to ensure a safer environment for wealthy people, the only ones allowed to vote at that time. Our main finding, obtained using a spatial regression discontinuity technique in a diff-in-diffs framework, is that voter turnout greatly increased in those areas where the Pica Law was applied, compared with bordering and otherwise similar areas. This result is confirmed by a number of robustness checks and placebo exercises and turns out to be persistent over time.
    Keywords: turnout, electoral results, spatial discontinuity
    JEL: D72 R5
    Date: 2017–07
  8. By: Gustavo Bobonis; Paul Gertler; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro; Simeon Nichter
    Abstract: Political clientelism is often deemed to undermine democratic accountability and representation. This study argues that economic vulnerability causes citizens to participate in clientelism. We test this hypothesis with a randomized control trial that reduced household vulnerability through a development intervention: constructing residential water cisterns in drought-prone areas of Northeast Brazil. This exogenous reduction in vulnerability significantly decreased requests for private benefits from local politicians, especially by citizens likely to be involved in clientelist relationships. We also link program beneficiaries to granular voting outcomes, and show that this reduction in vulnerability decreased votes for incumbent mayors, who typically have more resources to engage in clientelism. Our evidence points to a persistent reduction in clientelism, given that findings are observed not only during an election campaign, but also a full year later.
    Keywords: Vulnerability, Clientelism, Voting.
    JEL: P16 O10 O12 O54
    Date: 2017–07–11

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