nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒08‒27
seven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Political Economy of Program Enforcement: Evidence from Brazil By Brollo, Fernanda; Kaufmann, Katja Maria; Ferrara, Eliana La
  2. Migration-Induced Redistribution with and without Migrant's Voting By Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
  3. Think Tank networks of German neoliberalism. Power structures in economics and economic policies in post-war Germany By Stephan Puehringer
  4. How Distributional Conflict over Public Spending Drives Support for Anti-Immigrant Parties By Cavaille, Charlotte; Ferwerda, Jeremy
  5. Determinants of Successful Collective Management of Forest Resources: Evidence from Kenyan Community Forest Associations By Boscow Okumu; Edwin Muchapondwa
  6. Abandon Ship? Party Brands and Politicians' Responses to a Political Scandal By Gianmarco Daniele; Sergio Galletta; Benny Geys
  7. Collective Action, White Flight, and the Origins of Formal Segregation Laws By Werner Troesken; Randall Walsh

  1. By: Brollo, Fernanda (University of Warwick); Kaufmann, Katja Maria (Mannheim University); Ferrara, Eliana La (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Do politicians manipulate the enforcement of conditional welfare programs to in- fluence electoral outcomes? We study the Bolsa Familia Program (BFP) in Brazil, which provides a monthly stipend to poor families conditional on school attendance. Repeated failure to comply with this requirement results in increasing penalties. First, we exploit random variation in the timing when beneficiaries learn about penalties for noncompliance around the 2008 municipal elections. We find that the vote share of candidates aligned with the President is lower in zip codes where more beneficiaries received penalties shortly before (as opposed to shortly after) the elections. Second, we show that politicians strategically manipulate enforcement. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find weaker enforcement before elections in municipalities where mayors from the presidential coalition can run for reelection. Finally, we provide evidence that manipulation occurs through misreporting school attendance, particularly in municipalities with a higher fraction of students in schools with politically connected principals.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
    Abstract: We are motivated by the unique migration experience of Israel of a supply-side shock triggering skilled immigration and the concurrent decline in welfare-state redistribution. This paper develops a model, which can provide an explanation for the mechanism through which a supply-side shock triggering high-skill migration can also reshape the political-economy balance and the redistributive policies. The paper highlights the differences in the political-economy induced redistribution policies between the cases in which migrants participate in the electoral system and the case where they do not. When migrants are allowed to vote, and they take advantage of this right, then, following the shock, all income groups gain, except low skilled immigrants who lose. When migrants are not allowed to vote, or choose not to participate in elections, all income groups gain, except the skilled migrants who lose.
    JEL: F22 H0
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Stephan Puehringer
    Abstract: Even after the financial crisis, economists still exert influence on politics and society in general on several levels and thus can be still interpreted as a discipline of power. Particularly in Germany there is a long tradition of institutionalized economic policy advice, which offers economists a channel of direct and indirect impact on politics. During the European crisis policies many scholar stressed a "comeback", "revival" or "return" of ordoliberalism, the German variety of neoliberalism. In this paper I show how economists connected in the "German neoliberal thought collective" since the end of WW II have built up a strong institutional powerstructure, which had a continuous impact on German economic politics over many decades. It can be shown that in several turning points of German economic history, German neoliberalism and its core politico-economic concept of "Social market economy" served as guiding principle of economic policy. Furthermore I will show that up to now there is an uneven power balance among economists with high political and societal influence, i.e. economists connected in Keynesian or union-linked networks are in a minority position compared to the dense network of economists in the "German neoliberale thought collective". Hence, what was observed during the European crisis policies as a "comeback of ordoliberalism" should rather be interpreted as the consequence of a persistant influence of German neoliberal networks on German economic politics over many decades.
    Date: 2016–09
  4. By: Cavaille, Charlotte (Georgetown University); Ferwerda, Jeremy (Dartmouth College)
    Abstract: To what extent does immigration drive support for anti-immigrant populist parties and candidates? Previous research has hypothesized the existence of a welfare channel, in which individuals exposed to the potential fiscal costs of immigration, in the form of higher taxes and lower benefits, will be more supportive of anti-immigration parties. But evidence in support of this argument is scant. This paper builds on existing work in two ways. Theoretically, we distinguish between the cash and the in-kind components of public transfers, and argue that the latter are especially prone to generating distributional conflicts. Empirically, we leverage an EU legal directive that resulted in an exogenous increase in the intensity of competition between immigrants and natives over public housing in Austria. Our findings indicate that support for anti-immigrant parties is highly responsive to perceived scarcity resulting from immigrant receipt of in-kind benefits. More broadly, the findings suggest that the confluence of austerity measures and free movement in the EU may explain the far-right’s recent electoral gains beyond its historic voting bloc.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Boscow Okumu; Edwin Muchapondwa
    Abstract: Participation of local communities in management and utilization of forest resources through collective action has become widely accepted as a possible solution to failure of centralized top down approaches to forest conservation. Developing countries have thus resorted to devolution of forest management through initiatives such as Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and Joint Forest Management (JFM). In Kenya, under such initiatives, communities have been able to self-organize into community forest associations (CFAs). However, despite these efforts and increased number of CFAs, the results in terms of ecological outcomes have been mixed with some CFAs failing and others thriving. Little is known about the factors influencing success of these initiatives. Using household level data from 518 households and community level data from 22 CFAs from the Mau forest conservancy, the study employed logistic regression, OLS and Heteroscedasticity based instrumental variable techniques to analyze factors influencing household participation levels in CFA activities and further identified the determinants of successful collective management of forest resources as well as the link between participation level and success of collective action. The results show that success of collective action is associated with level of household participation in CFA activities, distance to the forest resource, institutional quality, group size, salience of the resource and education level of the CFA chairperson among others. We also found that collective action is more successful when CFAs are formed through users’ self-motivation with frequent interaction with government institutions and when the forest cover is low. Factors influencing household level of participation are also identified. The study findings points to the need for: a robust diagnostic approach in devolution of forest management to local communities considering diverse socio-economic and ecological settings; government intervention in revival and re-institutionalizing existing and infant CFAs in an effort to promote PFM within the Mau forest and other parts of the country; and intense effort towards design of a mix of incentive schemes to encourage active and equal household participation in CFA activities.
    Keywords: PFM, Collective action, Participation, CFAs
    JEL: D02 Q23 Q28
    Date: 2017–08
  6. By: Gianmarco Daniele (Barcelona Economic Institute (IEB), University of Barcelona (UB), Spain); Sergio Galletta (IdEP, Economia, Universita' Svizzera italiana, Switzerland); Benny Geys (BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway)
    Abstract: In this article, we study politicians' - rather than voters' - responses to the main political scandal in Italian recent history (Tangentopoli), and overcome endogeneity concerns by analysing the local implications of this national corruption scandal. We find that local politicians withdraw support for incumbents in parties hit by Tangentopoli - inducing increased political instability in such municipalities. Moreover, politicians in parties hit by the scandal exhibit higher rates of party switching and lower re-running rates. Scandals thus appear to decrease the value of the party "brand", and become transmitted across politicians and levels of government via partisan cues.
    Keywords: Accountability, Corruption, Party Cues, Brands, Multi-level governance
    JEL: D72 H30 H77
    Date: 2017–07–27
  7. By: Werner Troesken; Randall Walsh
    Abstract: This paper develops and tests a simple model to explain the origins of municipal segregation ordinances. Passed by cities between 1909 and 1917, these ordinances prohibited members of the majority racial group on a given city block from selling or renting property to members of another racial group. Our results suggest that prior to these laws cities had created and sustained residential segregation through private norms and vigilante activity. Only when these private arrangements began to break down during the early 1900s did whites start lobbying municipal governments for segregation ordinances.
    JEL: H1 K11 N32 N92 R14 R31
    Date: 2017–08

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