nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2017‒12‒03
twelve papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. A Model of Focusing in Political Choice By Nunnari, Salvatore; Zapal, Jan
  2. Electoral Competition with Third Party Entry in the Lab By Nikolas Tsakas; Dimitrios Xefteris
  3. The Political Economy of Fiscal Transparency and Independent Fiscal Councils By Roel M. W. J. Beetsma; Xavier Debrun; Randolph Sloof
  4. Double Hat Politicians: Political Moonlighting in Wallonia By Nastassia Leszczynska
  5. Urbanization Patterns, Social Interactions and Female Voting in Rural Paraguay By Alberto Chong; Gianmarco León; Vivian Roza; Martín Valdivia; Gabriela Vega
  6. The Predictive Power of Subjective Probability Questions By de Bresser, Jochem; van Soest, Arthur
  7. Not too close, not too far: testing the Goldilocks principle of ‘optimal’ distance in innovation networks By Fitjar, Rune Dahl; Hubert, Franz; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  8. Managing electoral and political competition in Africa: lessons from Ghana’s 2016 general elections By Aniekwe, Chika Charles
  9. The Influence of Team Efficacy and Intra-group Relationship on Performance and Attribution By Eyal Eckhaus; jeffrey kantor; Galit Klein
  10. The Survival and Demise of the State: A Dynamic Theory of Secessions By Esteban, Joan; Flamand, Sabine; Morelli, Massimo; Rohner, Dominic
  11. Group Consumption with Caring Individuals By Laurens Cherchye; Sam Cosaert; Thomas Demuynck; Bram De Rock
  12. Collective bargaining through the magnifying glass: A comparison between the Netherlands and Portugal By Alexander Hijzen; Pedro Martins; Jante Parlevliet

  1. By: Nunnari, Salvatore; Zapal, Jan
    Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical model of voters' and politicians' behavior based on the notion that voters focus disproportionately on, and hence overweight, certain attributes of policies. We assume that policies have two attributes-benefits and costs-and that voters focus more on the attribute in which their options differ more. First, we consider exogenous policies and show that voters' focusing polarizes the electorate. Second, we consider the endogenous supply of policies by office-motivated politicians who take voters' distorted focus into account. We show that focusing leads to inefficient policies, which cater excessively to a subset of voters: social groups that are larger, have more distorted focus, and are more sensitive to changes in a single attribute are more influential. Finally, we show that augmenting the classical models of voting and electoral competition with focusing can contribute to explain puzzling stylized facts as the inverse correlation between income inequality and redistribution or the backlash effect of extreme policies.
    JEL: D03 D72 D78
    Date: 2017–10
  2. By: Nikolas Tsakas; Dimitrios Xefteris
    Abstract: Electoral competition between two vote-share maximizing candidates in the context of the unidimensional spatial model leads to platform convergence: both candidates end up proposing the ideal policy of the median voter (Downs, 1957). Palfrey (1984) famously argued that if third candidate entry is expected after the two main candidates choose their platforms, the unique equilibrium is such that the two main candidates locate substantially far from each other. By conducting a laboratory experiment, we put this popular idea to test, for the first time. We allow entry to take place with a probability p [0; 1] and we find that, indeed, the degree of polarization of the two main candidates’ platforms increases as third candidate entry becomes more likely to occur, providing strong evidence in support of Palfrey’s (1984) formal results and underlying intuition.
    Keywords: electoral competition; entry; third party; spatial model; experiment
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2017–11
  3. By: Roel M. W. J. Beetsma; Xavier Debrun; Randolph Sloof
    Abstract: The global surge in independent fiscal councils (IFCs) raises three related questions: How can IFCs improve the conduct of fiscal policy? Are they simultaneously desirable for voters and elected policymakers? And are they resilient to changes in political conditions? We build a model in which voters cannot observe the true competence of elected policymakers. IFCs’ role is to mitigate this imperfection. Equilibrium public debt is excessive because policymakers are “partisan” and “opportunistic.” If voters only care about policymakers’ competence, both the incumbent and the voters would be better off with an IFC as the debt bias would shrink. However, when other considerations eclipse competence and give the incumbent a strong electoral advantage or disadvantage, setting up an IFC may be counterproductive as the debt bias would increase. If the incumbent holds a moderate electoral advantage or disadvantage, voters would prefer an IFC, but an incumbent with a large advantage may prefer not to have an IFC. The main policy implications are that (i) establishing an IFC can only lower the debt bias if voters care sufficiently about policymakers’ competence; (ii) not all political environments are conducive to the emergence of IFCs; and (iii) IFCs are consequently vulnerable to shifts in political conditions.
    Date: 2017–09–01
  4. By: Nastassia Leszczynska
    Abstract: Activities outside of public office or combining specific public offices simultaneously is a topic of ongoing heated debates. An element crucial to these discussions is whether moonlighting is detrimental for politicians’ performance. In Belgium, the combination of local executive and regional legislative offices, i.e. double hat politicians, is a frequent habit for a majority of politicians. This accumulation of activities might lead to (un-)desirable outcomes in terms of political achievements. This paper investigates the impact of holding several remunerated and honorary positions on regional MPs parliamentary activities and mayor’s municipality performance in Wallonia. I use a database of all public and private positions held by Belgian politicians in Wallonia since the disclosure of positions became compulsory for those holding at least one public position, i.e. from 2004 to 2016. For members of Parliament, wearing a double hat reduces global parliamentary activity. For mayors, it seems that holding more remunerated positions is associated with less efficient municipality management.
    Keywords: political moonlighting; municipality governance; careers in politics
    Date: 2017–11
  5. By: Alberto Chong; Gianmarco León; Vivian Roza; Martín Valdivia; Gabriela Vega
    Abstract: We use a field experiment to evaluate the impact of two informational get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns to boost female electoral participation in Paraguay. We find that public rallies have no effect either on registration or on voter turnout in the 2013 presidential elections. However, households that received door-to-door (D2D) treatment are 4.6 percentage points more likely to vote. Experimental variation on the intensity of the treatment at the locality level allows us to estimate spillover effects, which are present in localities that are geographically more concentrated, and thus may favor social interactions. Reinforcement effects to the already treated population are twice as large as diffusion to the untreated. Our results underscore the importance of taking into account urbanization patterns when designing informational campaigns.
    Keywords: voter behavior, electoral politics, urbanization, spillover effects, Paraguay
    JEL: O10 D72 O53 D71
    Date: 2017–11
  6. By: de Bresser, Jochem (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); van Soest, Arthur (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the predictive validity of stated intentions for actual behaviour. In the context of the 2017 Dutch parliamentary election, we compare how well polls based on probabilistic and deterministic questions line up with subsequent votes. Our empirical strategy is built around a randomised experiment in a representative panel. Respondents were either simply asked which party they will vote for, or were asked to allocate probabilities of voting for each party. The results show that for the large majority of the respondents, probabilities predict individual behaviour better than deterministic statements. There is, however, substantial heterogeneity in the predictive power of the subjective probabilities. We find evidence that they work better for those with higher probability numeracy, even though probability numeracy was measured eight years earlier.
    Keywords: subjective probabilities; predictive validity; probabilistic polling; elections
    JEL: D84 C81 C25
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Fitjar, Rune Dahl; Hubert, Franz; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: This paper analyses how the formation of collaboration networks affects firm-level innovation by applying the ‘Goldilocks principle’. The ‘Goldilocks principle’ of optimal distance in innovation networks postulates that the best firm-level innovation results are achieved when the partners involved in the network are located at the ‘right’ distance, i.e. ‘not too close and not too far’ from one another, across non-geographical proximity dimensions. This principle is tested on a survey of 542 Norwegian firms conducted in 2013, containing information about firm-level innovation activities and key innovation partners. The results of the ordinal logit regression analysis substantiate the Goldilocks principle, as the most innovative firms are found among those that collaborate with partners at medium levels of proximity for all non-geographical dimensions. The analysis also underscores the importance of the presence of a substitution–innovation mechanism, with geographical distance problems being compensated by proximity in other dimensions as a driver of innovation, while there is no support for a potential overlap–innovation mechanism.
    Keywords: proximities; innovation; collaboration; Goldilocks principle; Norway
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2016–08–17
  8. By: Aniekwe, Chika Charles
    Abstract: African elections are usually highly contested and competitive because of the winner takes all making of most of the political systems on the continent. Since the third wave of democracy (Huntington, 1991), due to the competitive nature of these elections, attention is usually focused on making these elections peaceful and often relatively credible. Little attention has been paid to documenting good practices across these retinue of elections with the bid to providing election practitioners opportunity to learn from good practices that could be applied in similar context and circumstances. This paper is an attempt at that. It chronicles some of the important measures deployed by different stakeholders towards successful 2016 General Elections in Ghana. It recommends that managing electoral competition in African election requires commitment of political stakeholders, development of mechanisms and measures for both political and judicial redress and commitment to rule of law through independence of the judiciary.
    Keywords: elections; democracy; political parties; Ghana; electoral commission
    Date: 2017–11
  9. By: Eyal Eckhaus (Ariel University); jeffrey kantor (Ariel University); Galit Klein (Ariel University)
    Abstract: The current study examines the influence of team efficacy and intra-group relationship on team performance and team attribution in cases of success and failure. One hundred and twenty nine accountancy students (43 teams) participated in a board game in which one out of three teams won. Findings show that intra-group relationship influences team performance via the mediation of team-efficacy. We also found that positive intra-group relationship was connected to internal locus of causality while negative relationship was linked to external factors, suggesting on group-serving bias. This pattern was differentiated between the two groups in relation to performance. The winning team attributed higher earning capital to internal causes and a lower amount to external factors. This pattern was reversed in the losing team; higher amount of capital was attributed to external reasons, while lower amount was attributed to internal causes. We explained this pattern by differences in team-efficacy and intra-group relationship.
    Keywords: team-efficacy, performance, intra-group relationship, attribution, locus of causality
    Date: 2017–10
  10. By: Esteban, Joan; Flamand, Sabine; Morelli, Massimo; Rohner, Dominic
    Abstract: This paper describes the repeated interaction between groups in a country as a repeated Stackelberg bargaining game, where conflict and secessions can happen on the equilibrium path due to commitment problems. If a group out of power is sufficiently small and their contribution to total surplus is not too large, then the group in power can always maintain peace with an agreeable surplus sharing offer every period. When there is a mismatch between relative size and relative surplus contribution of the minority group, conflict can occur. While in the static model secession can occur only as peaceful outcome, in the infinite horizon game with high discount factor conflict followed by secession can occur. We discuss our full characterization of equilibrium outcomes in light of the available empirical evidence.
    Keywords: conflict; Dynamic Game; Secession; Separatism
    JEL: C73 D74 H77
    Date: 2017–10
  11. By: Laurens Cherchye; Sam Cosaert; Thomas Demuynck; Bram De Rock
    Abstract: We propose a novel approach to model joint consumption decisions of individuals who care for each other. We assume noncooperative interaction between the different individuals and the within-group consumption outcome critically depends on the degree of caring between the group members. By varying the degree of caring, the model encompasses a whole continuum of group consumption models that are situated between the fully cooperative model (assuming a Pareto optimal outcome) and the noncooperative model without caring (assuming a public good game with voluntary contributions). This feature is used to define a measure for the degree of cooperation within the group, which quantifies how close the observed group behavior is to the fully cooperative benchmark. We also establish a dual characterization of our noncooperative model with caring preferences: we show that the model is dually equivalent to a noncooperative model with non-caring preferences that is characterized by intra-group transfers. Following a revealed preference approach, we derive testable implications of the model for empirical data. Finally, we also use our model to analyze decisions made by dyads of children in an experimental setting. We find considerable heterogeneity in the degree of caring (or cooperation) across dyads, which correlates with assertiveness and the degree of interaction within dyads.
    JEL: D11 D12 D13 C14
    Date: 2017–11
  12. By: Alexander Hijzen; Pedro Martins; Jante Parlevliet
    Abstract: Since the global financial crisis, sector-level bargaining has come under renewed scrutiny. While in Southern Europe, the crisis raised concerns about the role of collective bargaining as an obstacle to labour market adjustment, in Northern Europe it was perceived more favourably and, according to some, may even have helped to weather the fallout of the crisis more easily. This paper seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of sector-level bargaining systems and their role for labour market performance. We compare two countries with seemingly similar collective bargaining systems, the Netherlands and Portugal, and document a number of features that may affect labour market outcomes, including: i) the scope for flexibility at the firm or worker level within sector-level agreements; ii) the emphasis on representativeness as a criterion for extensions; iii) the effectiveness of coordination across bargaining units; and iv) pro-active government policies to enhance trust and cooperation between the social partners.
    Keywords: industrial relations; social dialogue; employment
    JEL: J5 P52
    Date: 2017–11

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