nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2018‒06‒25
fourteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Media Construction of LGBT Prides in Russia: Framing Dynamics and Frame Resonance By Kseniia Semykina
  2. The Trade Origins of Economic Nationalism: Import Competition and Voting Behavior in Western Europe By Florian Nagler; Giorgio Ottonello
  3. The Political Boundaries of Ethnic Divisions By Samuel Bazzi; Matthew Gudgeon
  4. Open Rule Legislative Bargaining By Gersbach, Hans; Volker, Britz
  5. Backing the incumbent in difficult times: the electoral impact of wildfires By Roberto Ramos; Carlos Sanz
  6. Voting with your wallet? Municipal budget policy and election results By Baert, Stijn; Matthijs, Herman; Verdievel, Ilse
  7. The Minimal Persuasive Effects of Campaign Contact in General Elections: Evidence from 49 Field Experiments By Kalla, Joshua; Broockman, David
  8. Social Media, Sentiment and Public Opinions: Evidence from #Brexit and #USElection By Yuriy Gorodnichenko; Tho Pham; Oleksandr Talavera
  9. Status maximization as a source of fairness in a networked dictator game By Jan E. Snellman; Gerardo I\~niguez; J\'anos Kert\'esz; R. A. Barrio; Kimmo K. Kaski
  10. The other 1%: Class Leavening, Contamination and Voting for Redistribution By Lars Lefgren; David Sims; Olga Stoddard
  11. Take-up and Targeting: Experimental Evidence from SNAP By Amy Finkelstein; Matthew J. Notowidigdo
  12. Design Approaches in the Public Sector: Problematizations, Actors and Transformations in the French Administration By Jean-Marc Weller; Frédérique Pallez; Emmanuel Coblence
  13. Leadership and Social Norms: Evidence from the Forty-Eighters in the Civil War By Christian Dippel; Stephan Heblich
  14. Peers or Police? Detection and Sanctions in the Provision of Public Goods By DeAngelo, Gregory; Gee, Laura Katherine

  1. By: Kseniia Semykina (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The article analyses representation of LGBT-movement activity, namely Saint Petersburg LGBT prides, in Russia. Framing theory, which views the media as an arena in which groups of interest promote their frames, or interpretations of the discussed issue, is used. Frames juxtapose elements of the text in such a way as to provide the audience with a scheme to perceive the message. Social movements are viewed as a group of interest that introduces new frames in the public deliberation. Two types of frames can be distinguished, namely collective action frames and status quo frames. In this study, usage of two collective action frames were examined (equality frame and victim frame), and two status quo frames (morality frame and propaganda of homosexuality). Additionally, the sources of quotes used in news stories were analyzed. The study focuses on articles dedicated to Saint Petersburg LGBT prides in years 2010-2017 in the most popular local Internet websites. The analysis shows that the coverage of LGBT prides can be divided into two distinct periods: 2010–2013 and 2014–2017. In the first period, LGBT activists dominated the coverage, quoted about twice more actively than government officials. Equality and victim frames were prevalent. In the second period, activists were cited significantly less often, with the propaganda of homosexuality frame dominating in the discourse. However, contrary to findings of previous studies on social movement representation, across the whole period under consideration LGBT activists were quoted more actively than government representatives. This finding calls for further exploration of the conditions which allowed for such coverage in the context of political heterosexism and homophobia.
    Keywords: framing, media, LGBT prides, Russia, Saint-Petersburg
    JEL: L
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Florian Nagler; Giorgio Ottonello
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of globalization on electoral outcomes in fifteenWestern European countries, over 1988-2007. We employ both official election results at the district level and individual-level voting data, combined with party ideology scores from the ComparativeManifesto Project. We compute a region-specific measure of exposure to Chinese imports, based on the historical industry specialization of each region. To identify the causal impact of the import shock, we instrument imports to Europe using Chinese imports to the United States. At the district level, a stronger import shock leads to: (1) an increase in support for nationalist parties; (2) a general shift to the right in the electorate; and (3) an increase in support for radical right parties. These results are confirmed by the analysis of individual-level vote choices. In addition, we find evidence that voters respond to the shock in a sociotropic way.
    Keywords: Globalization; Nationalism; Radical Right; Economic Vote
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Samuel Bazzi; Matthew Gudgeon
    Abstract: This paper argues that redrawing subnational political boundaries can transform ethnic divisions. We use a natural policy experiment in Indonesia to show how the effects of ethnic diversity on conflict depend on the political units within which groups are organized. Redistricting along group lines can reduce conflict, but these gains are undone or even reversed when the new borders introduce greater polarization. These adverse effects of polarization are further amplified around majoritarian elections, consistent with strong incentives to capture new local governments in settings with ethnic favoritism. Overall, our findings illustrate the promise and pitfalls of redistricting in diverse countries.
    JEL: D72 D74 H41 H77 O12 Q34
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Gersbach, Hans; Volker, Britz
    Abstract: We consider non-cooperative bargaining on the division of a surplus under a simple majority rule. Bargaining takes place according to an "open rule" as originally suggested by Baron and Ferejohn (1989): Under an open rule, proposals can be amended before they are voted on. We point out some gaps in Baron and Ferejohn's earlier work, and provide a fresh analysis of open rule bargaining. We devise a method to construct equilibrium candidates and to test whether these candidates are indeed equilibria. When players are sufficiently patient, we explicitly compute equilibrium outcomes. Compared to the canonical closed rule bargaining game, the equilibrium outcomes of open rule bargaining involve delays, but lead to more egalitarian surplus allocations. However, our results suggest that equilibrium delays tend to be longer, and surplus allocations tend to be less egalitarian than predicted by Baron and Ferejohn.
    Keywords: Bargaining; Baron and Ferejohn; Legislatures; Open Rules; Stationary Equilibrium
    JEL: C72 C78 D72
    Date: 2018–05
  5. By: Roberto Ramos (Banco de España); Carlos Sanz (Banco de España)
    Abstract: How do voters react to large shocks that are (mostly) outside the control of politicians? We address this question by studying the electoral effects of wildfires in Spain during 1983-2011. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, we find that a large accidental fire up to nine months ahead of a local election increases the incumbent party’s vote share by almost 8 percentage points. We find that a rally-behind-the-leader effect best explains the results. A simple formalization of this mechanism yields an implication – that the effect should be larger for stronger (more voted) incumbents – that is supported by the data.
    Keywords: voting behavior, rally behind the leader, difference-in-differences
    JEL: D72 D91
    Date: 2018–03
  6. By: Baert, Stijn; Matthijs, Herman; Verdievel, Ilse
    Abstract: In this paper, the authors examine the impact of municipal budget policy on the percentage of votes for the incumbent majority parties in subsequent elections. They contribute to the academic literature by examining the combined influence of taxes, expenditures and debt. Based on data for Flanders (Belgium) between 1994 and 2012, they find no significant association between these budget variables and the actual election results.
    Keywords: budget policy,municipal elections,yardstick voting,political economics
    JEL: D72 E62 H71 H72 P48 R50
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Kalla, Joshua (University of California, Berkeley); Broockman, David (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Significant theories of democratic accountability hinge on how political campaigns affect Americans' candidate choices. We argue that the best estimate of the effects of campaign contact and advertising on Americans' candidates choices in general elections is zero. First, a systematic meta-analysis of 40 field experiments estimates an average effect of zero in general elections. Second, we present nine original field experiments that increase the statistical evidence in the literature about the persuasive effects of personal contact 10-fold. These experiments' average effect is also zero. In both existing and our original experiments, persuasive effects only appear to emerge in two rare circumstances. First, when candidates take unusually unpopular positions and campaigns invest unusually heavily in identifying persuadable voters. Second, when campaigns contact voters long before election day and measure effects immediately--although this early persuasion decays. These findings contribute to ongoing debates about how political elites influence citizens' judgments.
    Date: 2017–09
  8. By: Yuriy Gorodnichenko; Tho Pham; Oleksandr Talavera
    Abstract: This paper studies information diffusion in social media and the role of bots in shaping public opinions. Using Twitter data on the 2016 E.U. Referendum (“Brexit”) and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, we find that diffusion of information on Twitter is largely complete within 1-2 hours. Stronger interactions across agents with similar beliefs are consistent with the “echo chambers” view of social media. Bots have a tangible effect on the tweeting activity of humans but the degree of bots’ influence depends on whether bots provide information consistent with humans’ priors. Overall, our results suggest that the aggressive use of Twitter bots, coupled with the fragmentation of social media and the role of sentiment, could contribute to the vote outcomes.
    JEL: D72 D83 D84
    Date: 2018–05
  9. By: Jan E. Snellman; Gerardo I\~niguez; J\'anos Kert\'esz; R. A. Barrio; Kimmo K. Kaski
    Abstract: Human behavioural patterns exhibit selfish or competitive, as well as selfless or altruistic tendencies, both of which have demonstrable effects on human social and economic activity. In behavioural economics, such effects have traditionally been illustrated experimentally via simple games like the dictator and ultimatum games. Experiments with these games suggest that, beyond rational economic thinking, human decision-making processes are influenced by social preferences, such as an inclination to fairness. In this study we suggest that the apparent gap between competitive and altruistic human tendencies can be bridged by assuming that people are primarily maximising their status, i.e., a utility function different from simple profit maximisation. To this end we analyse a simple agent-based model, where individuals play the repeated dictator game in a social network they can modify. As model parameters we consider the living costs and the rate at which agents forget infractions by others. We find that individual strategies used in the game vary greatly, from selfish to selfless, and that both of the above parameters determine when individuals form complex and cohesive social networks.
    Date: 2018–06
  10. By: Lars Lefgren; David Sims; Olga Stoddard
    Abstract: We perform an experiment to measure how changes in the effort exerted by a small fraction of a low-reward group affect the willingness of the high-reward group to vote for redistributive taxation. We find that a substantial fraction of high reward subjects vote in favor of greater redistribution when a very small fraction of high-effort individuals is added to a pool of otherwise low-effort poor. Contaminating a group of high-effort poor with a small number of low-effort individuals causes the most generous rich subjects to vote for less redistribution. These results suggest that anecdotes about the deservedness of a small group of transfer recipients may be effective in changing support for redistribution. We find large gender differences in the results. Relative to men, women respond three times more strongly to the existence of high-effort individuals among the poor. This behavior may help explain gender differences in support for redistribution more generally.
    JEL: D3 H2
    Date: 2018–05
  11. By: Amy Finkelstein; Matthew J. Notowidigdo
    Abstract: This paper develops a framework for evaluating the welfare impact of various interventions designed to increase take-up of social safety net programs in the presence of potential behavioral biases. We calibrate the key parameters using a randomized field experiment in which 30,000 elderly individuals not enrolled in – but likely eligible for – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are either provided with information that they are likely eligible, provided with this information and also offered assistance in applying, or are in a “status quo” control group. Only 6 percent of the control group enrolls in SNAP over the next 9 months, compared to 11 percent of the Information Only group and 18 percent of the Information Plus Assistance group. The individuals who apply or enroll in response to either intervention receive lower benefits and are less sick than the average enrollee in the control group. The results are consistent with the existence of optimization frictions that are greater for needier individuals, suggesting that the poor targeting properties of the interventions reduce their welfare gains.
    JEL: C93 H53 I38
    Date: 2018–05
  12. By: Jean-Marc Weller (LISIS - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences, Innovations, Sociétés - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - ESIEE Paris - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Frédérique Pallez (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Emmanuel Coblence (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Over the past decade, French public services have introduced innovative approaches of a new kind, formally breaking with the bureaucratic engineering of the administration. These initiatives seem to be heterogeneous and diverse, but they adopt approaches sharing a similar family resemblance, inspired in a large extent by the principles of design — or " user-oriented design " — in the making of public policy. In schools, hospitals, social services or public authorities, local experimentations and research-action programs have been developed: residencies with multidisciplinary teams of professionals and stakeholders in total immersion with a public facility, prototyping tests for new innovation methods on a specific topic, ground-level actions, do-it-yourself projects, etc.
    Date: 2017–06–28
  13. By: Christian Dippel; Stephan Heblich
    Abstract: A growing theoretical literature emphasizes the role that leaders play in shaping beliefs and social norms. We provide empirical evidence for such ‘civic leadership.’ We focus on the Forty-Eighters, a group of political refugees from Germany's failed 1848 revolutions, and their role in the struggle for the abolition of slavery in the United States. Our primary outcome is volunteering for the Union Army. Given the enormously high death toll during the Civil War, this variable provides a powerful measure of social norms against slavery. We show that towns where Forty-Eighters settled in the 1850s increased their Union Army enlistments by eighty percent over the course of the war. Using machine-learning techniques to infer soldiers' ancestry, we find that the Forty-Eighters had the biggest impact on the enlistment of German Americans, a smaller effect on English-speaking men (American and Irish), and yet a smaller effect on Scandinavian and Italian men. Forty-Eighters who fought in the war and were successful at raising a regiment had the biggest effect on enlistment, and Forty-Eighters also had a discernible effect in the field of battle, lowering their fellow soldiers' likelihood of desertion.
    JEL: D72 J61 N41
    Date: 2018–05
  14. By: DeAngelo, Gregory (West Virginia University); Gee, Laura Katherine (Tufts University)
    Abstract: Sanctions are a common method to discourage free-riding in the provision of public goods. However, we can usually only sanction those who are detected performing the bad act of free-riding. There has been considerable research on the type of sanctions imposed, but this research almost always automatically detects everyone's actions and broadcasts them to the group. This is akin to assuming that a group always has a police force or motivated peer reporting to detect and announce the actions of bad actors. However, in many situations bad acts go undetected and unknown to others. We use a lab experiment to compare public good contribution decisions in an environment where we relax the assumption that detection is automated. The common result that sanctions and the likelihood of detection share an inverse relationship continues to be found in our results. However, free-riders are unwilling to pay for detection when sanctioning is conducted at the group level, because a criminal does not want to fund the police who will catch his bad acts. But, when detection is conducted among peers, free-riders are willing to pay to detect other individuals that free-ride.
    Keywords: public goods, punishment, detection, deterrence
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D7 H41
    Date: 2018–05

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