nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2018‒08‒20
twenty-six papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Collective Mistakes: Intuition Aggregation for a Trick Question under Strategic Voting By Tajika, Tomoya
  2. Making Policies Matter: Voter Responses to Campaign Promises By Cesi Cruz; Philip Keefer; Julien Labonne; Francesco Trebbi
  3. Compulsory voting, habit formation, and political participation By Bechtel, Michael M.; Hangartner, Dominik; Schmid, Lukas
  4. Voting turnout in Greece: expressive or instrumental? By DASKALOPOULOU, EIRINI
  5. Candidate Competition and Voter Learning in the 2000-2012 US Presidential Primaries By George Deltas; Mattias K. Polborn
  6. Family Income and the Intergenerational Transmission of Voting Behavior: Evidence from an Income Intervention By Randall Akee; William Copeland; E. Jane Costello; John B. Holbein; Emilia Simeonova
  7. Relative age effects in political selection By Tukiainen, Janne; Takalo, Tuomas; Hulkkonen, Topi
  8. Towards Transnational European Democracy? The New Battles Lines of the 2019 European Parliament Election By Alemanno, Alberto
  9. Explaining Parochialism: A Causal Account for Political Polarization in Changing Economic Environments By Alexander J. Stewart; Nolan McCarty; Joanna J. Bryson
  10. Termination Risk and Agency Problems: Evidence from the NBA By Alma Cohen; Nadav Levy; Roy Sasson
  11. Authoritarian populism at work: A political transaction cost approach with reference to Viktor Orbán’s Hungary By Zoltán à dám
  12. The emergence of inequality in social groups: network structure and institutions affect the distribution of earnings in cooperation games By Tsvetkova, Milena; Wagner, Claudia; Mao, Andrew
  13. Controversies over the European Value Added created by CAP By Gorzelak, Aleksander; Herda-Kopańska, Justyna; Kulawik, Jacek; Soliwoda, Michał; Wieliczko, Barbara
  14. Social dialogue in the public service in selected countries of the European Union By Bordogna, Lorenzo.
  15. Lattice Studies of Gerrymandering Strategies By Kyle Gatesman; James Unwin
  16. Progress and Perspectives in the Study of Political Selection By Ernesto Dal Bó; Frederico Finan
  17. How much does environment pay for politicians? By Mohamed Boly; Jean-Louis Combes; Pascale Combes Motel
  18. Cognitive Ability and In-group Bias: An Experimental Study By Fabian Paetzel; Rupert Sausgruber
  19. Competing or Complementary Strategies? Protecting Indigenous Rights and Paying to Conserve Forests By William Savedoff
  20. Household Tax Evasion By Nigar Hashimzade; Gareth Myles; Hana Yousefi
  21. Insider networks By Erol, Selman; Lee, Michael Junho
  22. Romanian Attitudes and Perceptions towards the 16+1 Cooperation Platform By Iulia Monica, Oehler-Șincai; Costin, Lianu; Cristina, Ilie; Rădulescu, Irina
  23. Do Elected Councils Improve Governance? Experimental Evidence on Local Institutions in Afghanistan By Enikolopov, Ruben
  24. How Do Travel Costs Shape Collaboration? By Christian Catalini; Christian Fons-Rosen; Patrick Gaulé
  25. Social Innovation and Teamwork Within Organizations: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence on Recognition and Cooperation By Sandra Polania Reyes
  26. Untangling the radical imaginaries of the Indignados' movement: Commons, autonomy and ecologism By Asara, Viviana

  1. By: Tajika, Tomoya
    Abstract: We consider a situation in which voters collectively answer a binary question. Each voter obtains an intuition about the answer to the question, but whether the question is intuitive or counterintuitive is not known to any voter. If each voter receives an independent signal on whether the question is intuitive or not, the majority rule under sincere voting correctly aggregates the intuitions with a large electorate; however, it is not an equilibrium. We show that in a unique pure-strategy equilibrium with a large electorate, majority voting makes an incorrect decision with a probability that can be sufficiently close to 1.
    Keywords: Information aggregation, inefficiency, counterintuitive question, strategic voting
    JEL: C72 D72
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Cesi Cruz; Philip Keefer; Julien Labonne; Francesco Trebbi
    Abstract: Can campaign promises change voter behavior, even where clientelism and vote buying are pervasive? We elicit multidimensional campaign promises from political candidates in consecutive mayoral elections in the Philippines. Voters who are randomly informed about these promises rationally update their beliefs about candidates, along both policy and valence dimensions. Those who receive information about current promises are more likely to vote for candidates with policy promises closest to their own preferences. Those informed about current and past campaign promises reward incumbents who fulfilled their past promises; they perceive them to be more honest and competent. However, voters with clientelist ties to candidates respond weakly to campaign promises. A structural model allows us to disentangle information effects on beliefs and preferences by comparing actual incumbent vote shares with shares in counterfactual elections: both effects are substantial. Even in a clientelist democracy, counterfactual incumbent vote shares deviate more from actual shares when policy and valence play no role in campaigning than when vote-buying plays no role. Finally, a cost benefit analysis reveals that vote-buying is nevertheless more effective than information campaigns, explaining why candidates do not use them.
    JEL: D72 P16
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: Bechtel, Michael M.; Hangartner, Dominik; Schmid, Lukas
    Abstract: Can electoral institutions induce lasting changes in citizens’ voting habits? We study the long-term and spillover effects of compulsory voting in the Swiss canton of Vaud (1900–1970) and find that this intervention increases turnout in federal referendums by 30 percentage points. However, despite its magnitude, the effect disappears quickly after voting is no longer compulsory. We find minor spillover effects on related forms of political participation that also vanish immediately after compulsory voting has been abolished. Overall, these results question habit formation arguments in the context of compulsory voting.
    Keywords: Habit Formation; Compulsory Voting; Turnout; Political Participation; Social Norms
    JEL: D72 H41 P16
    Date: 2018–07
    Abstract: Voting turnout is a core element of political democracy as it constitutes the so-called hard evidence of citizens’ engagement in the wider political processes. Thus, increasing voting abstention rates in the developed countries and the emergence of abstract types of political and civic engagement raise concerns over the ways in which participation evolves in modern democracies and the underlying socio-political mechanisms and dynamics that govern its development. Within this context, we analyse the micro-level determinants of voting turnout rates in Greece using ESV data for the 2002-2011 period. In particular, we test for the effects of formal and latent political participation, activism and trust as pointing to either an expressive or instrumental voting decision process. After controlling for the individuals’ socio-demographic and economic profile evidence is found of instrumental voting in Greece. Important policy level implications arise as a result of these findings.
    Keywords: voting turnout; political participation; activism; trust; economic crisis; Greece
    JEL: D72 H11
    Date: 2018–07–27
  5. By: George Deltas; Mattias K. Polborn
    Abstract: When candidates in primary elections are ideologically differentiated (e.g., conservatives and moderates in the Republican party), then candidates with similar positions affect each others’ vote shares more strongly than candidates with different ideological positions. We measure this effect in U.S. Presidential primaries and show that it is of first order importance. We also show that voter beliefs about the candidates harden over the course of the primary, as manifested in the variability of candidate vote shares. We discuss models of sequential voting that cannot yield this pattern of results, and propose an explanation based on a model with horizontally and vertically differentiated candidates and incompletely informed voters. Consistent with the predictions of this model, we also show that, in more conservative states, low quality conservative candidates do better relative to high quality conservatives, and vice versa.
    Keywords: Voting, primary elections, simultaneous versus sequential elections
    JEL: D72 D60
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Randall Akee; William Copeland; E. Jane Costello; John B. Holbein; Emilia Simeonova
    Abstract: Despite clear evidence of an income gradient in political participation, research has not been able to isolate the effects of income on voting from other household characteristics. We investigate how exogenous unconditional cash transfers affected voting in US elections across two generations from the same household. The results confirm that there is strong inter-generational correlation in voting across parents and their children. We also show—consistent with theory—that household receipt of unconditional cash transfers has heterogeneous effects on the civic participation of children coming from different socio-economic backgrounds. It increases children’s voting propensity in adulthood among those raised in initially poorer families. However, income transfers have no effect on parents, regardless of initial income levels. These results suggest that family circumstance during childhood—income in particular—plays a role in influencing levels of political participation in the United States. Further, in the absence of outside shocks, income differences are transmitted across generations and likely contribute to the intergenerational transmission of social and political inequality.
    JEL: D31 D72 H53 H75 I38 J15
    Date: 2018–06
  7. By: Tukiainen, Janne; Takalo, Tuomas; Hulkkonen, Topi
    Abstract: We exploit a regression discontinuity design to provide causal evidence of the relative age effect (RAE) on a long-run adult age outcome: Political selection. We find strong evidence of the RAE in politics in Finland. However, the effect is heterogeneous: We find that male candidates born early in the calendar year have a significantly higher probability of getting elected to the parliament but no similar RAE applies to female candidates nor to municipal elections. Moreover, this effect only takes place in the most competitive parliamentary districts and is present only for some parties. We also find that in all the groups where the RAE does not exist, early-born candidates are under-represented suggesting attrition of talent in the candidate placement. Overall, our results show that seemingly artificial cutoffs imposed by the government have persistent consequences even on the selection to the highest positions of power within a society.
    JEL: C21 D72 J13 J16 J24
    Date: 2018–08–08
  8. By: Alemanno, Alberto (HEC Paris)
    Abstract: The EU’s political system has never caught up with the impact European integration has had on citizens’ daily lives. EU citizens still vote in the European Parliament elections on different dates, according to different electoral laws, and in support of candidates selected by national parties and on the basis of domestic agendas. Yet this is set to change. With less than a year to go before the European Parliament elections, the EU political landscape is about to undergo a deep and historical shake-up. While populists are poised to disrupt the Parliament, a new wave of little-noticed transnational parties is emerging from the bottom-up. They both threaten established, mainstream political parties that have historically hold a monopoly of the European ‘project’. This paper traces their genesis, evolution and raison d'être before identifying their major features and political prospect.
    Keywords: Elections; Parties; Europe; trasnational parties; European Parliament; Spitzenkandidated; Trasnational list
    JEL: F00 H00 K00
    Date: 2018–06–28
  9. By: Alexander J. Stewart; Nolan McCarty; Joanna J. Bryson
    Abstract: Political and social polarization are a significant cause of conflict and poor governance in many societies, thus understanding their causes is of considerable importance. Here we demonstrate that shifts in socialization strategy similar to political polarization and/or identity politics could be a constructive response to periods of apparent economic decline. We start from the observation that economies, like ecologies are seldom at equilibrium. Rather, they often suffer both negative and positive shocks. We show that even where in an expanding economy, interacting with diverse out-groups can afford benefits through innovation and exploration, if that economy contracts, a strategy of seeking homogeneous groups can be important to maintaining individual solvency. This is true even where the expected value of out group interaction exceeds that of in group interactions. Our account unifies what were previously seen as conflicting explanations: identity threat versus economic anxiety. Our model indicates that in periods of extreme deprivation, cooperation with diversity again becomes the best (in fact, only viable) strategy. However, our model also shows that while polarization may increase gradually in response to shifts in the economy, gradual decrease of polarization may not be an available strategy; thus returning to previous levels of cooperation may require structural change.
    Date: 2018–07
  10. By: Alma Cohen; Nadav Levy; Roy Sasson
    Abstract: When organizational structures and contractual arrangements face agents with a significant risk of termination in the short term, such agents may under-invest in projects whose results would be realized only in the long term. We use NBA data to study how risk of termination in the short term affects the decision of coaches. Because letting a rookie play produces long-term benefits on which coaches with a shorter investment horizon might place lower weight, we hypothesize that higher termination risk might lead to lower rookie participation. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that, during the period of the NBA’s 1999 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and controlling for the characteristics of rookies and their teams, higher termination risk was associated with lower rookie participation and that this association was driven by important games. We also find that the association does not exist for second-year players and that the identified association disappeared when the 2005 CBA gave team owners stronger incentives to monitor the performance of rookies and preclude their underuse.
    JEL: D20 J44 K00 L83
    Date: 2018–06
  11. By: Zoltán à dám
    Abstract: This paper conceptualizes authoritarian populism in an institutional economics context. Examining the literature on populism in political science, it considers authoritarian populism a degraded form of democracy that holds elections in regular intervals as means of popular legitimation, but undermines pluralism and constrains political choice. Based on the theory of transaction cost economics, the paper argues that authoritarian populism reduces political transaction costs by vertically organizing political exchange instead of the horizontal organization characteristic of liberal democracy. Electoral demand for such a shift rises at times of crises and a mismatch between formal and informal political institutions. This is what happened in Hungary towards the end of the 2000s, in a period of socially costly fiscal stabilization and the troubles of the global financial crisis. Correspondingly, voters have given Prime Minister Orbán strong mandates to govern at three consecutive elections since 2010, who transformed Hungary into a textbook case of authoritarian populism.
    Keywords: authoritarian populism, democratic populism, political transaction costs, political exchange, Hungary
    Date: 2018–05
  12. By: Tsvetkova, Milena; Wagner, Claudia; Mao, Andrew
    Abstract: From small communities to entire nations and society at large, inequality in wealth, social status, and power is one of the most pervasive and tenacious features of the social world. What causes inequality to emerge and persist? In this study, we investigate how the structure and rules of our interactions can increase inequality in social groups. Specifically, we look into the effects of four structural conditions—network structure, network fluidity, reputation tracking, and punishment institutions—on the distribution of earnings in network cooperation games. We analyze 33 experiments comprising 96 experimental conditions altogether. We find that there is more inequality in clustered networks compared to random networks, in fixed networks compared to randomly rewired and strategically updated networks, and in groups with punishment institutions compared to groups without. Secondary analyses suggest that the reasons inequality emerges under these conditions may have to do with the fact that fixed networks allow exploitation of the poor by the wealthy and clustered networks foster segregation between the poor and the wealthy, while the burden of costly punishment falls onto the poor, leaving them poorer. Surprisingly, we do not find evidence that inequality is affected by reputation in a systematic way but this could be because reputation needs to play out in a particular network environment in order to have an effect. Overall, our findings suggest possible strategies and interventions to decrease inequality and mitigate its negative impact, particularly in the context of mid- and large-sized organizations and online communities.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2018–07–20
  13. By: Gorzelak, Aleksander; Herda-Kopańska, Justyna; Kulawik, Jacek; Soliwoda, Michał; Wieliczko, Barbara
    Abstract: From the beginning of the financial crisis – 2008/2009 – the EU entered an unprecedented period of very serious shocks. These problems first affected the economy (weak and highly variable growth with times of rather shallow recession, high unemployment, especially among young people) and then they spread to the bank sector and the national budgets. Consequently, several of the old EU countries, belonging to the euro area, became – in fact – insolvent. To make the matters worse, southern Europe was hit by a huge wave of immigration, Russians took over the Crimea, a war erupted in Donbas and Donald Trump, who can considerably weaken the NATO, won the US presidential elections. The subsequent attempts at solving these mini-crises were often delayed, not very daring and erratic. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the crisis, ultimately, started to affect also the sociopolitical and institutional areas, which is manifested in growing distrust of the Europeans in the Community institutions and liberal democracy. This, in turn, resulted in widespread populism, national and regional egoism and disintegration tendencies. Brexit is one of the first effects of the process along with the concerns that other members of the EU may take similar decisions which would be tantamount to its breakup. In these circumstances, convincing validation of further existence and development of the Community requires great intellectual, political and organisational effort, and then finding effective channels to reach as broad as possible circle of responsible citizens with the proposals, recommendations and ready application solutions to help them regain trust in the meaning of the European project and possibilities of functioning in the double national and European identity. It would be perfect to make the mended EU more democratic, i.e. to actively engage in the process the very Europeans and not only techno- and Eurocrats. One of the more interesting concepts, at the moment, seems to be the European added value, which – in a nutshell, means a sum of extra benefits obtained on account of integration against the effects resulting from the national socio-economic policy. It is possible to describe this value and, to some extent, even to quantify it for all areas of the European integration. However, the paper is restricted only to the CAP, focusing on methodological, environmental and climate, innovation and investment issues, and a set of key budget problems.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy, Financial Economics
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Bordogna, Lorenzo.
    Abstract: Social dialogue, including collective bargaining, is one of the core enabling principles of the ILO’s decent work agenda. It should form part and parcel of the regulation of labour relations in the public sector. Dialogue and bargaining can and should be key contributors to public sector efficiency, performance and equity. However, because competing interests can be involved, neither dialogue nor collective bargaining is conflict-free. If governments and public sector unions are to be encouraged to bring these dynamics into public sector work, where industrial peace carries a special premium in the public mind, then considerations of conflict management must be uppermost. This is more relevant than ever in times of fiscal consolidation and austerity measures. The Global Dialogue Forum on Challenges to Collective Bargaining in the Public Service, held in Geneva on 2-4 April 2014, concluded with a recommendation that the Office carry out research on the diversity of practices in social dialogue, in particular collective bargaining, in different countries. Such research should provide countries with knowledge to improve their own practices, enable improved responses to situations of crisis and to address obstacles in the ratification of Conventions Nos. 151 and 154. Building upon this foundation and in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Convention No. 151, this paper, drafted by Professor Lorenzo Bordogna of the University of Milan, presents a compilation of practices in collective agreements in the public service in the European Union. This selection shows how the principles of Convention No. 151 have been implemented through legislation and/or collective bargaining.
    Keywords: descriptor 1, descriptor 2, descriptor 3, descriptor 4
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Kyle Gatesman; James Unwin
    Abstract: We propose three novel gerrymandering algorithms which incorporate the spatial distribution of voters with the aim of constructing gerrymandered, equal-population, connected districts. Moreover, we develop lattice models of voter distributions, based on analogies to electrostatic potentials, in order to compare different gerrymandering strategies. Due to the probabilistic population fluctuations inherent to our voter models, Monte Carlo methods can be applied to the districts constructed via our gerrymandering algorithms. Through Monte Carlo studies we quantify the effectiveness of each of our gerrymandering algorithms and we also argue that gerrymandering strategies which do not include spatial data lead to (legally prohibited) highly disconnected districts. Of the three algorithms we propose, two are based on different strategies for packing opposition voters, and the third is a new approach to algorithmic gerrymandering based on genetic algorithms, which automatically guarantees that all districts are connected. Furthermore, we use our lattice voter model to examine the effectiveness of isoperimetric quotient tests and our results provide further quantitative support for implementing compactness tests in real-world political redistricting.
    Date: 2018–08
  16. By: Ernesto Dal Bó; Frederico Finan
    Abstract: We provide a model of self-selection by candidates in a probabilistic voting environment to shed light on the forces shaping the quality of politicians from both the supply and demand sides of politics. The model highlights that the patterns of selection and the comparative statics of politician quality depend critically on how the costs of running for office vary for candidates with different qualities. The model offers predictions on how the quality of the political class will vary with key parameters pertaining to both the supply and demand for candidates. We use the model to frame a review of the empirical literature on political selection that has emerged in the last two decades. We contrast areas where significant progress has been made with others where important theoretical predictions remain untested or existing evidence does not allow a consensus, highlighting areas for future research.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2018–06
  17. By: Mohamed Boly (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-Louis Combes (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Pascale Combes Motel (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: ln this paper we empirically explore how elections impact environmental degradation using a sample of 77 democratic countries over the period 1990-2014. Three key results emerge. First, election years are characterized by an increase in CO2 emissions, even though the effect seems to diminish over the recent years. Second, this effect is present only in established democracies, where fiscal manipulation by incumbents is done through the composition of spending rather than the level. Third, better access to information and the adoption of strict environmental policies reduce the size of this trade-off between pork-barrel spending and the public good, namely environment quality.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions, Elections, Environmental policy
    Date: 2018–07–27
  18. By: Fabian Paetzel (Department of Economics & FOR 2104, Helmut-Schmidt-University); Rupert Sausgruber (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: We study the role of performance differences in a task requiring cognitive effort on in-group bias. We show that the in-group bias is strong in groups consisting of high-performing members, and it is weak in low-performing groups. This holds although high-performing subjects exhibit no in-group bias as members of minimal groups, whereas low-performing subjects strongly do. We also observe instances of low-performing subjects punishing the in-group favoritism of low-performing peers. The same does not occur in high-performing or minimal groups where subjects generally accept that decisions are in-group biased.
    Keywords: cognitive ability, group identity, entitlements, social preferences, minimal groups, punishment, social norms, social status
    JEL: C92 D31 D63
    Date: 2018–08
  19. By: William Savedoff (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: In 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) endorsed the Bali Action Plan to pay for reductions in tropical deforestation. While many saw these initiatives as complementary, others considered the Bali Action Plan a threat to indigenous peoples’ rights. This paper reviews the history of efforts to protect indigenous rights and to pay for conserving forests and analyzes how they might be competing or complementary strategies. It then presents country experiences that show indigenous peoples have achieved tangible political benefits in many countries and internationally by using their leverage over and participation in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation Plus (REDD+) negotiations. Nevertheless, these experiences also show that insisting on preconditions for REDD+ national performance payments may have inadvertently harmed indigenous peoples by contributing to delays in implementation. Today, the movements for indigenous rights and for slowing deforestation are inextricably entwined. Whereas critics fear implementation of REDD+ will harm indigenous peoples, it is the failure of REDD+ programs to influence national action to slow deforestation which represents the greater risk. In this way, the two movements face a common challenge to refocus attention on the national policies and actions that must change to protect both indigenous rights and tropical forests.
    Keywords: REDD+, deforestation, climate change, economic development, indigenous peoples, human rights, public policy, political economy
    JEL: O19 Q01 Q23 Q28 P48
    Date: 2018–07–19
  20. By: Nigar Hashimzade (Durham University); Gareth Myles (University of Adelaide and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Hana Yousefi (KPMG)
    Abstract: Empirical evidence shows that both gender and household roles are significant explanatory variable for tax evasion. Why these variables matter cannot be explained by current evasion models which consider only individual choice. In this paper we study the evasion decision in a non-cooperative model of household decision making. Two members of a household choose how much to contribute to a household public good, how much self-employment income to evade, and how much income to shift between partners. We are interested in how different evasion possibilities interact with the contribution decisions to the household public good and the role of income transfers within the household. We show the household evasion decision differs from the individual decision because it affects the outcome of the household contribution game. When household members are taxed as individuals neutrality applies when choices are not constrained. If the evasion level of one household member is constrained then an income transfer can generate a Pareto improvement. When the household members are jointly taxed there is a couple constraint on strategies and corner solutions can emerge.
    Date: 2018–02
  21. By: Erol, Selman (Carnegie Mellon University); Lee, Michael Junho (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: This paper develops a model to study the formation and regulation of information transmission networks. We analyze a cat and mouse game between a regulator, who sets and enforces a regulatory environment, and agents, who form networks to disseminate and share insider information. For any given regulatory environment, agents adapt by forming networks that are sufficiently complex to circumvent prosecution by regulators. We show that regulatory ambiguity arises as an equilibrium phenomenon—regulators deliberately set broad regulatory boundaries in order to avoid explicit gaming by agents. As a response, we show that agents form a core-periphery network, with core members acting as conduits of information on behalf of their stakeholders, effectively intermediating all transmissions of information within the network.
    Keywords: network formation; insider trading; regulatory ambiguity; endogenous intermediation
    JEL: D85 G14 G20
    Date: 2018–08–01
  22. By: Iulia Monica, Oehler-Șincai; Costin, Lianu; Cristina, Ilie; Rădulescu, Irina
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze Romanian citizens’ attitudes and perceptions towards the 16+1 framework, their determinants and effects. The influencing factors are correlated with the general perception of China and its image, while the effects are seen from the perspectives of the engagement and level of participation in joint initiatives. Recent literature underscores that although this platform offers a range of opportunities in each of the nine pillars of sectoral cooperation, Romania has adopted a passive attitude as regards large-scale projects developed with Chinese partners. Beyond EU specific technical barriers to such projects, the Romanian attitudes towards the 16+1 strongly affected cooperation intensity with China. Positions towards this initiative (opinions from general public, elites, politicians and experts) are identified through three main channels: mass media research, individual interviews and focus groups. The quantitative analysis, combined with qualitative research, emphasizes that in spite of the recognition by some groups of the potential benefits offered by the cooperation in the 16+1 format, reluctance remains. This is not due to China’s assets-liabilities balance or the lack of capacity to understand China, but on both insufficient information on 16+1 and political inertia.
    Keywords: China, Central and Eastern Europe CEE, 16+1, attitude, perception, country image, cooperation
    JEL: F0 F00 F01 F02 F5 F50 F55 F59
    Date: 2017
  23. By: Enikolopov, Ruben
    Abstract: Using data from a field experiment across 500 villages in Afghanistan, we study how electoral accountability of local institutions affects the quality of governance. In villages with newly created elected councils, food aid distributed by local leaders is more likely to reach needy villagers. However, this effect is observed only if the council is mandated to be the entity responsible for managing the distribution. In the absence of such a mandate the presence of elected councils increases embezzlement without improving aid targeting. Thus, while elected councils can improve governance, unclear and overlapping mandates may increase rent-seeking and worsen governance outcomes.
    Keywords: democratization; field experiment; governance quality; Political Institutions
    JEL: D7 O1
    Date: 2018–07
  24. By: Christian Catalini; Christian Fons-Rosen; Patrick Gaulé
    Abstract: We develop a simple theoretical framework for thinking about how geographic frictions, and in particular travel costs, shape scientists' collaboration decisions and the types of projects that are developed locally versus over distance. We then take advantage of a quasi-experiment - the introduction of new routes by a low-cost airline - to test the predictions of the theory. Results show that travel costs constitute an important friction to collaboration: after a low-cost airline enters, the number of collaborations increases by 50%, a result that is robust to multiple falsification tests and causal in nature. The reduction in geographic frictions is particularly beneficial for high quality scientists that are otherwise embedded in worse local environments. Consistent with the theory, lower travel costs also endogenously change the types of projects scientists engage in at different levels of distance. After the shock, we observe an increase in higher quality and novel projects, as well as projects that take advantage of complementary knowledge and skills between sub-fields, and that rely on specialized equipment. We test the generalizability of our findings from chemistry to a broader dataset of scientific publications, and to a different field where specialized equipment is less likely to be relevant, mathematics. Last, we discuss implications for the formation of collaborative R&D teams over distance.
    JEL: L93 O18 O3 O31 O33 R4
    Date: 2018–06
  25. By: Sandra Polania Reyes
    Abstract: This economic lab in the field experiment tests the effects of recognition on voluntary contributions to a public good at the onset of a behavioral intervention. Using a within-subjects design to look at the behavioral differences between no recognition, group and private recognition, three hundred employees of a large Colombian corporation participated in an online public goods game before the intervention. After the intervention, a new selected sample was part of the same design. Recognition has a sizable effect on contributions. The intervention improves the response to private recognition but, strikingly, it has a distributional effect on the cooperative response to the group recognition.
    Keywords: lab in the field experiments, recognition, social innovation, cooperation
    JEL: C92 D70 D78 Z13
    Date: 2018–06–15
  26. By: Asara, Viviana
    Abstract: The "movements of the squares" involved first and foremost an awakening or re-discovering of the radical imagination both in the square encampments, and in later projects created with the movements' decentralizations. The new alternative projects born after the square have materialized the movements' radical imaginaries in urban environments, extending and deepening concerns of broad political change over everyday life. Based on ethnographic work on the Indignados' movement in the city of Barcelona, this paper delves more particularly into three Indignant urban projects. It untangles three common and interlinked radical imaginaries both embodied and actualized in participants' social practices, and further orienting their future visions: commons, autonomy and ecologism. Scrutinizing their meaning, it also sheds light on connected issues such new ways of interfacing with local state authorities and redefining the boundaries between the public and the common. It shows that the ecologism imaginary cannot be properly grasped if disconnected from the other two imaginaries, and argues that a transformative eco-politics can only be claimed as such if it is able to articulate such an integrated vision typical of "socio-environmental movements".
    Keywords: Indignados, imaginary, movement of the squares, commons, autonomy, environment
    Date: 2018

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