nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2018‒11‒05
thirteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Women’s representation in politics: voter bias, party bias, and electoral systems By Martín Gonzalez-Eiras
  2. Majority Judgment vs. Approval Voting By Michel Balinski; Rida Laraki
  3. Democracy and compliance in public goods games By Gallier, Carlo
  4. Weighted Committee Games By Kurz, Sascha; Mayer, Alexander; Napel, Stefan
  5. Changing Family Formation in an Asian Context: Same-sex Marriage and the Latest Developments By Yun-Hsien Diana LIN; Shang-Yun Li
  6. The Political Economy of European Asylum Policies By Drometer, Marcus; Méango, Romuald; Burmann, Martina
  7. Rent-seeking and the polarization of politics By Klingelhöfer, Jan
  8. A Dynamic Theory of Secession By Joan Esteban; Sabine Flamand; Massimo Morelli; Dominic Rohner
  9. Lock-in through passive connections By Cui, Zhiwei; Weidenholzer, Simon
  10. The quiet-loud-quiet politics of post-crisis consumer bankruptcy law: the case of Ireland and the Troika By Spooner, Joseph
  11. Corruption vs reforms: Why do voters prefer the former? By Fedotenkov, Igor
  12. The Politics of Attention By Li Hu; Anqi Li
  13. The uncovered set and the core: Cox's (1987) result revisited By Anindya Bhattacharya; Victoria Brosi; Francesco Ciardiello

  1. By: Martín Gonzalez-Eiras (University of Copenhagen; Sanz)
    Abstract: We study how electoral systems affect the presence of women in politics using a model in which both voters and parties might have a gender bias. We apply the model to Spanish municipal elections, in which national law mandates that municipalities follow one of two different electoral systems: a closed-list system in which voters pick one party-list, or an open-list system, in which voters pick individual candidates. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that the closed-list system increases the share of women among candidates and councilors by 2.5 percentage points, and the share of women among mayors by 4.3 percentage points. Our model explains these results as mostly driven by voter bias against women. We provide evidence that supports the mechanism of the model. In particular, we show that, when two councilors almost tied in general-election votes, the one with “one more vote” is substantially more likely to be appointed mayor, but this does not happen when the most voted was female and the second was male, suggesting the presence of some voter bias. We also show that, in a subsample of municipalities with low bias — proxied by having had a female mayor in the past — the difference between the two electoral systems disappears.
    Keywords: voting, electoral systems, gender bias, regression discontinuity
    JEL: D72 J16 J71
    Date: 2018–10
  2. By: Michel Balinski (CREST; CNRS; Ecole Polytechnique); Rida Laraki (CNRS, LAMSADE, Université Paris-Dauphine; PSL; Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool)
    Abstract: Majority judgment (MJ) and approval voting (AV) are compared in theory and practice. Criticisms of MJ and claims that AV is superior are refuted. The two primary criticisms have been that MJ is not "Condorcet-consistent" and that it admits the "no-show" paradox. That MJ is not Condorcet-consistent is a good property shared with AV: the domination paradox shows majority rule may well err in an election between two. Whereas the no-show paradox is in theory possible with MJ it is as a practical matter impossible. For those who believe this extremely rare phenomenon is important it is proven that MJ with three grades cannot admit the no-show paradox. In contrast; AV suffers from serious drawbacks because voters can only "tick" or "approve" candidates at best only Approve or Disapprove each candidate. With AV voters cannot express their opinions adequately; experiments show that Approve is not the opposite of Disapprove; and although AV does not admit the no-show paradox it admits the very closely allied "no-show syndrome and insensitivity." Two is too few. Substantive debate must concern three or more grades.
    Keywords: Majority judgment, majority rule, approval voting, Condorcetconsistency, domination paradox, no-show paradox, no-show syndrome.
    Date: 2018–10–01
  3. By: Gallier, Carlo
    Abstract: I investigate if, how, and why the effect of a contribution rule in a public goods game depends on how it is implemented: endogenously chosen or externally imposed. The rule prescribes full contributions to the public good backed by a nondeterrent sanction for those who do not comply. My experimental design allows me to disentangle to what extent the effect of the contribution rule under democracy is driven by self-selection of treatments, information transmitted via the outcome of the referendum, and democracy per se. In case treatments are endogenously chosen via a democratic decision-making process, the contribution rule significantly increases contributions to the public good. However, democratic participation does not affect participants’ contribution behavior directly, after controlling for self-selection of treatments and the information transmitted by voting.
    Keywords: Laboratory experiment,public good,democracy,endogenous institutions,voting,contribution rule,compliance
    JEL: C91 D02 D72 K42
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Kurz, Sascha; Mayer, Alexander; Napel, Stefan
    Abstract: Players in a committee, council, or electoral college often wield asymmetric numbers of votes. Binary decision environments are then conventionally modeled as weighted voting games. We introduce weighted committee games in order to describe decisions on three or more alternatives in similarly succinct fashion. We compare different voting weight configurations for plurality, Borda, Copeland, and antiplurality rule. The respective geometries and very different numbers of structurally non-equivalent committees have escaped notice so far. They determine voting equilibria, the distribution of power, and other aspects of collective choice.
    Keywords: voting games,weighted voting,geometry of voting,voting power,Borda rule,Copeland rule,plurality,antiplurality
    JEL: C71 D71 C63
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Yun-Hsien Diana LIN (National Tsing Hua University); Shang-Yun Li (National Tsing Hua University)
    Abstract: On May 24, 2017 Taiwan?s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, paving the way for Taiwan to become the first jurisdiction in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage and cementing its status as a beacon for LGBT rights. The Constitutional Court found that Taiwan Civil Code failed to provide two persons of the same gender the right to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature, and such failure violated constitutional guarantees on freedom of marriage. Taiwan?s parliament has two years to amend or enact laws addressing same-sex unions, otherwise gay couples will automatically be allowed to register under the current framework. As above court ruling made activists for LGBT rights proud and excited, how legal experts and lay people in Taiwan see the issue of same-sex marriage is worth exploring. Just a few months before this milestone judicial decision, the author was commissioned by Taiwan Department of Justice to draft Same-sex Civil Partnership Act (the Draft) under the consideration of potential social impact. In this capacity, sessions of focus group discussion were conducted, which consisted experts including family court judges, lawyers and advocates for LGBT rights and children's rights. And in-depth interviews with family law professors were completed to make the content of the Draft comprehensive and the wording more precise. Finally, based upon the theory of deliberative democracy, civil consensus conferences were held in four different cities in Taiwan to dialogue with the public in general on the topic of same-sex unions. The results of this research project reconfirms the diversity of opinions in the Taiwanese society. However, it is revealed that Taiwan's dynamic civil society is the basis for LGBT social movements and the later legal reform. It is also discovered that, to equalize the rights of same-sex partnerships to heterosexual marriages as much as possible is probably the position agreed by most participants of this project.
    Keywords: same-sex marriage, LGBT rights, social change, children's rights, deliberative democracy
    Date: 2018–07
  6. By: Drometer, Marcus; Méango, Romuald; Burmann, Martina
    Abstract: Despite widespread agreement that asylum policies are partly determined by political economy factors in the destination country, there is little empirical evidence on the precise linkage between those political factors and asylum policies. We shed light on this issue by examining the impact of elections and parties on first-time asylum applications. Our evidence is based on a large bilateral panel data set comprising 12 European destination countries and their 51 most relevant origin countries during the time period 2002 to 2014. Our findings suggest that the number of asylum applicants under left- and right-wing parties converges before elections and differs thereafter. This result is robust to several different specifications and suggests that both left- and right-wing cabinets choose moderate policies before an election and less moderate policies after it.
    Keywords: Electoral cycles,migration policies
    JEL: H11 D72 F22
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Klingelhöfer, Jan
    Abstract: I present a model in which a centrist electorate leads to partisan politics and vice versa. A centrist electorate benefits from an equilibrium in which only ideological politicians are elected in so far as ideological politicians are willing to give up more rents in return for a higher chance of being reelected than centrist politicians. However, in this .partisan equilibrium only centrist voters can commit to support ideological politicians in return for low levels of rent-seeking. Consequently, the more likely the centrist voters are to be decisive in the election, the lower are the rents that are consistent with equilibrium. If partisan voters are more likely to be decisive, rents in the partisan equilibrium are larger and the equilibrium might even cease to exist. However, there is an alternative equilibrium in which only centrist politicians run for o¢ ce. The model provides a possible explanation why wee see more partisan politicians being elected in the United States in recent years although the electorate seems not more partisan than before. One implication is that a reduction of rent seeking possibilities would have the additional bene.t of less volatile and less ideological policies.
    Keywords: Accountability,Elections,Downsian Competition,Voting,Political polarization
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Joan Esteban; Sabine Flamand; Massimo Morelli; Dominic Rohner
    Abstract: This paper builds a dynamic theory of secessions, conflictual or peaceful, analyzing the forward looking interaction between groups in a country. The proposed framework allows us to jointly address several key stylized facts on secession, and generates several novel predictions. We find that if a group out of power is small enough, then the group in power can always maintain peace with an acceptable offer of surplus sharing for every period, while when there is a mismatch between the relative size and the relative surplus contribution of the minority group, conflict followed by secession can occur. Accepted peaceful secession is predicted for large groups of similar prosperity, and higher patience is associated to a higher chance of secession. We formulate as a result a number of policy recommendations on various dimensions of federalism and other institutions.
    Keywords: secessions, conflict, surplus sharing, mismatch
    JEL: C70 D74
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Cui, Zhiwei; Weidenholzer, Simon
    Abstract: We consider a model of social coordination and network formation where agents decide on an action in a coordination game and on whom to establish costly links to. We study the role of passive connections; these are connections to a given agent that are supported by other agents. Such passive connections may inhibit agents from switching actions and links, as this may result in a loss of payoff received through them. When agents are constrained in the number of links they may support, this endogenously arising form of lock-in leads to mixed profiles, where different agents choose different actions, being included in the set of Nash equilibria. Depending on the precise parameters of the model, risk- dominant, payoff- dominant, or mixed profiles are stochastically stable. Thus, agents’ welfare may be lower as compared to the case where payoff is only received through active links. The network formed by agents plays a crucial role for the propagation of actions, it allows for a contagious spread of risk dominant actions and evolves as agents change their links and actions.
    Date: 2018–10–22
  10. By: Spooner, Joseph
    Abstract: A decade after the Global Financial Crisis, many developed economies continue to strain under excessive household debt. This article presents evidence suggesting that the failure of policymakers to enact debt relief measures may lie in the superior influence of the coordinated and concentrated financial sector over legislative processes as compared to the diffuse and disorganised interests of consumer debtors. Post-crisis popular interest in technical issues of personal insolvency law created only a narrow space of political opportunity. Soon these questions returned to the domain of technocratic actors and corporate influence. The article examines this situation through an inter-disciplinary case study of consumer bankruptcy reform in Ireland under ‘Troika’ supervision. Proposals initially billed as assisting over-indebted households developed into increasingly creditor-friendly legislation in ‘quieter’ stages of technocratic decision-making. The stark implications of these findings highlight obstacles to resolving household debt problems and consequent risks of economic and political instability
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Fedotenkov, Igor
    Abstract: In this paper, we address the question of why voters tolerate corrupt politicians. Standard economic techniques such as expected utility maximization under uncertainty are employed. We show that a corrupt politician is less likely to institute reforms which can cause short-term losses for voters during a transitional period or lead with some probability to non-success. Voters' higher risk aversion causes an increased fear of reforms and higher tolerance for corruption. We also show that during an economic crisis the corruptionists' optimal strategy is not to institute reforms, as models with honest politicians predict, but to reduce the level of corruption. Using panel data techniques, we show that such a strategy is in line with the empirical CIS data; however, it follows with a short delay.
    Keywords: Corruption; politician; median voter; reforms; risk aversion
    JEL: D72 D73 D79 E60 I38 O43
    Date: 2018–10–18
  12. By: Li Hu; Anqi Li
    Abstract: We develop an equilibrium theory of attention and politics. In a spatial model of electoral competition where candidates have varying policy preferences, we examine what kinds of political behaviors capture voter's limited attention and how this concern in turn affects political outcomes. Following the seminal work of Downs (1957), we assume that voters are rationally inattentive and can process information about candidates' random policies at a cost proportional to entropy reduction as in Sims (1998) and Sims (2003). Two salient patterns emerge in equilibrium as we increase the attention cost or garble the news technology: first, arousing and attracting voter's attention becomes harder; second, doing so leads the varying types of the candidates to adopt extreme and exaggerated policy and issue positions. We supplement our analysis with historical accounts, and discuss its relevance in the new era featured with greater media choices and distractions, as well as the rise of partisan media and fake news.
    Date: 2018–10
  13. By: Anindya Bhattacharya; Victoria Brosi; Francesco Ciardiello
    Abstract: In this work first it is shown that in contradiction to the well-known claim in Cox (1987) (repeated in a number of subsequent works), the uncovered set in a multidimensional spatial voting situation (under the usual regularity conditions) does not necessarily coincide with the core even when the core is singleton: in particular, the posited coincidence result, while true for an odd number of voters, may cease to be true when the number of voters is even. Then we provide a characterization result for the case with even number of voters: a singleton core is the uncovered set in this case if and only if the unique element in the core is the Condorcet winner.
    Keywords: Spatial Voting Games; Uncovered set; Core; Stable Set.
    JEL: D71 C71
    Date: 2018–10

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