nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2018‒12‒17
eighteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Variable Competence and Collective Performance: Unanimity vs. Simple Majority Rule By BAHARAD, Eyal; BEN-YASHAR, Ruth; NITZAN, Shmuel
  2. Immigrant Voters, Taxation and the Size of the Welfare State By Arnaud Chevalier; Benjamin Elsner; Andreas Lichter; Nico Pestel
  3. Sincere voting, strategic voting A laboratory experiment using alternative proportional systems By Isabelle Lebon; Antoinette Baujard; Frédéric Gavrel; Herrade Igersheim; Jean-François Laslier
  4. Popularity shocks and political selection By Gianmarco Daniele; Francisco Cavalcanti; Sergio Galletta
  5. Distributive politics inside the city? The political economy of Spain’s plan E By Felipe Carozzi; Luca Repetto
  6. Abandon ship? Party brands and politicians’responses to a political scandal By Gianmarco Daniele; Benny Geys; Sergio Galletta
  7. Do Electoral Rules Matter for Female Representation? By Paola Profeta; Eleanor Woodhouse
  8. The institutional determinants of Southern secession By Mario Chacón; Jeffrey Jensen
  9. Corrupted Votes and Rule Compliance By Arno Apffelstaedt; Jana Freundt; ;
  10. Private vs Public incentives: an experiment on motivation crowding and social trust By Simone D'Alessandro; Caterina Giannetti; Pietro Guarnieri
  11. What exactly is public in a public good game? A lab-in-the-field experiment By Pietro Battiston; Simona Gamba; Matteo Rizzolli; Valentina Rotondi
  12. The Effect of Initial Inequality on Meritocracy: a Voting Experiment on Tax Redistribution By Natalia Jimenez; Elena Molis-Bañales; Angel Solano-Garcia
  13. Who has the critical vote? Power ranking of MEPs in the Agricultural Committee of the European Parliament By Kovacs, A.; Ferto, I.; Koczy, L.; Sziklai, B.; Nas, A.A.
  14. Electoral cycles in perceived corruption: International empirical evidence By Niklas Potrafke
  15. The Geography of Repression and Support for Democracy: Evidence from the Pinochet Dictatorship By María Angelica Bautista; Felipe González; Luis R. Martínez; Pablo Munoz; Mounu Prem
  16. Team Learning Capabilities: A Meso Model of Sustained Innovation and Superior Firm Performance By Jean-François Harvey; Henrik Bresman; Amy C. Edmondson
  17. The Rational Public? Internal Migration and Collective Opinion about the European Union By Anne Marie Jeannet
  18. Buying Votes and International Organizations: The Dirty Work-Hypothesis By Axel Dreher; Valentin F. Lang; B. Peter Rosendorff; James Raymond Vreeland

  1. By: BAHARAD, Eyal; BEN-YASHAR, Ruth; NITZAN, Shmuel
    Abstract: Under the unanimity rule, a single voter may alter a decision that is unanimously accepted by all other voters. Under the simple majority rule, the impact of such a voter diminishes. This paper examines the marginal effect of competence on the collective performance – the likelihood of reaching a correct decision. It is shown that under the unanimity rule (simple majority rule), adding an incompetent voter to the group is inferior (superior) to giving up an existing competent voter. The negative impact of an incompetent voter cannot (can) always be balanced by adding a competent one when the decision mechanism is the unanimity (simple majority) rule. Moreover, improving a single voter's competence may have a greater effect on the collective performance under the simple majority rule relative to the unanimity rule.
    Keywords: Unanimity rule, simple majority rule, voters' competence, collective performance
    Date: 2018–11
  2. By: Arnaud Chevalier; Benjamin Elsner; Andreas Lichter; Nico Pestel
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of immigration on public policy setting. As a natural experiment, we exploit the sudden arrival of eight million forced migrants in West Germany after World War II. These migrants were on average poorer than the West German population, but unlike most international migrants they had full voting rights and were eligible for social welfare. Using panel data for West German cities and applying difference-in-differences and an instrumental variables approach, we show that local governments responded to this migration shock with selective and persistent tax raises as well as shifts in spending. In response to the inflow, farm and business owners were taxed more while residential property and wage bill taxes were left unchanged. Moreover, high-inflow cities significantly raised welfare spending while reducing spending on infrastructure and housing. Election data suggest that these policy changes were partly driven by the political influence of the immigrants: in high-inflow regions, the major parties were more likely to nominate immigrants as candidates, and a pro-immigrant party received high vote shares. We further document that this episode of mass immigration had lasting effects on people’s preferences for redistribution. In areas with larger inflows in the 1940s, people have substantially higher demand for redistribution more than 50 years later.
    Keywords: Migration; Taxation; Spending; Welfare state
    JEL: J61 H25
    Date: 2018–08
  3. By: Isabelle Lebon (CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), University of Caen Normandie, 14 000 Caen, France, and Condorcet Center); Antoinette Baujard (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne (UMR CNRS 5824), University Jean Monnet and University of Lyon, 42 023 Saint-Etienne, France); Frédéric Gavrel (CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), University of Caen Normandie, 14 000 Caen, France, and Condorcet Center); Herrade Igersheim (CNRS and Beta (UMR CNRS 7522), University of Strasbourg, 67 085 Strasbourg, France); Jean-François Laslier (CNRS and PJSE (UMR CNRS 8545), 75014 Paris, France)
    Abstract: In two laboratory surveys run in France during the 2014 European Elections, we asked the participants to provide their personal evaluations of the parties in terms of ideological proximity, and asked how they would vote under three proportional, closed-list voting rules : the (official) single-vote rule, a split-my-vote rule, and a list-approval rule. The paper analyzes the relation between opinions and vote, under the three systems. Compared to multi-vote rules, the single-vote system leads to voters’ decisions that are more often strategic but also more often sincere. Sincere voting and strategic voting therefore appear to be more consistent than contradictory. Multi-vote rules allow the voter to express complex behavior, and the concepts of “sincere” and “strategic” voting are not always sufficient to render this complexity.
    Keywords: Approval voting, Cumulative voting, Proportional systems, Contextualized experiment, Laboratory experiment, Strategic voting
    JEL: D72 C93
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Gianmarco Daniele (Bocconi University (Baffi Carefin) & Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB)); Francisco Cavalcanti (Universitat de Barcelona & Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB)); Sergio Galletta (Universitat de Barcelona, Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB), Institute of Economics (IdEP) & University of Lugano (USI))
    Abstract: We observe that popularity shocks are crucial for electoral accountability beyond their effects on voters’ behaviors. By focusing on Brazilian politics, we show that the disclosure of audit reports on the (mis)use of federal funds by local administrators affects the type of candidates who stand for election. When the audit finds low levels of corruption, the parties supporting the incumbent select less-educated candidates. On the contrary, parties pick more-educated candidates when the audit reveals a high level of corruption. These effects are stronger in municipalities that have easier access to local media.
    Keywords: Political selection, corruption, competence, local election, political parties
    JEL: D70 D72 D73
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Felipe Carozzi (London School of Economics); Luca Repetto (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: We study distributive politics inside cities by analysing how local governments allocate investment projects to voters across neighbourhoods. In particular, we ask whether politicians use investment to target their own supporters. To this aim, we use detailed geo-located investment data from Plan E, a large fiscal stimulus program carried out in Spain in 2009-2011. Our empirical strategy is based on a close-elections regression-discontinuity design. In contrast to previous studies – which use aggregate data at the district or municipal level – we exploit spatial variation in both investment and voter support within municipalities and find no evidence of supporter targeting. Complementary results indicate that voters may be responding to investment by increasing turnout. Overall, our findings suggest that distributive politics only play a minor role inside the city.
    Keywords: Political economy, distributive politics, partisan alignment, local governments
    JEL: H70 R53 D72
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Gianmarco Daniele (Bocconi University (Baffi Carefin) & Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB)); Benny Geys (BI Norwegian Business School); Sergio Galletta (Universitat de Barcelona, Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB), Institute of Economics (IdEP) & University of Lugano (USI))
    Abstract: How do politicians react to a political earthquake? 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 early government terminations in such municipalities. Moreover, politicians in parties hit by the scandal exhibit higher rates of party switching and lower re-running rates. By decreasing the value of the party “brand”, scandals thus 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: 2018
  7. By: Paola Profeta; Eleanor Woodhouse
    Abstract: How do electoral rules affect the representation of women? We collect panel data on the universe of Italian politicians from all levels of government over the period 1987-2013 and obtain a complete picture of the career paths of male and female politicians across the whole arc of their careers in public office. We use our unique dataset to analyse the effects on female political representation of an Italian reform which, in 2005, changed the electoral rule for national elections from (mostly) majoritarian to proportional, but did not affect sub-national level elections. We find that proportional electoral rules favour the election of women. We propose a new channel through which this result is obtained, related to the different nature of political competition in the two electoral systems: under proportional rules, parties place women less frequently in competitive seats. This is consistent with the fact that proportional systems value gender diversity more than majoritarian ones, while majoritarian systems rely on head-to-head electoral races, which are not gender neutral. We also find that electoral rules have weaker effects on female representation in geographical areas where traditional gender roles are dominant.
    Keywords: Electoral reforms; Majoritarian; Proportional; Electoral Competition; Political Selection, Difference-in-Differences
    Date: 2018–06
  8. By: Mario Chacón (New York University Abu Dhabi); Jeffrey Jensen (New York University Abu Dhabi)
    Abstract: We use the Southern secession movement of 1860-1861 to study how elites in democracy enact their preferred policies. Most states used specially convened conventions to determine whether or not to secede from the Union. We argue that although the delegates of these conventions were popularly elected, the electoral rules favored slaveholders. Using an original dataset of representation in each convention, we first demonstrate that slave-intensive districts were systematically overrepresented. Slave-holders were also spatially concentrated and could thereby obtain local pluralities in favor of secession more easily. As a result of these electoral biases, less than 10% of the electorate was sufficient to elect a majority of delegates in four of the six original Confederate states. We also show how delegates representing slave-intensive counties were more likely to support secession. These factors explain the disproportionate influence of slaveholders during the crisis and why secessionists strategically chose conventions over statewide referenda.
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Arno Apffelstaedt; Jana Freundt (Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania); ;
    Abstract: We study experimentally how people’s willingness to comply with elected rules is affected by voter manipulation and disenfranchisement. Groups of 100 subjects vote on a “code of conduct” regarding behavior in a dictator game. Introducing a voting fee, offering subjects money to change their votes, or excluding the votes of low-income subjects leads to a strong decline in voluntary compliance with elected rules that ask subjects to give. Rules that ask subjects to not give see no decline. Heterogeneity in behavioral reactions suggests that treatment effects are driven by preferences for democratic participation and by preferences for unbiased election procedures.
    JEL: D02 D72 D91
    Date: 2018–12
  10. By: Simone D'Alessandro; Caterina Giannetti; Pietro Guarnieri
    Abstract: Relying on a threshold public good game, we experimentally investigate the effect of two types of incentives on prosocial behaviours. On the one hand, a private type of incentive targets individuals by reducing their cost of contribution. On the other hand, a public type of incentive targets groups by providing an investment that directly support the achievement of the collective objective (i.e. the threshold in the public good game). Thus, we study how expectations on others determine the impact of incentives on prosocial behaviours and how incentives themselves affect these expectations in turn. We interpret this mutual relation as reflecting an endogenous relation between incentive provision and social trust.
    Keywords: Motivation crowding, Social Norms, Incentives
    JEL: C92 D04
    Date: 2018–11–01
  11. By: Pietro Battiston; Simona Gamba; Matteo Rizzolli; Valentina Rotondi
    Abstract: Are public good games really capturing individuals' willingness to contribute to real-life public goods? To answer this question, we conducted a lab-in-the-field experiment with communities who own collective goods. In our experiment, subjects voluntarily contribute to a common pool, which can either be subdivided in individual vouchers, as in standard public good games, or used to acquire collective goods, as it happens for real-life public goods. We show that participants' contributions are larger when the voucher is paid individually, suggesting that individuals' willingness to contribute to public goods may be overestimated when based on results from laboratory experiments.
    Keywords: ublic goods, lab-in-the-field experiment, cooperation, group behavior, community, indivisibility
    Date: 2018–10
  12. By: Natalia Jimenez (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide & Middlesex University); Elena Molis-Bañales (Departamento de Teoria e Historia Economica, University of Granada & Globe); Angel Solano-Garcia (Departamento de Teoria e Historia Economica, University of Granada & Globe)
    Abstract: According to Alesina and Angeletos (2005), societies are less redistributive but more efficient when the median voter believes that effort and talent are much more important than luck to determine income. We test these results through a lab experiment in which participants vote over the tax rate and their pre-tax income is determined according to their performance in a real effort task with leisure time. Subjects receive either a high or a low wage and this condition is either obtained through their talent in a tournament or randomly assigned. We compare subjects' decisions in these two different scenarios considering different levels of wage inequality. In our framework, this initial income inequality turns out to be crucial to support the theoretical hypothesis of Alesina and Angeletos (2005). Overall, we find that, only if the wage inequality is high, subjects choose a lower level of income redistribution and they provide a higher effort level in the scenario in which high-wage subjects are selected based on their talent through a tournament (than when it is randomly). Thus, we confirm almost all theoretical results in Alesina and Angeletos (2005) when the wage inequality is high enough. The big exception is for efficiency (measured as the sum of total payoffs), since theoretical results only hold for the scenario in which wage inequality is low.
    Keywords: income redistribution, voting, taxation, real-effort task, leisure.
    JEL: C92 D72 H30 J41
    Date: 2018–12
  13. By: Kovacs, A.; Ferto, I.; Koczy, L.; Sziklai, B.; Nas, A.A.
    Abstract: We analyze the voting power of the members of the agricultural committee of the European Parliament using a spatial Banzhaf power index. Using a novel dataset of roll-call votes in the current EP-term, we identify critical members whose votes are necessary to form winning coalitions. We found that committee members with formal positions, EP group coordinators as well as German, French, Italian and British members are powerful actors. Nevertheless, rapporteurs are not necessarily influential. We also concluded that members with moderate ideological position but from Member States with extreme agricultural importance are the most powerful ones. Acknowledgement :
    Keywords: Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2018–07
  14. By: Niklas Potrafke
    Abstract: Perceived corruption in the public sector is measured by the reversed Transparency International’s Perception of Corruption Index (CPI). The dataset includes around 100 democracies over the period 2012–2016, a sample for which the CPI is comparable across countries and over time. The results show that the reversed CPI was about 0.4 points higher in election years than in other years, indicating that perceived corruption in the public sector increased before elections. The effect is especially pronounced before early elections (1.0 points) compared to regular elections (0.4 points). Future research needs to investigate why perceived corruption in the public sector increased before elections.
    Keywords: Perceived corruption, elections, political manipulation, panel data, democracies
    JEL: C23 D72 H11 K40
    Date: 2018
  15. By: María Angelica Bautista; Felipe González; Luis R. Martínez; Pablo Munoz; Mounu Prem
    Abstract: We show that exposure to repression under dictatorship increases support for democracy and contributes to regime change when a democratic window of opportunity arises. Studying the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, we exploit the fact that the predetermined location of military bases predicts local levels of civilian victimization, but is unrelated to historical political preferences. Using two-stage least squares, we show that increased exposure to repression during the dictatorship led to higher voter registration and higher opposition to Pinochet’s continuation in power in the 1988 plebiscite that triggered the democratic transition. Complementary survey data confirms that individuals with greater exposure to repression during the military regime continue to have stronger preferences for democracy. However, exposure to repression does not affect election outcomes after democratization.
    Keywords: Chile, human rights, repression, dictatorship, democratization, elections
    JEL: D72 N46
    Date: 2018–12–03
  16. By: Jean-François Harvey (HEC Montréal); Henrik Bresman (INSEAD); Amy C. Edmondson (Harvard Business School, Technology and Operations Management Unit)
    Abstract: This paper complements the manager-centered analysis of dynamic capabilities with a team-based approach focused on team learning. We argue that team learning capabilities intertwine with managerial cognitive capabilities to support the processes of sensing, seizing, and reconfiguring. We draw from the literature on team learning to develop four categories based on the orientation (exploration/exploitation) and locus (internal/external) of learning in teams: reflexive, experimental, contextual, and vicarious learning. We integrate these categories into the dynamic capabilities framework to show their particular relevance at different points along the sensing-seizing-reconfiguring pathway, and assess their potential impact on innovation and strategic change. The framework contributes by adding a meso lens to research on dynamic capabilities to help scholars better understand how learning that occurs in teams may support entrepreneurial managers in enacting their cognitive capabilities in service of sustained innovation and superior firm performance.
    Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, Innovation, Strategic change, Team learning
    Date: 2018–12
  17. By: Anne Marie Jeannet
    Abstract: Pal though the European Union allows citizens from member countries to migrate freely within its confines to facilitate integration, it may be alienating public support for Europe. This paper investigates this by extending group threat theory to explain how internal migration influences mass public support using annual data from 1998 to 2014 across 15 Western European countries. We find that increases in the presence of foreigners from new member countries in Central and Eastern Europe have raised collective concerns about EU membership and there is some evidence that it may have eroded trust in European institutions as well. The results also show that this effect is exacerbated during an economic downturn. Our findings imply that collective opinion has responded ‘rationally’ to contextual changes in Europe’s internal migration patterns. The study concludes by discussing how group threat theory is relevant for understanding collective sentiment about the European Union.
    Keywords: Public Opinion, European Union, EU attitudes, immigration
    Date: 2017–05
  18. By: Axel Dreher; Valentin F. Lang; B. Peter Rosendorff; James Raymond Vreeland
    Abstract: We show how major shareholders can exploit their power over international organizations to hide their foreign-policy interventions from domestic audiences. We argue that major powers exert influence bilaterally when domestic audiences view the intervention favorably. When domestic audiences are more skeptical of a target country, favors are granted via international organizations. We test this theory empirically by examining how the United States uses bilateral aid and IMF loans to buy other countries’ votes in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Introducing new data on voting behavior in the UNSC over the 1960-2015 period, our results show that states allied with the US receive more bilateral aid when voting in line with the United States in the UNSC, while concurring votes of states less allied with the US are rewarded with loans from the IMF. Temporary UNSC members that vote against the United States do not receive such perks.
    Keywords: United Nations Security Council, voting, aid, IMF
    JEL: O11 O19 F35
    Date: 2018

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