nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒01‒07
twelve papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Incentivising Participation in Liquid Democracy with Breadth First Delegation By Grammateia Kotsialou; Luke Riley
  2. Manipulated Electorates and Information Aggregation By Mehmet Ekmekci; Stephan Lauermann
  3. Immigration and anti-immigrant sentiments: Evidence from the 2017 German parliamentary election By Kellermann, Kim Leonie; Winter, Simon
  4. Election Outcomes and Individual Well-being: Evidence from British Panel Data By Daniel Gray; Harry Pickard; Luke Munford
  5. The Last will be First, and the First Last: Segregation in Societies with Positional Externalities By Herings, P. Jean-Jacques; Saulle, Riccardo; Seel, Christian
  6. Electoral Cycles in Perceived Corruption: International Empirical Evidence By Niklas Potrafke
  7. Why Contribute to Alliances? An Information Aggregation Approach By Raghul Venkatesh
  8. Identity, Beliefs, and Political Conflict By Gennaioli, Nicola; Tabellini, Guido
  9. Crime and punishment the British way: accountability channels following the MPs’ expenses scandal By Larcinese, Valentino; Sircar, Indraneel
  10. Africa’s New Social Movements: A Continental Approach By Hisham Aidi
  11. Fair and Efficient Division among Families By Sophie Bade; Erel Segal-Halevi
  12. Urban movements and the genealogy of urban rights discourses: the case of urban protesters against redevelopment and displacement in Seoul, South Korea By Shin, Hyun Bang

  1. By: Grammateia Kotsialou; Luke Riley
    Abstract: Liquid democracy allows an agent to either vote directly over the available alternatives (candidates) of an election, or to delegate her voting rights to another agent (her guru) who can then vote on her behalf. In the academic literature and industrial applications of liquid democracy, each agent is usually allowed to nominate only one guru per election. However, if the nominated guru does not participate in the election, then the votes delegated to this guru will be wasted. To minimise the possibility of wasted votes, each agent can declare a personal ranking over her most desirable gurus, e.g, as in GoogleVotes. In this paper, we show that even if personal rankings over gurus are declared, the common delegation method of liquid democracy (which we call Depth First Delegation) remains problematic. More specifically, we show that if personal rankings over gurus are declared under the Depth First Delegation rule, there can be gurus who become worst off by receiving a delegated vote. To solve this issue, firstly we introduce a general framework for voting systems that allow delegation of voting rights. The key feature of this framework is the delegation rule function, which when instantiated details who receives each delegated vote. Secondly, we propose a delegation rule function instantiation that we call Breadth First Delegation. Given that personal rankings over gurus are declared, this is the first rule where every agent weakly prefers receiving a delegated vote.
    Date: 2018–11
  2. By: Mehmet Ekmekci; Stephan Lauermann
    Abstract: We study the aggregation of dispersed information in elections in which turnout may depend on the state. State-dependent turnout may arise from the actions of a biased and informed "election organizer." Voters are symmetric ex ante and prefer policy a in state α and policy b in state β, but the organizer prefers policy a regardless of the state. Each recruited voter observes a private signal about the unknown state but does not learn the turnout. First, we characterize how the outcomes of large elections depend on the turnout pattern across states. In contrast to existing results for large elections, there are equilibria in which information aggregation fails whenever there is an asymmetry in turnout; information aggregation is only guaranteed in all equilibria if turnout is state independent. Second, when the turnout is the result of costly voter recruitment by a biased organizer, the organizer can ensure that its favorite policy a is implemented with high probability independent of the state as the voter recruitment cost vanishes. Moreover, information aggregation will fail in all equilibria. The critical observation is that a vote is more likely to be pivotal for the decision if turnout is smaller, leading to a systematic bias of the decision toward the low-turnout state.
    Keywords: Voting, Information Aggregation
    JEL: C70 D80
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Kellermann, Kim Leonie; Winter, Simon
    Abstract: We empirically examine the relationship between shares of foreigners in a district and the share of votes cast in that district for the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), the major anti-immigrant party in the 2017 German parliamentary election. The classic theory on the political economy of migration supposes that immigration fosters opposing sentiments among the natives due to fiercer competition for jobs, housing and public goods. Notably, the vote distribution in the 2017 election suggests that AfD vote shares are higher in districts with fewer foreign inhabitants. We exploit administrative data on election results and district-specific features to study a potentially causal effect. As the share of foreigners in a district may be endogenous, we apply an IV approach, using the number of working permits as an instrument for the share of foreign residents. Our results corroborate the Contact Theory, which states that more intensive exposure to and contact with immigrants reduce the propensity for anti-immigrant voting. We find that a 10 % increase in the population share of foreigners is associated with a 2.6 % lower vote share for the AfD. By contrast, a strong increase in the number of asylum seekers positively adds to AfD support.
    Keywords: migration,anti-immigrant parties,contact theory,ethnic competition,economic competition
    JEL: D72 D91 J15
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Daniel Gray (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK); Harry Pickard (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK); Luke Munford (School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester, UK)
    Abstract: Given the recent seismic changes in the political landscape across Europe and in the US, it is important to understand how voting behaviour and election results in influence an individual's subjective well-being. Exploiting novel longitudinal data on individuals in the UK matched to their parliamentary constituency, we find that supporting the incumbent political party exerts a positive influence on individual well-being. This relationship is different across overall life satisfaction and psychological well-being, gender and personal characteristics. Potential endogeneity concerns are addressed in two ways; we employ an instrumental variable approach and a regression discontinuity in time design to estimate the impact of a quasi-natural experiment. The results relating to the instrumental variable approach support the positive relationship between national and constituency incumbency support and well-being. In the regression discontinuity in time design, we identify a causal relationship by exploiting the timing of survey questions around the 2010 election date. We find that Liberal Democrat supporters have approximately one-unit higher level of overall life satisfaction after their party's surprise electoral success.
    Keywords: Election Results; Subjective Well-being; United Kingdom; Voting Behaviour
    JEL: D0 D1 D6 H1
    Date: 2018–12
  5. By: Herings, P. Jean-Jacques (General Economics 1 (Micro)); Saulle, Riccardo (General Economics 1 (Micro)); Seel, Christian (General Economics 1 (Micro))
    Abstract: This paper studies coalition formation among individuals who differ in productivity. The output of a coalition is determined by the sum of productivities if the coalition exceeds a minimal threshold of members. We consider competitive societies in which the surplus of a coalition is split according to productivity and egalitarian societies in which coalitions split their surplus equally. Preferences of coalition members depend on their material payoffs, but are also influenced by positional concerns, which relate their material payoffs to the average material payoff in the coalition. Our analysis uses two stability notions, the Core and the Myopic Stable Set. Both competitive and egalitarian societies lead to segregated partition structures. For competitive societies, all stable allocations are based on bottom-up segregation, i.e., individuals with adjacent productivities form coalitions and if some individuals are not part of a productive coalition, then these are the most productive ones. For egalitarian societies, we obtain top-down segregation in all stable allocations. Again it holds that individuals with adjacent productivities form coalitions, but now the least productive individuals may not be part of any productive coalition. If all individuals have different productivity levels, then the material efficiency of competitive societies is below that of egalitarian societies.
    Keywords: group formation, segregation, relative payoff, Egalitarianism, Meritocracy, social environment
    JEL: C70 C71 D62
    Date: 2018–12–17
  6. By: Niklas Potrafke
    Abstract: I examine whether elections influence perceived corruption in the public sector. 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
  7. By: Raghul Venkatesh (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Information sharing to achieve a foreign policy objective is an important feature of modern day alliances between countries. We develop a model of strategic communication to study information aggregation within an alliance. In an alliance, i) there is public communication (cheap talk) of private information by members; ii) the actions of players are strategic substitutes; iii) there are resource constraints on actions; and, iv) members have heterogeneous preferences over final outcomes. Our analysis uncovers a novel incentive for information aggregation – the extent of resource constraints on alliance members. Specifically, truthful information sharing depends on the size of bounds on each players' action space. We show that public communication protocol can support information aggregation as long as preferences of alliance members are sufficiently cohesive with respect to the bounds on actions. We derive a precise characterization of cohesiveness within an alliance as a function of the biases and the resource constraints of alliance members. Further, our theory provides an informational rationale for alliance formation between countries.
    Date: 2018–12
  8. By: Gennaioli, Nicola; Tabellini, Guido
    Abstract: We present a theory of identity politics that builds on two ideas. First, voters identify with the social group whose interests are closest to theirs and that features the strongest policy conflict with outgroups. Second, identification causes voters to slant their beliefs toward the group's distinctive opinion. The theory yields two main implications: i) voters' beliefs are polarized and distorted along group boundaries; ii) economic shocks that induce new cleavages to emerge also bring about large changes in beliefs and preferences across many policy issues. In particular, exposure to globalization or cultural changes may induce voters to switch identities, dampening their demand for redistribution and exacerbating conflicts in other social dimensions. We show that survey evidence is consistent with these implications.
    Date: 2018–12
  9. By: Larcinese, Valentino; Sircar, Indraneel
    Abstract: Does democracy make politicians accountable? And which role does information play in the accountability process? There are several reasons making the 2009 {UK} expenses scandal an ideal setting to answer these questions. Our study of the scandal reaches two main conclusions: 1) the removal of corrupt politicians happens mostly at the pre-election stage; 2) information availability is a crucial ingredient in the accountability process. We also show that punishment was directed to individual {MPs} rather than their parties and that voters displayed a substantial partisan bias, not only at the voting stage but also by perceiving co-partisan {MPs} to be less involved in the scandal. Ceteris paribus, female {MPs} attracted more press coverage and, for the same amount of coverage, were more likely to stand down. Finally, we show that press coverage was ideologically balanced, i.e., newspapers with different ideological leaning devoted similar amount of news to each MP.
    Keywords: mass media; accountability; corruption; voting; partisan bias; female politicians
    JEL: F3 G3
    Date: 2017–03–01
  10. By: Hisham Aidi
    Abstract: Scholars of social movements and global protest have long neglected social movements in Africa, ostensibly because African societies are too rural, too tradition- or ethnicity-bound, or lacking advanced class formations. Those who have broached the topic tend to focus on South Africa’s labor movement and anti-apartheid struggle. Even less addressed is how social movements in various parts of the continent have affected each other. A continent-wide approach however shows that protests in sub-Saharan Africa preceded the North African uprisings, by almost a decade. These protests had similar objectives and faced comparable obstacles, yet much of the scholarship on the “Arab Spring” has ignored the sub-Saharan connections and precedents. How did these movements build on earlier waves of political agitation? How do these “protest coalitions” combine political and economic motivations?
    Date: 2018–11
  11. By: Sophie Bade; Erel Segal-Halevi
    Abstract: Fair division theory mostly involves individual consumption. But resources are often allocated to groups, such as families or countries, whose members consume the same bundle but have different preferences. Do fair and efficient allocations exist in such an "economy of families"? We adapt three common notions of fairness: fair-share, no-envy and egalitarian-equivalence, to an economy of families. The stronger adaptation --- individual fairness --- requires that each individual in each family perceives the division as fair; the weaker one --- family fairness --- requires that the family as a whole, treated as a single agent with (typically) incomplete preferences, perceives the division as fair. Individual-fair-share, family-no-envy and family-egalitarian-equivalence are compatible with efficiency under broad conditions. The same holds for individual-no-envy when there are only two families. In contrast, individual-no-envy with three or more families and individual-egalitarian-equivalence with two or more families are typically incompatible with efficiency, unlike the situation in an economy of individuals. The common market equilibrium approach to fairness is of limited use in economies with families. In contrast, the leximin approach is broadly applicable: it yields an efficient, individual-fair-share, and family-egalitarian-equivalent allocation.
    Date: 2018–11
  12. By: Shin, Hyun Bang
    Abstract: Despite significant contributions made to progressive urban politics, contemporary debates on cities and social justice are in need of adequately capturing the local historical and socio-political processes of how people have come to perceive the concept of rights in their struggles against the hegemonic establishments. These limitations act as constraints on overcoming hegemony imposed by the ruling class on subordinate classes, and restrict a contextual understanding of such concepts as ‘the right to the city’ in non-Western contexts,undermining the potential to produce locally tuned alternative strategies to build progressive and just cities. In this regard,this paper discusses the evolving nature of urban rights discourses that were produced by urban protesters fighting redevelopment and displacement, paying a particular attention to the experiences in Seoul that epitomised speculative urban accumulation under the (neoliberalising) developmental state. Method-wise, the paper makes use of archival records (protesters’ pamphlets and newsletters), photographs and field research archives. The data are supplemented by the author’s in-depth interviews with housing activists and former evictees. The paper argues that the urban poor has the capacity to challenge the state repression and hegemony of the ruling class ideology; that the urban movements such as the evictees’ struggles against redevelopment are to be placed in the broader contexts of social movements;that concepts such as the right to the city are to be understood against the rich history of place-specific evolution of urban rights discourses; that cross-class alliance is key to sustaining urban movements.
    Keywords: urban movements; rights discourses; urban protests; Seoul; displacement
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2018–02–20

This nep-cdm issue is ©2019 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.