nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒01‒28
fourteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Heterogeneity and Unanimity: Optimal Committees with Information Acquisition By Xin Zhao
  2. Manipulated Electorates and Information Aggregation By Mehmet Ekmekci; Stephan Lauermann
  3. Does sequential decision-making trigger collective investment in automobile R&D? Experimental evidence By Buchmann, Tobias; Haering, Alexander; Kudic, Muhamed; Rothgang, Michael
  4. The Dimensions of Consensus By Benny Moldovanu; Alex Gershkov; Xianwen Shi
  5. Transboundary Water Resources for People and Nature: Challenges and Opportunities in the Olifants River Basin By Mirzabaev, Alisher; Njiraini, Georgina Wambui; Gebremariam, Gebrelibanos; Jourdain, Damien; Magaia, Emílio; Julio, Felita; Mosse, Gerivásia; Mutondo, João; Mungatana, Eric
  6. Political Competition: How to Measure Party Strategy in Direct Voter Communication using Social Media Data? By Sturm, Silke
  7. Creating Criminal Responsibility within Criminal Groups By Camil Tanasescu
  8. Diffusion of Shared Goods in Consumer Coalitions. An Agent-Based Model By Francesco Pasimeni; Tommaso Ciarli
  9. Individual versus Group Choices of Repeated Game Strategies: A Strategy Method Approach By Timothy N. Cason; Vai-Lam Mui
  10. Partners or Strangers? Cooperation, Monetary Trade, and the Choice of Scale of Interaction By Maria Bigoni; Gabriele Camera; Marco Casari
  11. Does information break the political resource curse? Experimental evidence from Mozambique By Alex Armand; Alexander Coutts; Pedro C. Vicente; Inês Vilela
  12. Dynamic effects of enforcement on cooperation By Roberto Galbiati; Emeric Henry; Nicolas Jacquemet
  13. Class Agency Under Conditions of Self-Enforcement: Marx on Capitalists' Common's Problem By Korkut Alp Erturk
  14. Group Size and Network Formation By Melguizo, Isabel

  1. By: Xin Zhao (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology Sydney)
    Abstract: This paper studies how the composition and voting rule of a decision-making committee affect the incentives for its members to acquire information. Fixing the voting rule, a more polarized committee acquires more information. If a committee designer can choose the committee members and voting rule to maximize her payoff from the collective decision, she forms a heterogeneous committee adopting a unanimous rule, in which one member moderately biased toward one decision serves as the decisive voter, and all others are extremely opposed to the decisive voter and serve as information providers. The preference of the decisive voter is not perfectly aligned with that of the designer.
    Keywords: Committee design; information acquisition; heterogeneity; voting
    JEL: C79 D71
    Date: 2018–10–06
  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: Buchmann, Tobias; Haering, Alexander; Kudic, Muhamed; Rothgang, Michael
    Abstract: We conduct a framed laboratory experiment to gain in-depth insights on factors that drive collective research and development efforts among firms located along the automotive value chain. In particular, we employ a public goods experiment and analyze the influence of sequential decision-making on the willingness to engage in cooperation and on economic welfare. By using a linear value chain setting with three suppliers and one OEM, we analyze vertical R&D cooperation. Our results reveal that contributions increase in situations with sequential decision-making and that sequential decisions increase the overall welfare, even in case of unequally distributed R&D budgets.
    Keywords: public goods experiment,collective innovation,automobile industry,value chain,innovation barriers,sequential decision making
    JEL: C92 D79 O31
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Benny Moldovanu; Alex Gershkov; Xianwen Shi
    Abstract: We study a multi-dimensional collective decision under incomplete information. Agents have Euclidean preferences and vote by simple majority on each issue (dimension), yielding the coordinate-wise median. Judicious rotations of the orthogonal axes - the issues that are voted upon - lead to welfare improvements. If the agents' types are drawn from a distribution with independent marginals then, under weak conditions, voting on the original issues is not optimal. If, in addition, the marginals are identical, then voting first on the total sum and next on the differences is often welfare superior to voting on the original issues. We also provide various lower bounds on incentive efficiency: in particular, if agents' types are drawn from a log-concave density with symmetric marginals, a second-best voting mechanism attains at least 88% of the first-best efficiency.
    Keywords: multi-dimensional voting , welfare , bundling
    JEL: D82 D71
    Date: 2018–07
  5. By: Mirzabaev, Alisher; Njiraini, Georgina Wambui; Gebremariam, Gebrelibanos; Jourdain, Damien; Magaia, Emílio; Julio, Felita; Mosse, Gerivásia; Mutondo, João; Mungatana, Eric
    Abstract: This paper proposes that transboundary water governance needs to become an essential input to sustainable governance of protected natural reserves. The paper reviews the challenges and opportunities for such governance mechanisms, and identifies the factors behind successful practices. Successful transboundary governance of water and nature requires the reduction of associated transaction costs. Firstly, water diplomacy through joint research, data collection and monitoring, capacity building, dialogues for consensus building, promoting responsible leadership and providing advisory support can help in overcoming mistrust between stakeholders and create opportunities for cooperation. Secondly, power asymmetries may hinder transboundary water governance, therefore, there is a need to involve multi-scale links across stakeholders to counter-balance local power asymmetries and engage all stakeholders in consultations and negotiations. Thirdly, transboundary water governance is critically dependent on accurate and transparent data and analysis tools for informing policy decisions. Science-policy interactions for facilitating transboundary water governance were found to be most effective when the knowledge on joint water and nature governance is co-produced in a trans-disciplinary manner, in collaboration with wide-ranging informal networks of scientists, policy makers, and civil society. Finally, transboundary water governance organizations can serve as platforms for facilitating water diplomacy, building trust and cooperation, especially when they are granted the ability to enter into binding cooperative agreements regardless of external political pressures.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy
    Date: 2019–01–22
  6. By: Sturm, Silke
    Abstract: Political competition, party strategy and communication in the era of social media are growing issues. Due to the increasing social media presence of parties and voters alike, direct communication is more important for party competition. This paper aims to improve the methodological approach used to analyze political competition and communication. The dataset includes over 30,000 Facebook status messages posted by seven German parties from January 2014 until February 2018. Topic modeling, which is commonly used in other fields, allows for evaluating party communication on a daily basis. The results show the high accuracy of calculating party-relevant issues. To determine the tone of the debate, a sentiment analysis was conducted. The prevalence of topics and sentiments over time allows for precise monitoring of the political debate.
    Keywords: Political competition,Party strategy,Decision making,Social media,Topic models,Sentiment analysis
    JEL: C81 D72 D83 D91
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Camil Tanasescu (Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University of Bucharest)
    Abstract: In the collective aggression, the group's supervision and leadership activity is coordinated by a single person, whom all other individuals focus on, due to the domination, prestige and influence of the person on the collectivity. The intellectual factor of the leader lies in the way of conceiving the model of leading society and dominating the social movements. The volitional factor indicates the energetic-dynamic dimension of the leader's personality, as well as the support of the intellectual element through which the meditative approach is conceived as a non-retroviral movement. The psychic identity of the leader has a unique structure, because the component elements determine the consciousness of personal identity. The behavior of the criminal leader is dynamic, his thinking and affectivity mobilizing the personality system. The criminal leader imposes on the group its own needs. In terms of association, the conduct of the members of the criminal group is different, so there are common elements of the subjective aspects specific to the offenses, an agreement of will, interests, respectively coinciding. However, committing a crime by a member of the criminal group does not automatically entail the criminal liability of all members of the criminal, aggressive group.
    Keywords: collective aggression, criminal liability, criminal personality, necessities, the leader of the criminal group, the volitional factor
    Date: 2018–11
  8. By: Francesco Pasimeni (SPRU, University of Sussex, THE UK; European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Petten, Netherlands); Tommaso Ciarli (SPRU, University of Sussex, THE UK)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the process of coalition formation conditioning the common decision to adopt a shared good, which cannot be afforded by an average single consumer and whose use cannot be exhausted by any single consumer. An agent based model is developed to study the interplay between these two processes: coalition formation and diffusion of shared goods. Coalition formation is modelled in an evolutionary game theoretic setting, while adoption uses elements from both the Bass and the threshold models. Coalitions formation sets the conditions for adoption, while diffusion influences the consequent formation of coalitions. Results show that both coalitions and diffusion are subject to network effects and have an impact on the information flow though the population of consumers. Large coalitions are preferred over small ones since individual cost is lower, although it increases if higher quantities are purchased collectively. The paper concludes by connecting the model conceptualisation to the on-going discussion of diffusion of sustainable goods, discussing related policy implications.
    Keywords: Coalition formation, diffusion, shared goods, agent-based model
    JEL: D71 E27 O33
    Date: 2018–12
  9. By: Timothy N. Cason; Vai-Lam Mui
    Abstract: We study experimentally the indefinitely repeated noisy prisoner’s dilemma, in which random events can change an intended action to its opposite. We investigate whether groups choose Always Defect less and use lenient or forgiving strategies more than individuals,and how decision-makers experiment with different strategies by letting them choose from an extensive list of repeated game strategies. We find that groups use forgiving and tit-for-tat strategies more than individuals. Always Defect, however, is the most popular strategy for both groups and individuals. Groups and individuals cooperate at similar rates overall, and they seldom experiment with different strategies in later supergames. Classification-JEL C73, C92
    Keywords: Laboratory experiments, Cooperation, Repeated Games, Strategy
    Date: 2018–12
  10. By: Maria Bigoni (University of Bologna and IZA); Gabriele Camera (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University and University of Bologna); Marco Casari (University of Bologna and IZA)
    Abstract: We show that monetary exchange facilitates the transition from small to large-scale economic interactions. In an experiment, subjects chose to play an Òintertemporal cooperation gameÓ either in partnerships or in groups of strangers where payoffs could be higher. Theoretically, a norm of mutual support is sufficient to maximize efficiency through large-scale cooperation. Empirically, absent a monetary system, participants were reluctant to interact on a large scale; and when they did, efficiency plummeted compared to partnerships because cooperation collapsed. This failure was reversed only when a stable monetary system endogenously emerged: the institution of money mitigated strategic uncertainty problems.
    Keywords: Coordination, endogenous institutions, repeated games
    JEL: C70 C90 D03 E02 E40
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Alex Armand; Alexander Coutts; Pedro C. Vicente; Inês Vilela
    Abstract: The political resource curse is the idea that natural resources can lead to the deterioration of public policies through corruption and rent-seeking by those closest to political power. One prominent consequence is the emergence of conflict. This paper takes this theory to the data for the case of Mozambique, where a substantial discovery of natural gas recently took place. Focusing on the anticipation of a resource boom and the behavior of local political structures and communities, a large-scale field experiment was designed and implemented to follow the dissemination of information about the newly-discovered resources. Two types of treatments provided variation in the degree of dissemination: one with information targeting only local political leaders, the other with information and deliberation activities targeting communities at large. A wide variety of theory-driven outcomes is measured through surveys, behavioral activities, lab-in-the-field experiments, and georeferenced administrative data about local conflict. Information given only to leaders increases elite capture and rent-seeking, while information and deliberation targeted at citizens increases mobilization and accountability-related outcomes, and decreases violence. While the political resource curse is likely to be in play, the dissemination of information to communities at large has a countervailing effect.
    Keywords: Natural Resources, Curse, Natural Gas, Information, Deliberation, Rent-seeking, Mozambique
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Roberto Galbiati (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Emeric Henry (ECON - Département d'économie - Sciences Po); Nicolas Jacquemet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In situations where social payoffs are not aligned with private incentives, enforcement with fines can be a way to sustain cooperation. In this paper we show, by the means of a lab experiment , that past fines can have an effect on current behavior even when no longer in force. We document two mechanisms: a) past fines affect directly individuals' future propensity to cooperate; b) when fines for non cooperation are in place in the past, individuals experience higher levels of cooperation from partners and, consistent with indirect reciprocity motives, are in turn nicer towards others once these fines have been removed. This second mechanism is empirically prevalent and, in contrast with the first, induces a snowball effect of past enforcement. Our results can inform the design of costly enforcement policies.
    Keywords: experiments,Laws,social values,cooperation,learning,spillovers,persistence of institutions,repeated games
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Korkut Alp Erturk
    Abstract: Marx discussed institutional innovations in the context of a complex dynamic between inter versus intra-group opportunism, which contains clues for understanding how capacity for class agency develops. His lengthy discussion of the English Factory Acts in his Vol. I of Capital is an important case in point, which the paper revisits for its broader lessons not only for how institutions solve collective action problems but also how they become self-enforcing when third party enforcement is ineffective. The paper gives an account of how the Acts could have become self-enforcing at a time when the state enforcement capacity was rudimentary at best. The argument focuses on the dynamic between inter versus intra-class opportunism, shedding analytical light on how organized labor could help capitalists bolster their capacity for class agency.
    Keywords: Institutions, collective action problem, opportunistism, common's problem JEL Classification: B14,B55, C720
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Melguizo, Isabel
    Abstract: This paper analyze network formation, following the canonical model of Jackson and Wolinsky (JET, 1996) when individuals, that come in two types care about how their type is represented in their neighborhood. We focus on pairwise stable networks. We analyze equilibrium networks, as well as, efficient ones. Segregation measures on equilibrium networks are also analyzed.
    Keywords: Pairwise stability, segregation, welfare
    JEL: D62 D71
    Date: 2019–01–12

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