nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒02‒04
thirteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  2. A Nazi 'Killer' Amendment By Benny Moldovanu; Andreas Kleiner
  3. Linear voting rules By Hans Peter Grüner; Thomas Tröger
  4. Dancing with Donald: Polarity in the 2016 Presidential Election By Robert Chuchro; Kyle D'Souza; Darren Mei
  5. Collective Emotions and Protest Vote By Carlo Altomonte; Gloria Gennaro; Francesco Passarelli
  6. No change in sight - Togo’s Political and Socio-Economic Development (2017 – 2019) By Kohnert, Dirk
  7. Incumbency Disadvantage of Political Parties: The Role of Policy Inertia and Prospective Voting By Chatterjee, Satyajit; Eyigungor, Burcu
  8. Asymmetric Yardstick Competition: Traditional Procurement versus Public-Private Partnerships By Giuseppe Di Liddo; Annalisa Vinella
  9. Polarization in Strategic Networks By Steven Kivinen
  10. Boeotians, Achaeans and Europeans. Can we learn from the ancient Greek federal experience? By Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
  11. Mixed rules in multi-issue allocation situations By Bergantiños, Gustavo; Chamorro, José María; Lorenzo, Leticia; Lorenzo-Freire, Silvia
  12. Political Representation and the Provision of Public Goods: Theory and Evidence from Ethiopia By Teferi Mergo; Alain-Desire Nimubona; Horatiu Rus
  13. Do Coalitions Matter in Designing Institutions? By Korpela, Ville; Lombardi, Michele; Vartiainen, Hannu

  1. By: Rostislav Turovsky (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Marina Sukhova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This research analyzes the differences between municipal elections in large and medium-sized Russian cities (more than 100,000 citizens) and federal elections to representative bodies for the period from 2003 to 2018. The empirical evidence includes 210 municipal electoral campaigns in 119 cities and 4 federal legislative campaigns for comparison. We examine these differences using the notion of the party system nationalization, which is measured by comparing turnout and voting for political parties at different territorial levels in the same cities, and by party system inflation (with the use of the effective number of parties – an index that allows a comparison of election competitiveness at different administrative levels). Most of the cases are midterm municipal elections held separately between the federal campaigns. However, we draw special attention to the differences when federal and municipal campaigns overlap. The results showed some progress in the process of the nationalization of the Russian party system which is indicated by the rapprochement of the degree of competitiveness in the federal and municipal elections and, later, by the likeliness of electoral preferences at different territorial levels.
    Keywords: federal elections, municipal campaigns, electoral support, turnout, competitiveness, the effective number of parties, party system nationalization, party system inflation.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Benny Moldovanu; Andreas Kleiner
    Abstract: We study killer amendments under various informational regimes and postulated voter behavior. In particular, the success chances of killer amendments are shown to differ across several well-known binary, sequential voting procedures. In light of this theory, we describe a remarkable instance of a motion-proposing and agenda-setting strategy by the Nazi party, NSDAP, during the Weimar Republic. Their purpose was to kill a motion of toleration of the new 1928 Government, and they were supported by their fiercest enemies on the far left, the communist party. The combined killer strategy was bound to be successful, but it ultimately failed because of another agenda-setting counter-move undertaken by the Reichstag president.
    Keywords: sequential voting, killer amendment, agenda-setting
    JEL: D72 N4
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Hans Peter Grüner; Thomas Tröger
    Abstract: How should a society choose between two social alternatives if participation in the decision process is voluntary and costly and monetary transfers are not feasible? Considering symmetric voters with private valuations, we show that it is utilitarian-optimal to use a linear voting rule: votes get alternativedependent weights, and a default obtains if the weighted sum of votes stays below some threshold. Standard quorum rules are not optimal. We develop a perturbation method to characterize equilibria in the case of small participation costs and show that leaving participation voluntary increases welfare for linear rules that are optimal under compulsory participation.
    JEL: D72 D82
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Robert Chuchro; Kyle D'Souza; Darren Mei
    Abstract: In almost every election cycle, the validity of the United States Electoral College is brought into question. The 2016 Presidential Election again brought up the issue of a candidate winning the popular vote but not winning the Electoral College, with Hillary Clinton receiving close to three million more votes than Donald Trump. However, did the popular vote actually determine the most liked candidate in the election? In this paper, we demonstrate that different voting policies can alter which candidate is elected. Additionally, we explore the trade-offs between each of these mechanisms. Finally, we introduce two novel mechanisms with the intent of electing the least polarizing candidate.
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Carlo Altomonte; Gloria Gennaro; Francesco Passarelli
    Abstract: We leverage on important findings in social psychology to build a behavioral theory of protest vote. An individual develops a feeling of resentment if she loses income over time while richer people do not, or if she does not gain as others do, i.e. when her relative deprivation increases. In line with the Intergroup Emotions Theory, this feeling is amplified if the individual identifies with a community experiencing the same feeling. Such a negative collective emotion, which we define as aggrievement, fuels the desire to take revenge against traditional parties and the richer elite, a common trait of populist rhetoric. The theory predicts higher support for the protest party when individuals identify more strongly with their local community and when a higher share of community members are aggrieved. We test this theory using longitudinal data on British households and exploiting the emergence of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in Great Britain in the 2010 and 2015 national elections. Empirical findings robustly support theoretical predictions. The psychological mechanism postulated by our theory survives the controls for alternative non-behavioral mechanisms (e.g. information sharing or political activism in local communities).
    Keywords: electoral behaviour, protest vote, populism, relative deprivation, community cohesion, UK Independence Party
    JEL: A00
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: Backed by peaceful but undemocratic presidential (2010, 2015) and legislative (2013) elections the Gnassingbé regime consolidated its power. In view of the absolute majority of the ruling party, its inclination for meaningful constitutional and electoral reforms, as demanded by the opposition and international donors, was further reduced. Overriding concerns for stability in West Africa in view of growing Islamist threats in neighbouring countries made that the delayed democratic reforms, including the time and again reported local elections, were condoned by the donor community. However, simmering discontent of the hardliners among the security forces and the barons of the ruling party was still visible. The opposition tried in vain to overcome its divide between its moderate and radical wing. An alliance of opposition parties and civic groups opposed the regime peacefully by frequent, often violently suppressed demonstrations with little effect. Arson attacks on the markets of Lomè and Kara in January 2013 served as pretense to harass opposition leaders. Human rights records of the government remained tarnished. The tense political climate persisted in view of the upcoming presidential elections in April 2015 and the apparent determination of the President to stay in power a third and eventually even a fourth term whatever the cost. Despite undeniable improvements of the framework and outside appearance of major institutions of the regime during the survey period it remained a façade democracy. However, the international community, notably African peers, the AU and ECOWAS, but also the Bretton-Woods Institutions, China and the EU, followed a ‘laissez faire’ approach in the interest of stability and their proper national interest in dealings with the country. Economic growth perspectives remained promising, expected to increase to 6.0% in 2014 and 6.3% in 2015, last but not least because of heavy assistance by the international donor community. However, growth is neither sustainable nor inclusive. It is overshadowed by increasing inter-personal and regional inequality as well as an upturn in extreme poverty.
    Keywords: democratization, governance, fragile states, political and socio-economic development, development co-operation, EU, Togo, West Africa, ECOWAS
    JEL: A14 F35 N97 O17 O55 Z13
    Date: 2019–01–17
  7. By: Chatterjee, Satyajit (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Eyigungor, Burcu (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: We document that postwar U.S. elections show a strong pattern of “incumbency disadvantage": If a party has held the presidency of the country or the governorship of a state for some time, that party tends to lose popularity in the subsequent election. To explain this fact, we employ Alesina and Tabellini's (1990) model of partisan politics, extended to have elections with prospective voting. We show that inertia in policies, combined with sufficient uncertainty in election outcomes, implies incumbency disadvantage. We find that inertia can cause parties to target policies that are more extreme than the policies they would support in the absence of inertia and that such extremism can be welfare reducing.
    Keywords: rational partisan model; incumbency disadvantage; policy inertia; prospective voting; median voter
    JEL: D72 H50
    Date: 2019–01–24
  8. By: Giuseppe Di Liddo; Annalisa Vinella
    Abstract: We investigate yardstick competition between local jurisdictions in which pure rent-seeking incumbents undertake an identical infrastructure project choosing be- tween two contractual arrangements with different financing profiles, namely traditional procurement (TP) and public-private partnership (PPP). We show that a mixed regime, in which TP is used in one jurisdiction and PPP in the other, is likely to arise when projects are mildly lucrative, and/or jurisdictions have a moderate fiscal capacity. We find that, in the mixed equilibrium, incumbents provide different levels of public services, face different probabilities of re-election, and obtain different rents. The adoption of different forms of project governance permits incumbents to disguise themselves and undermine voters' ability to assess their performances. Therefore, yardstick competition is hindered, even if jurisdictions display identical revenue capacities.
    Keywords: political yardstick competition, rent seeking, infrastructure projects, traditional procurement, public-private partnership
    JEL: D72 H77
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Steven Kivinen (Department of Economics, Dalhousie University)
    Abstract: A model of social learning and strategic network formation is developed with distance-based utility and cognitive dissonance. For intermediate costs, stable networks exhibit realistic properties and belief polarization increases with small increases in available information.
    Keywords: Social Learning; Network Formation; Cooperative Games
    Date: 2017–02–10
  10. By: Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze in brief how two ancient Greek federations, the Boeotoian and the Achaean ones took decisions on two crucial issues that relate the balance of power between city-states- members within the federation and defense policy. We analyze why the Boeotoian Federation followed a wrong grand strategy whereas the Achaean one implemented a prudent strategy regarding the issue of federal principles. Lastly, we compare our findings with a series of decisions that were taken in the last years by the today’s European Union (EU) policy-makers, and we relate them to the issues of “mismanagement” of “solidarity” of economic policies among member-states and democratic decision-making.
    Keywords: Ancient Greek federalism, European Union, solidarity, democratic deficit in decision making
    JEL: H12 H56 N43
    Date: 2019–01–08
  11. By: Bergantiños, Gustavo; Chamorro, José María; Lorenzo, Leticia; Lorenzo-Freire, Silvia
    Abstract: Multi-issue allocation situations study problems where we have to divide an estate among a group of agents. The claim of each agent is a vector specifying the amount claimed by each agent on each issue. We present a two-stage rule. First we divide the estate among the issues following the constrained equal awards rule. Second, the amount assigned to each issue is divided among the agents proportionally to their demands on this issue. We apply such rule to two real problems: the distribution of natural resources between countries and the distribution of budget for education and research between universities.
    Keywords: multi-issue allocation situations, proportional rule, constrained equal awards rule
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2019–01–25
  12. By: Teferi Mergo (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Alain-Desire Nimubona (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Horatiu Rus (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)
    Abstract: While the salience of ethnicity as a factor in ruling coalition formation in African politics has been documented in the literature, less is known about its impact on various ethnic groups' economic outcomes. We construct a simple political economy model to illustrate a way in which investments in public goods in ethnic-based polities may depend on the quality of the ethnic groups' political representation with the federal government. We then exploit a natural experiment that took place in Ethiopia, following the institution of an ethnic federalism in the country in 1995. Using a Difference-in-Difference estimation strategy on repeated cross-sectional data constructed from Censuses and Welfare Monitoring Surveys, we confirm that better political representation improves access to public goods. In Ethiopia's ethnic-based federation, the quality of political representation varies across ethnic regions depending on whether their populations belong or not to the ruling ethnic group at the federal level. Along this line, we found that access to public goods has improved faster in the politically dominant Tigray region than in the other regions. Similarly, the hierarchy of public goods access rates' in different ethnic regions is consistent with the proximity of the political elites from different regions to the center of political power in the country. We also found that the regional disparities in terms of access to public goods are more pronounced in rural areas than in urban areas.
    JEL: H41 P16 O10 O55
    Date: 2019–01
  13. By: Korpela, Ville; Lombardi, Michele; Vartiainen, Hannu
    Abstract: In this paper, we re-examine the classical questions of implementation theory under complete information in a setting where coalitions are the fundamental behavioral units and the outcomes of their interactions are predicted by applying the solution concept of the core. The planner's exercise consists of designing a code of rights, which specifies the collection of coalitions that have the right to block one outcome by moving to another. A code of individual rights is a code of rights in which only unit coalitions may have blocking powers. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for implementation (under core equilibria) by codes of rights as well as by codes of individual rights. We show that these two modes of implementation are not equivalent. This result is proven robust and extends to alternative notions of core, such as that of an externally stable core. Therefore, coalitions are shown to bring value added to institutional design. The characterization results address the limitations that restrict the relevance of existing implementation theory.
    Keywords: core; implementation; blocking powers
    JEL: C71 D70
    Date: 2019–01–10

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