nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒03‒04
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Discipline, party switching and policy divergence. By Paula González; Francesca Passarelli; M. Socorro Puy
  2. Declared Support and Clientelism By Nichter, Simeon; Nunnari, Salvatore
  3. Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation: Evidence from French Local Newspapers and Elections, 1944-2014 By Julia Cage
  5. Home Production of Childcare and Labour Supply Decisions in a Collective Household Model By Turon, Hélène
  6. Birds of a feather stick together: How overlapping group affiliations shape altruistic behavior By Bauer, Kevin
  7. A mailshot in the dark? The impact of the UK government's lea fet on the 2016 EU referendum By Harry Pickard
  8. Conspiracy picture of the world, or how conspiracy theory works By Spiridonov, Vladimir (Спиридонов, Владимир)
  9. India's social policies: Recent changes for the better and their causes By Betz, Joachim
  10. Efficient Incentives in Social Networks: "Gamification" and the Coase Theorem By Daske, Thomas

  1. By: Paula González (Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Francesca Passarelli (Universidad Pablo de Olavide); M. Socorro Puy (Universidad de Málaga)
    Abstract: We develop a comparative theoretical analysis of weak versus strong party discipline. In our model, political parties first select their policy platform and, in the case of strong party discipline, they set disciplinary penalties; second, candidates select their party label and, once elected, they choose whether to toe their party line in their legislative vote. Political parties maximize vote-share and they care about their candidates' loyalty. Candidates are ideological and try to satisfy some psychological needs such as ambition and reputation. We show that: i) A party attracts more candidates to its party label, the higher its expected vote-share and the smaller the parties' political distinctiveness; ii) Legislators deviating from party-line voting arise within the majority party and provided that there is weak discipline; iii) The more legislators care about ideology and the less about their reputation, the more they deviate from party-line voting; iv) Majority parties with weak discipline can opt for more partisan policies to discourage switching behavior in legislative votes, that is, polarization incentivizes loyalty.
    Keywords: Party switching; party discipline; ideology; reputation; ambition; policy divergence.
    JEL: D7 D72 D78
    Date: 2019–02
  2. By: Nichter, Simeon; Nunnari, Salvatore
    Abstract: Recent studies of clientelism predominantly focus on how elites use rewards to influence vote choices and turnout. This article shifts attention towards citizens and their choices beyond the ballot box. Under what conditions does clientelism influence citizens' decisions to express political preferences publicly? When voters can obtain future benefits by declaring support for victorious candidates, their choices to display political paraphernalia on their homes or bodies may reflect more than just political preferences. We argue that various factors, such as political competition and candidates' monitoring ability, heighten citizens' propensity to declare support in response to clientelist inducements. Building on insights from fieldwork, formal analyses reveal how and why such factors can distort patterns of political expression observed during electoral campaigns. We conduct an experiment in Brazil, which predominantly corroborates predictions about declared support and clientelism.
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Julia Cage (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of increased media competition on the quantity and quality of news provided and, ultimately, on political participation. Drawing upon existing literature on vertical product differentiation, I explore the conditions under which an increase in the number of newspapers can decrease both the quantity and quality of news provided. I build a new county-level panel dataset of local newspaper presence, newspapers' newsrooms, costs and revenues and political turnout in France, from 1944 to 2014. I estimate the effect of newspaper entry by comparing counties that experience entry to similar counties in the same years that do not. Both sets of counties exhibit similar trends prior to newspaper entry, but those with entry experience substantial declines in the average number of journalists (business-stealing effect). An increased number of newspapers is also associated with fewer articles and less hard news provision. These effects are stronger in counties with more homogeneous populations, as predicted by my simple theoretical framework, whereas there is little impact in counties with more heterogeneous populations. Newspaper entry, and the associated decline in information provision, is ultimately found to decrease voter turnout at local elections.
    Keywords: Hard news; Media competition; Newspaper content; Political participation; Size of the news room; Soft news
    JEL: D72 L11 L13 L82
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Koen Schoors; Laurent Weill (-)
    Abstract: We investigate whether lending by the dominant Russian state bank, Sberbank, contributed to Vladimir Putin’s ascent to power during the presidential elections of March 2000. Our hypothesis is that Sberbank corporate loans were used as incentives for managers at private firms to mobilize employees to vote for Putin. In line with our proposed voter mobilization mechanism, we find that the growth of regional corporate Sberbank loans in the months before the presidential election is related to the regional increase in votes for Putin and to the regional increase in voter turnout between the Duma election of December 1999 and the presidential election of March 2000. The effect of Sberbank firm lending on Putin votes is most pronounced in regions where the governor is affiliated with the regime and in regions with extensive private employment. The effect is less apparent in regions with a large part of their population living in single-company towns, where voter intimidation is sufficient to get the required result. Additional robustness checks and placebo regressions confirm the main findings. Our results support the view that additional Sberbank corporate loans granted prior to the March 2000 presidential election facilitated Putin’s early electoral success.
    Keywords: bank, credit policy, politics, Russia.
    JEL: G21 P34
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Turon, Hélène (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a dynamic structural model of labour market and childcare choices for couples within a collective model of decision making. We formalise explicitly the need for childcare as a function of the age structure of the children population in the household then examine the determinants of the decision to supply labour. The fraction of home-produced childcare to household childcare needs is considered to be a public good within the household, for which preferences are heterogeneous across households. An important feature of our framework, which introduces one of the dynamic dimensions of the decision, is that we take into account the implications of today's labour supply decision on future wage growth and future bargaining power. The decision to leave (partially or not) the labour market is often taken within a couple but, in the event of divorce, the impact of this decision may not be borne by both parties equally, which may render the initial decision inefficient. Using data from the BHPS, we then present a structural estimation of our model to quantify these various components of the choice of home childcare vs. labour supply. We are able to quantify each household's sensitivity to potential childcare policies and find that a large part of the dispersion in these responses comes from households' valuation of home-produced childcare.
    Keywords: household, labour supply, collective model, childcare, commitment
    JEL: J12 J13 J22 J31 J38
    Date: 2019–02
  6. By: Bauer, Kevin
    Abstract: In the current paper, I deploy a novel laboratory experiment to answer the following questions: Does people’s other-regarding behavior change with the number of group memberships they have in common with others? Can uncertainty about others’ group memberships weaken in-group favoritism and lead to more selfish behavior? There are two main findings. First, on average pro-social concerns increase monotonically with the number of joint group affiliations. On the individual level, however, I document a considerable heterogeneity. Second, in situations where participants have only in- complete information on others’ group affiliations, they do not behave more selfishly. It seems as if the awareness of one joint group affiliation in combination with ignorance about the nature of other group memberships is sufficient to elicit maximum other-regarding concerns. My results highlight the importance of carefully navigating workers perceptions on complex and overlapping group affiliations as a task of diversity management within organizations where a high degree of social diversity characterizes the workforce.
    Keywords: Social groups, Behavioral Heterogeneity, Moral Wiggle Room
    JEL: C91 C92 D03 D83
    Date: 2019–01–09
  7. By: Harry Pickard (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK)
    Abstract: In this paper I explore the causal effect of exposure to the UK government’s mailshot on vote preference in the 2016 EU referendum. I find that exposure caused a drop in the probability of voting leave by 3 percentage points. The effect is stronger in individuals who were exposed to few other sources of referendum information. For instance, females and the risk averse were even less likely to vote leave after exposure. The effect was also larger for Conservative party supporters who consumed many other sources of information. The evidence is consistent with voters being liable to persuasion. On the mechanism, I show that exposed individuals experiencea “persuasion-through-knowledge” effect, which changes beliefs on topics of contention.
    Keywords: Mass media; Mailshot; Leaflet; European Union; Brexit
    JEL: D72 J10 L82
    Date: 2019–02
  8. By: Spiridonov, Vladimir (Спиридонов, Владимир) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: One of the most common (and very recognizable) ways of understanding and explaining social, political, and economic processes is called conspiracy theory. Supporters of such theories explain the most diverse events with evil will and purposeful efforts of groups of people, organizations, less often of states: real socio-economic and political processes turn out to be preconceived and implemented according to a special plan in the interests of a narrow group of individuals. With all the enormous diversity of specific content at the basis of conspiracy theories lies a well-defined, conspiracy, form of thinking or "picture of the world." The article is devoted to the analysis of the psychological origins of this phenomenon, as well as the already established and possible ways to use it (in the practice of making political and socio-economic decisions, in cinema, in the field of propaganda, training of managers, etc.).
    Date: 2019–01
  9. By: Betz, Joachim
    Abstract: Despite being a consolidated democracy with free and fair elections and having a political system with intense party competition, a relatively vibrant civil society, and a functioning federal set-up, India still ranks poorly in terms of the coverage, generosity, efficiency, and quality of its social protection. This is difficult to explain based on the factors usually advanced for the implementation of generous social policies. A second puzzle is the predominantly protective nature of welfare policies in India in the current era of globalisation, which should necessitate policies enabling workers to participate successfully in a more demanding economic environment. These puzzles may be explained partly by (a) the long-term insulation of the Indian economy from international competition, (b) the low share of industry and modern services in GDP until recently, (c) the precedence of identity policies, (d) the fragmentation of the political sphere, and (e) the meagre empowerment of women in India. We should, however, acknowledge that change is underway and that the picture is not bleak across India as a whole - being supported by economic reforms and growth, a greater degree of decentralisation and party competition within the country, increasingly discerning voters, and progress on female education and employment opportunities.
    Keywords: India,social policies,productive and protective social policies,party competition,clientelism,women's education and formal employment
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Daske, Thomas
    Abstract: This study explores mechanism design for networks of interpersonal relationships. Agents' social (i.e., altruistic or spiteful) preferences and private payoffs are all subject to asymmetric information; utility is (quasi-)linear, types are independent. I show that any network of at least three agents can resolve any allocation problem with a mechanism that is Bayesian incentive-compatible, ex-interim individually rational, and ex-post Pareto-efficient (also ex-post budget-balanced). By contrast, a generalized Myerson-Satterthwaite theorem is established for two agents. The central tool to exploit the asymmetry of information about agents' social preferences is "gamification": Resolve the agents' allocation problem with an efficient social-preference robust mechanism; ensure agents' participation with the help of a mediator, some network member, who complements that mechanism with an unrelated hawk-dove like game between the others, a game that effectively rewards (sanctions) strong (poor) cooperation at the expense (to the benefit) of the mediator. Ex interim, agents (and the mediator) desire this game to be played, for it provides them with a platform to live out their propensities to cooperate or compete. - A figurative example is a fund-raiser, hosted by the "mediator", complemented with awarding the best-dressed guest.
    Keywords: networks,social preferences,mechanisms,gamification,Coase theorem
    JEL: C70 D62 D64 D82 D85
    Date: 2019

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