nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒05‒06
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. Vote Influence in Group Decision-Making: The Changing Role of Justices' Peers on the Supreme Court By Mindock, Maxwell R.; Waddell, Glen R.
  2. Do Direct Elections Matter? Quasi-experimental Evidence from Germany By Stefanie Gäbler; Felix Rösel
  3. Divided we stand? Professional consensus and political conflict in academic economics By Karl Beyer; Stephan Puehringer
  4. Ostracism in alliances of teams and individuals: Voting,exclusion, contribution, and earnings By Stephan Huber; Jochen Model; Silvio Städter
  5. Urban planning in vernacular governance: land use planning and violations in Bangalore, India By Sundaresan, Jayaraj
  6. The political economy of immigrant legalisation: evidence from the 1986 IRCA By Navid Sabet; Christoph Winter
  7. Distributive justice and social conflict in an AK model By Chris Tsoukis; Jun-ichi Itaya
  8. Predictive analytics and disused railways requalification: insights from a Post Factum Analysis perspective By Ciomek, Krzysztof; Ferretti, Valentina; Kadzinski, Milosz

  1. By: Mindock, Maxwell R. (University of Oregon); Waddell, Glen R. (University of Oregon)
    Abstract: We consider the voting behavior of Supreme Court Justices, finding evidence of co-dependencies in their votes. Coincident with changes in the party imbalance of the Court over time, sharp discontinuities in these dependencies are evident. Overall, the patterns suggest a tradeoff between co-dependencies around political affiliations and individual ideologies, with more-equal party representation on the Court encouraging greater party awareness in Justice voting, and less-equal party representation allowing Justices across party lines but with similar ideologies to inform each other's votes.
    Keywords: Supreme Court, voting, judicial behavior, spatial econometrics
    JEL: D7 K41 C21
    Date: 2019–04
  2. By: Stefanie Gäbler; Felix Rösel
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effect of direct elections on the economic performance of politicians. Candidates running in direct elections to head local governments in the German state of Brandenburg need an absolute majority, and votes for the winner must represent at least 15% of eligible voters. If the quorum is not reached, direct elections are suspended, and local councils appoint the head of government. We examine election outcomes around the quorum, where the form of government is arguably exogenous. Event study results show that the public employment service becomes somewhat more effective under directly elected politicians. However, directly elected politicians do not seem to attract more businesses or expedite administrative acts.
    Keywords: Direct elections, constitutions, government form, local government, economic performance, public services, Germany
    JEL: D72 H40 H75 R50
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Karl Beyer (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Stephan Puehringer (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria)
    Abstract: In this paper we address the issue of the role of ideology and political preferences of publically engaged economists and contribute to the debate on consensus in economics. To do so, we conduct a social network analysis on the signatories of economist petitions, which we identify as one channel for economists to exert public influence. We base our analysis on a sample of 77 public policy petitions and presidential anti-/endorsement letters from 2008-2017 in the United States with more than 6,400 signatories and check the robustness of our results with six sub-networks. Our contribution is twofold: On the one hand we provide an extended empirical basis for the debate on consensus in economics and the role of politics and ideology in economics. On the other hand we provide a viable tool to trace the ideological leaning of (prospective) economist petitions and economists based on the social structure of petition networks.
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Stephan Huber (University of Regensburg and UAS Augsburg); Jochen Model (UAS Augsburg); Silvio Städter (UAS Augsburg)
    Abstract: Alliances often provide a collective good among their allies. This article offers laboratory experimental evidence that the possibility to vote for the exclusion of non-cooperating allies, i.e. ostracism, can be a powerful negative referendum to increase allies’ contributions to the collective good. However, it is found that ostracism does not necessarily increase earnings in a public goods game. In particular, it is shown that the ostracism mechanism is used differently by individuals. While ostracism increases contributions irrespective of the game is played with a alliances of individuals or teams as the decision makers, the earnings do not statistically significant increase in alliances of individuals. This result can be explained with different voting patterns. Compared to individuals, teams vote and in turn exclude significantly less in early periods but more in later periods of the game. Thus, negative earnings effects of ostracism, i.e., excluded players can neither contribute to the collective good nor receive from the collective good, are found to be less severe in alliances of teams.
    Date: 2019–02
  5. By: Sundaresan, Jayaraj
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between urban planning practice and planning violations in Bangalore. Through ethnography of the practice of planning networks, It demonstrates that the domain of urban planning in Bangalore is shaped by the ethos and practices of mutually contesting Public and Private interest associational networks working to achieve Public and Private interest outcomes respectively. This is demonstrated using ho w private interest networks shape planning through plan violations and planning for violations as well as how public interest networks shape planning through multiple political, legal and administrative interventions, both of which together prevents the formation of any ideal typical planning system for a Comprehensive Master Planning Regime. Rather than a deviation, violations are identified as the outcome of the particular kind of planning practice embedded within the political culture of democratic governance in India. Ethnographies of Indian state constantly points to the blurred boundaries between the categories of state and society in India. Findings from this research conform to this; actors from both inside and outside government rather than act to achieve the cause of their positions act in the interest of the networks within which they are associated with – public or private interest. Therefore, combining lessons from political systems and policy networks studies of the state and governance with ethnographies of the everyday state in India I propose a conceptual language of Vernacular Governance to trace the constantly changing shape of planning practice in Bangalore through its relationship with planning violations. This paper attempts to raise questions on theorizing planning practices as embedded within the political culture of particular contexts, rather than taking for granted dualist conceptualizations of state and society producing on the one hand theorizations of planning failures and on the other, informality, implementation failure and corruption.
    Keywords: planning violations; urban planning India; planning in Bangalore; planning and vernacular governance; ethnography of planning networks; public and private interest networks
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2017–10–21
  6. By: Navid Sabet; Christoph Winter
    Abstract: What happens to the distribution of public resources when undocumented migrants obtain legal status through nation-wide amnesty? In this paper, we exploit variation in legal status from the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) to answer this question and find that state governors, of whatever party affiliation, allocate more per capita aid to those counties affected by the IRCA. We posit that this is borne out of rational, forward-looking governors who allocate resources strategically in pursuit of the votes of the newly legalised who were eligible to vote five years after legalisation. To support this view, we find that the distribution of state aid differs significantly according to political context. Counties affected by the IRCA receive more resources from the state when their governor is eligible for re-election, faces political competition or enjoys line-item veto power. Our results also indicate that the transfers were targeted to the newly legalised, who by and large were of Hispanic origin, and not other constituents. We find no evidence of anti-migrant sentiment confounding our results. Counties that received more transfers from the governor also experienced improvements in Hispanic high school completion rates.
    Keywords: immigrant legalisation, distributive politics, state and local government
    JEL: J15 H72 P16
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Chris Tsoukis; Jun-ichi Itaya
    Abstract: We introduce distributive justice into a simple model of growth and distribution. Two groups (‘classes’) of otherwise identical, capital-rich and capital-poor individuals (‘capitalists’) and (‘workers’) are in conflict over factor (labour-capital) shares. Capitalists’ (workers’) ideal labour share is low (high) – but always tempered by the recognition that everyone supplies one unit of labour inelastically and desires a wage; and that the labour share impacts growth negatively in our ‘AK’ production economy. Social conflict is defined as the difference between the ideal labour shares of the two classes. This conflict is resolved by the two positive and three normative criteria we consider. Thus, the macroeconomy (growth, factor shares, distribution), social conflict and the methods of its resolution are jointly determined in a complete socio-economic equilibrium. We believe both this approach and our rich set of results are novel. We consider two positive (probabilistic voting and Nash bargaining, encapsulating electoral politics and socio-political bargaining) and two normative (justice) criteria (utilitarian and Rawlsian) of conflict resolution. Greater impatience, intensified status comparisons and negative consumption externalities, greater wealth inequality and a decline in productivity exacerbate social conflict. Status comparisons and wealth inequality tend to raise the labour share under all positive and normative criteria. Finally, we propose and analyse a criterion of ‘justice as minimal social friction’. Under the plausible assumption that the capitalists’ overall socio-political influence (numerical strength aside) is at least as high as that of workers, all positive methods imply a smaller labour share and more inequality than all our three criteria of distributive justice. We offer a numerical illustration of the key points.
    Keywords: growth, factor shares, status, distributive justice, social conflict, social contract
    JEL: O41 O43 E25 P16 Z13
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Ciomek, Krzysztof; Ferretti, Valentina; Kadzinski, Milosz
    Abstract: Strategic decision making problems in the public policy domain typically involve the comparison of competing options by different stakeholders. This paper considers a real case study oriented toward ranking potential actions for the regeneration of disused railways in Italy. The study involves multiple con icting criteria such as an expected duration of construction works, costs, a number of potential users, and new green areas. Within this context, we demonstrate that Post Factum Analysis (PFA) coupled with Decision Aiding supports the development of robust recommendations. The role of PFA is to highlight how the actions' performances need to be modified so that the recommendation is changed in a desired way. In particular, it highlights the minimal improvements that would warrant the feasibility of some currently impossible outcome (e.g., achieving a better position in the ranking) or the maximal deteriorations that alternatives can afford to maintain some target result (e.g., not losing their advantage over some other options). The use of a focus group with both experts and participants in the decision making process provided insights on how PFA can support: (i) the creation of arguments in favour or against the respective options under analysis, (ii) understanding of the results' sensitivity with respect to possible changes in the alternatives' performances, (iii) a better informed discussion about the results among the participants in the process, and (iv) the development of new/better alternatives.
    Keywords: Multiple criteria; analysis; Post Factum Analysis; ensitivity analysis; Urban regeneration; participation; Greenways
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2018–01–01

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