nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒09‒09
thirteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. An Experiment in Candidate Selection By Casey, Katherine; Kamara, Abou Bakarr; Meriggi, Niccolo
  2. Electoral Campaign Financing and Criminal Policy By Brunela Kullolli; Ilirjan Hysa
  3. Voting on Sanctioning Institutions in Open and Closed Communities: Experimental Evidence By Ramón Cobo-Reyes; Gabriel Katz; Thomas Markussen; Simone Meraglia
  4. How Effective Are Monetary Incentives to Vote? Evidence from a Nationwide Policy By Gonzales, Mariella; León-Ciliotta, Gianmarco; Martinez, Luis
  5. Rain, Emotions and Voting for the Status Quo By Meier, Amando N.; Schmid, Lukas; Stutzer, Alois
  6. Women’s preferences for social spending: theory and evidence from Spanish political representatives By Ascensión Andina-Díaz; Paula Penalva-Planelles; M. Socorro Puy
  7. Disincentives from Redistribution: Evidence on a Dividend of Democracy By Rupert Sausgruber; Axel Sonntag; Jean-Robert Tyran
  8. Perceived Immigration And Voting Behavior. By Bellucci, Davide; Conzo, Pierluigi; Zotti, Roberto
  9. Game Changers in Asymmetrical Conflicts: Zimbabwean Diaspora Media Reporting of Homeland Conflict By TENDAI JOSEPH CHARI
  10. Strategic Interdependence in Political Movements and Countermovements By Anselm Hager; Lukas Hensel; Johannes Hermle; Christopher Roth
  11. Civic Engagement as a Second-Order Public Good: The Cooperative Underpinnings of the Accountable State By Kenju Kamei; Louis Putterman; Jean-Robert Tyran
  12. Compliance with socially responsible norms of behavior: reputation vs. conformity By Virginia Cecchini Manara; Lorenzo Sacconi
  13. Strict Voter Identification Laws, Turnout, and Election Outcomes By Mark Hoekstra; Vijetha Koppa

  1. By: Casey, Katherine (Stanford Graduate School of Business and NBER); Kamara, Abou Bakarr (International Growth Centre); Meriggi, Niccolo (International Growth Centre)
    Abstract: Are ordinary citizens or political party leaders better positioned to select candidates? While the direct vote primary system in the United States lets citizens choose, it is exceptional, as the vast majority of democracies rely instead on party officials to appoint or nominate candidates. Theoretically, the consequences of these distinct design choices on the selectivity of the overall electoral system are unclear: while party leaders may be better informed about candidate qualifications, they may value traits--like party loyalty or willingness to pay for the nomination--at odds with identifying the best performer. To make progress on this question, we partnered with both major political parties in Sierra Leone to experimentally vary how much say voters, as opposed to party officials, have in selecting Parliamentary candidates. We find evidence that more democratic selection procedures increase the likelihood that parties select the candidate most preferred by voters, favor candidates with stronger records of local public goods provision, and alter the allocation of payments from potential candidates to party officials.
    JEL: D72 H1 P16
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Brunela Kullolli (?Aleksander Moisiu? University of Durres); Ilirjan Hysa (I.S.K Law Firm Durres)
    Abstract: Money is power, prestige and status in a society. In a democratic society, money-giving power can be as great as it can affect every aspect of society, especially in a state's policy. The power of money is even more powerful in countries where democracy is fragile. The money control power on political influence is weak in countries where democracy is not consolidated and in transitional societies. Through the present paper, I will contribute by analyzing the impact of money on the Albanian state politics, examined from the point of view of electoral financing as well as of political parties' and individuals' financing during the electoral campaigns.The first part will address and analyze the influence of money and electoral financing on the constitutional principles of the right to vote and on the right to a fair representation of the elected representatives in state institutions through the electoral elections. The present part is also on constitutional requirements for electoral and fair elections and on the principles of election campaigns.The second part will analyze the way of financing of the electoral subjects, the Albanian legal framework for financing political parties and individuals in electoral campaigns, and the legal framework of the Albanian political parties in the way of financing. It will also analyze the state mechanisms of the financial control of electoral campaigns, the illegal financing of election campaigns as well as the violation of the constitutional principles for free and fair elections.The third part will deal with and analyze the criminal policies in ensuring the principle of free and fair elections in the terms of unlawful campaign financing, the incriminating actions that affect the electoral elections in the Criminal Code, the incrimination of illegal financing of the subjects participating in campaigns and electoral elections, the criminal policy that the Albanian state should follow in preventing illegal financing and the due legal mechanisms for the financial control of the electoral campaign subjects.ConclusionsIllegal financing of the electoral campaigns is a current phenomenon of the Albanian society which leads to the incrimination of Albanian politics. The illegal financing of the subjects that participate in the electoral campaigns comes from the organized crime or from people with suspicion in criminal activities and this leads to the decision to give power to those who protect the interests of the latter and not the interests of the electorate or the democratic interests of a state.The intensification of the fight against illegal financing in electoral campaigns has created not only the full legal framework for the prevention of illegal financing, but also mechanisms in practice for the implementation not only of the law, but also for the practical prevention of uncontrolled financing of electoral subjects.The imposition of harsh criminal policies on the illicit financing of electoral campaigns and the revision of the Criminal Code in incriminating all illegal anti-trust actions that affect free and fair elections may be the most important step towards combating illegal funding of electoral campaigns. Illegal financing of electoral campaigns in Albania calls into question free and fair elections and discusses the fundamental principles of representation of political entities in governmental institutions so intervention in law and criminal policy is current and immediate.
    Keywords: Money, electoral campaigns, unlawful financing, criminal policy, legal mechanisms.
    JEL: K14
    Date: 2019–07
  3. By: Ramón Cobo-Reyes (Department of Economics, American University of Sharjah); Gabriel Katz (Department of Politics, University of Exeter); Thomas Markussen (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark); Simone Meraglia (Department of Politics, University of Exeter)
    Abstract: We experimentally analyze the eect of endogenous group formation on the type of sanctioning institutions emerging in a society. We allocate subjects to one of two groups. Subjects play a repeated public goods game and vote on the sanctioning system (formal or informal) to be implemented in their group. We compare this environment to one in which subjects are allowed to (i) vote on the sanctioning system and (ii) move between groups. We find that the possibility of moving between groups leads to a larger proportion of subjects voting for formal sanctions. This result is mainly driven by subjects in groups with relatively high initial levels of contribution to the public good, who are more likely to vote for informal sanctions when groups are closed than when they are open.
    Keywords: Sanctions, Cooperation, Group Formation, Voting, Experiment
    JEL: C73 C91 C92 D72 H41
    Date: 2019–05–23
  4. By: Gonzales, Mariella; León-Ciliotta, Gianmarco; Martinez, Luis
    Abstract: We combine two natural experiments, multiple empirical strategies and administrative data to study voters' response to marginal changes to the fi ne for electoral abstention in Peru. A smaller fi ne leads to a robust decrease in voter turnout. However, the drop in turnout caused by a full fi ne reduction is less than 20% the size of that caused by an exemption from compulsory voting, indicating the predominance of the non-monetary incentives provided by the mandate to vote. Additionally, almost 90% of the votes generated by a marginally larger fi ne are blank or invalid, lending support to the hypothesis of rational abstention. Higher demand for information and larger long-run eff ects following an adjustment to the value of the fine point to the existence of informational frictions that limit adaptation to institutional changes.
    Keywords: compulsory voting; External Validity; Informational frictions; Peru; voter registration; Voter turnout
    JEL: D72 D78 D83 K42
    Date: 2019–07
  5. By: Meier, Amando N.; Schmid, Lukas (University of Basel); Stutzer, Alois (University of Basel)
    Abstract: Do emotions aect the decision between change and the status quo? We exploit exogenous variation in emotions caused by rain and analyze data on more than 870,000 municipal vote outcomes in Switzerland to address this question. The empirical tests are based on administrative ballot outcomes and individual postvote survey data. We find that rain decreases the share of votes for political change. Our robustness checks suggest that this finding is not driven by changes in the composition of the electorate and changes in information acquisition. In addition, we provide evidence that rain might have altered the outcome of several high-stake votes. We discuss the psychological mechanism and document that rain reduces the willingness to take risks, a pattern that is consistent with the observed reduction in the support for change.
    Keywords: Emotions ; voting ; status quo ; risk aversion ; rain ; direct democracy ; turnout
    JEL: D01 D02 D72 D91
    Date: 2019–08
  6. By: Ascensión Andina-Díaz (Department of Economics, University of Málaga); Paula Penalva-Planelles; M. Socorro Puy (Department of Economics, University of Málaga)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how the preferences of political representatives for social spending differ across gender groups, and what the effects of gender differences are for the equilibrium policies. We use a unique survey data from the CIS in Spain, comprising a sample of 350 male and 230 female political representatives of national chambers (Congress and Senate) and regional parliaments. Our findings suggest that, in general, female representatives have a stronger preference for social spending than male representatives. Interestingly, these gender differences arise within members of the right-wing party (of PP), whereas left-wing representatives (of PSOE) males and females, are more homogenous. In a comparison between national versus regional representatives, we find that within representatives of national chambers, women over men show on average, an additional probability of 25 percent points of self-reporting preferences for additional spending in education and pensions. However, within representative members of regional parliaments, gender differences in preferences are not statistically significant. We also provide a theoretical model, which serves us to understand the effects of gender party composition on the equilibrium policies. Our model reveals that gender quotas benefit right-wing parties. Intuitively, women provide moderation to rightist parties, which in turn produces electoral advantage.
    Keywords: Gender differences; preferences for social spending; gender quotas; Downsian electoral competition
    JEL: D72 H75 J16
    Date: 2019–09
  7. By: Rupert Sausgruber (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Axel Sonntag (University of Vienna and IHS Vienna); Jean-Robert Tyran (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Abstract: We experimentally study the disincentive effect of taxing work and redistributing tax revenues when redistribution is imposed vs. democratically chosen in a vote. We find a "dividend of democracy" in the sense that the disincentive effect is substantially smaller when redistribution is chosen in a vote than when it is imposed. Redistribution seems to be more legitimate, and hence less demotivating, when accepted in a vote.
    Keywords: Redistribution, disincentive effect, voting, legitimacy, realeffort task, lab experiment
    JEL: C92 D31 D72 H23
    Date: 2019–06–03
  8. By: Bellucci, Davide; Conzo, Pierluigi; Zotti, Roberto (University of Turin)
    Abstract: A growing number of studies have found significant effects of inflows of migrants on electoral outcomes. However, the role of perceived immigration, which in many European countries is above official migration statistics, is overlooked. This paper investigates the effects of perceived threat of immigration on voting behavior, by looking at whether local elections in Italy were affected by sea arrivals of refugees before the election day. While, upon arrival, refugees cannot freely go to the destination municipality, landing episodes were discussed in the media especially before the elections, thereby influencing voters’ perceptions about the arrivals. We develop an index of exposure to arrivalsthat varies over time and across municipalities depending on the nationality of the incoming refugees. This index captures the impact of perceived immigration on voting behavior, on top of the effects of real immigration as proxied for by the stock of immigrants and the presence of refugee centers. Results show that, in municipalities where refugees are more expected to arrive, participationdecreases, whereas protest votes and support for extreme-right, populist and anti-immigration parties increase. Since these effects are driven by areas with fast broadband availability, we argue that antiimmigration campaigns played a key role.
    Date: 2019–06
    Abstract: The diaspora media are increasingly becoming influential players in homeland conflicts, to such an extent that domestic governments can ignore them at their own peril. However, their actual role, particularly in domestic conflicts is remains contentious with two perspectives dominating existing literature. On the one hand, diaspora media are constructed as ?conflict mongers? on the basis of their accentuation of ?disagreements, foregrounding confrontations and lending their airtime to forceful voices. On the other hand, they have been viewed as peace builders on account of their ability to shun ?extremism, giving room for alternative voices and visualizing peaceful solutions? (Skjerdal 2012, 27). However, these assessments are mainly based on suppositions, thus leaving implicit questions about what role the diaspora media play in homeland conflicts and what their influence is and how exactly are they are implicated in these political conflicts. Moreover, this binary perspective masks the complexity of diaspora media, particularly given the diversity and dynamism of the diaspora media. This chapter combines Gadi Wolfsfeld (1991)?s transactional mode and Michel Foucault?s Discourse theory to explore the extent to which the diaspora media sought to equalise the balance of power in an unequal conflict, pitting the ruling party, Zanu PF and the main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) during the presidential run-off of 27 June 2008. Key questions addressed in this chapter are: How did the diaspora media represent the run-off election? To what extent did they attempt to play the ?game-changer? in an unequal conflict? To what extent did the diaspora media accentuate external intervention in the Zimbabwean conflict? What lessons can be drawn for other African countries and beyond? The chapter presents an African, particularly Zimbabwean perspective on the role of the diaspora media in homeland affairs and broader ideological assumptions about the dominant discourses in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, of which the media are a key propagator.
    Keywords: Diaspora Media; Discourse Theory; Homeland Conflict; Liberalism; Transactional Model; Transactional Model; Zimbabwe
    Date: 2019–07
  10. By: Anselm Hager; Lukas Hensel; Johannes Hermle; Christopher Roth
    Abstract: We study participation in right-wing rallies and counterrallies in Germany to examine strategic interactions in political movements. In the leadup to two right-wing rallies, we exogenously shift potential participants’ beliefs about the turnout at the right-wing rally and left-wing counterrally, and then measure activists’ intentions to protest. For right-wing activists, own participation and participation of peers exhibit strategic substitutability. For left-wing activists, own participation and participation of peers are strategic complements. Both groups do not, however, react to changes in competitor effort. Our evidence highlights substantial heterogeneity in the nature of strategic interactions in political movements.
    Keywords: political rallies, field experiment, strategic behavior, beliefs
    JEL: D74 D80 P00
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Kenju Kamei (Durham University); Louis Putterman (Brown University); Jean-Robert Tyran (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Abstract: Effective states provide public goods by taxing their citizens and imposing penalties for non-compliance. However, accountable government requires that enough citizens are civically engaged. We study the voluntary cooperative underpinnings of the accountable state by conducting a two-level public goods experiment in which civic engagement can build a sanction scheme to solve the first-order public goods dilemma. We find that civic engagement can be sustained at high levels when costs are low relative to the benefits of public good provision. This cost-to-benefit differential yields what we call a "leverage effect" because it transforms modest willingness to cooperate into the larger social dividend from the power of taxation. In addition, we find that local social interaction among subgroups of participants also boosts cooperation.
    Keywords: civic engagement, public goods provision, punishment, experiment, cooperation
    JEL: C92 D02 D72 H41
    Date: 2019–09–05
  12. By: Virginia Cecchini Manara (University of Trento); Lorenzo Sacconi (University of Milan)
    Abstract: The Social Responsibility of Business usually involves self-regulation, which entails spontaneous compliance with social norms or standards that are not imposed by hard law. In this paper we discuss the mechanisms that lead economic agents to comply with socially responsible norms that are not legally enforced, and do not coincide with profit, or self-interest, maximization. Companies exist because individuals need to cooperate and some institutions can facilitate cooperation, but at the same time these institutions may turn into places where unfair distributions are amplified and cooperative behaviours and motivations disrupted. The agents who decide to organize themselves into firms are usually motivated by the need to earn some benefit from mutual cooperation: since they have limited knowledge and bounded rationality, team production can highly improve their results. Therefore the main motivation to enter an organization is to gain from cooperation; but this also brings problems of how to divide the surplus that is generated and we find conflicts on the attribution of benefits among stakeholders, with a particular problem of abuse of authority by those who hold power. One of the drivers of socially responsible behaviour is the quest for reputation, which in turn induces a cooperative response from the stakeholders. This can be described in game-theoretical terms with a repeated Trust Game between a trustor (the stakeholder) and a trustee (the management of the firm). The problem with reputation is that it is compatible with multiple equilibria, included the one in which stakeholders always trust the firm, and the firm often abuses this trust. This leads to consider an alternative mechanism for norm compliance: conformity and reciprocity that derive from an impartial agreement among stakeholders. The present work analyses in depth the role of an agreement on cognitions and motivations, grounding on insights from psychology, game theory and experimental findings.
    Keywords: corporate culture, CSR, social contract, agreement, trust game
    JEL: C72 M14 L14 D91
    Date: 2019–08
  13. By: Mark Hoekstra; Vijetha Koppa
    Abstract: Since 2000, ten states have enacted strict voter identification laws, which require that voters show identification in order for their votes to count. While proponents argue these laws prevent voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections, opponents argue they disenfranchise low-income and minority voters. In this paper, we document the extent to which these laws can affect voter turnout and election outcomes. We do so using historical data on more than 2,000 races in Florida and Michigan, which both allow and track ballots cast without identification. Results indicate that at most only 0.10% and 0.31% of total votes cast in each state were cast without IDs. Thus, even under the extreme assumption that all voters without IDs were either fraudulent or would be disenfranchised by a strict law, the enactment of such a law would have only a very small effect on turnout. Similarly, we also show under a range of conservative assumptions that very few election results could have been flipped due to a strict law. Collectively, our findings indicate that even if the worst fears of proponents or critics were true, strict identification laws are unlikely to have a meaningful impact on turnout or election outcomes.
    JEL: J15 J16 K42
    Date: 2019–08

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