nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒09‒23
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Political Cost of Being Soft on Crime: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Francesco Drago; Roberto Galbiati; Francesco Sobbrio
  2. Trimming Extreme Opinions in Preference Aggregation By Philippos Louis; Matías Núñez; Dimitrios Xefteris
  3. Eat Widely, Vote Wisely ? Lessons from a Campaign Against Vote Buying in Uganda By null null; Horacio Larreguy; Benjamin Marx; Otis Reid
  4. The Art of Compromising: Voting with Interdependent Values and the Flag of the Weimar Republic By Alex Gershkov; Andreas Kleiner; Benny Moldovanu; Xianwen Shi
  5. Winning a district election in a clientelistic society: Evidence from decentralized Indonesia By Farah, Alfa
  6. How effective are monetary incentives to vote? Evidence from a nationwide policy By Gonzales Mariella; Gianmarco León-Ciliotta; Luis R. Martinez
  7. The impact of election information shocks on populist party preferences: Evidence from Germany By Gerling, Lena; Kellermann, Kim Leonie
  8. The Political Economy of the Prussian Three-class Franchise By Becker, Sascha O.; Hornung, Erik
  9. COLLECTIVE EMOTIONS AND PROTEST VOTE By Carlo Altomonte; Gloria Gennaro; Francesco Passarelli
  10. The Shapley Value and Games with Hierarchies By Encarnacion Algaba; Rene van den Brink

  1. By: Francesco Drago (Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II); Roberto Galbiati (Département d'économie); Francesco Sobbrio
    Abstract: This study analyses voters' response to criminal justice policies by exploiting a natural experiment. The 2006 Italian Collective Pardon Bill, designed and promoted by the incumbent center-left (CL) coalition, unexpectedly released about one-third of the prison population, creating idiosyncratic incentives to recidivate across pardoned individuals. Municipalities where resident pardoned individuals had a higher incentive to recidivate experienced a higher recidivism rate. We show that in those municipalities voters "punished'' the CL coalition in the 2008 parliamentary elections. A one standard deviation increase in the incentive to recidivate-corresponding to an increase of recidivism of 15.9 percent-led to a 3.06 percent increase in the margin of victory of the center-right (CR) coalition in the post-pardon national elections (2008) relative to the last election before the pardon (2006). We also provide evidence of newspapers being more likely to report crime news involving pardoned individuals and of voters hardening their views on the incumbent national government's ability to control crime. Our findings indicate that voters keep politicians accountable by conditioning their vote on the observed effects of public policies.
    Keywords: Accountability; Retrospective Voting; Natural Experiment; Crime; Recidivism; Media
    JEL: D72 K42
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Philippos Louis; Matías Núñez; Dimitrios Xefteris
    Abstract: The use of trimmed mean mechanisms in collective decision-making is motivated by the perception that they constitute a remedy for strategic misreporting. This work focuses on the strategic calculus of voting under such mechanisms and –contrary to the above presumption– it demonstrates both formally and experimentally that: a) voters persistently resort to strategic polarization for all but the most extreme levels of trimming and b) the outcome is more extreme and closer to the ideal policy of the median voter compared to when trimming does not take place. These so far uncharted properties of trimming provide novel insights –and call for caution– regarding its implementation.
    Keywords: trimmed mean; equilibrium; experiment; collective decisions; facility location problem
    JEL: D71 D72
    Date: 2019–09
  3. By: null null (Harris School of Public Policy); Horacio Larreguy (Harvard University); Benjamin Marx (Département d'économie); Otis Reid (Massachusetts Institute of Technology [Cambridge] (MIT))
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of one of the largest anti-vote-buying campaigns ever studied—with half a million voters exposed across 1427 villages—in Uganda’s 2016 elections. Working with civil society organizations, we designed the study to estimate how voters and candidates responded to their campaign in treatment and spillover villages, and how impacts varied with campaign intensity. Despite its heavy footprint, the campaign did not reduce politician offers of gifts in exchange for votes. However, it had sizable effects on people’s votes. Votes swung from well-funded incumbents (who buy most votes) towards their poorly-financed challengers. We argue the swing arose from changes in village social norms plus the tactical response of candidates. While the campaign struggled to instill norms of refusing gifts, it leveled the electoral playing field by convincing some voters to abandon norms of reciprocity—thus accepting gifts from politicians but voting for their preferred candidate.
    Keywords: Elections; Voting Behavior; Field Experiment; Africa
    JEL: C93 D72 O55
    Date: 2019–07
  4. By: Alex Gershkov; Andreas Kleiner; Benny Moldovanu; Xianwen Shi
    Abstract: We model a situation where ex ante opinions in a legislature are dichotomous but cross traditional left-right party lines, e.g., crucial decisions on ethical issues such as gay marriage and abortion, or joining/exiting an economic/political union. In addition to the two "extreme" positions on the left and on the right, we consider the effect of a compromise alternative whose location may be endogenous. We compare sequential, binary voting schemes conducted by privately informed agents with interdependent preferences: the voting process gradually reveals and aggregates relevant information about the location of preferred alternatives. The Anglo-Saxon amendment procedure (AV) always selects the (complete-information) Condorcet winner. In contrast, the continental successive procedure (SV) does not. This holds because AV allows learning about the preferences of both leftists and rightists, while SV only allows one-directional learning at each step. Moreover, under SV, the agenda that puts the alternative with ex ante higher support last elects the Condorcet winner more often than the agenda that puts that alternative first. The optimal compromise location for various goals is also shown to differ across voting procedures. We illustrate our main findings with a fascinating historical episode, the vote on the flag of the Weimar republic.
    Keywords: Dynamic Voting, Interdependent Values, Successive Procedure, Amendment Procedure, Compromise
    JEL: D72 D82
    Date: 2019–09–09
  5. By: Farah, Alfa
    Abstract: Lower-level officials often engage in clientelistic relations with the upper-level government. The nature of these relations might be determined by institutional factors such as how the lower-level officials come into their position. This paper specifically highlights the different political incentives that elected versus appointed lower-level officials have for becoming political intermediaries for the upper-level government, and it investigates empirically how these differing incentives bring electoral consequences. Upon exploiting a natural experiment in Indonesia, the study found that the elected village headmen have stronger incentives to support the incumbent mayor than the appointed village headmen do. The results suggest that while civil service reforms might weaken the bureaucratic clientelism, the pre-existing patronclient relations that are deeply embedded in the society are immersed in local political competitions; thus, this practice challenges political consolidation in the young democracy.
    Keywords: clientelism,selection mechanism,local elections
    JEL: D72 H77 H83 O17 O18
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Gonzales Mariella; Gianmarco León-Ciliotta; Luis R. Martinez
    Abstract: We combine two natural experiments, multiple empirical strategies and administrative data to study voters' response to marginal changes to the fine for electoral abstention in Peru. A smaller fine leads to a robust decrease in voter turnout. However, the drop in turnout caused by a full 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 ne are blank or invalid, lending support to the hypothesis of rational abstention. Higher demand for information and larger long-run effects following an adjustment to the value of the ne point to the existence of informational frictions that limit adaptation to institutional changes.
    Keywords: voter turnout, voter registration, compulsory voting, informational frictions, external validity, Peru
    JEL: D72 D78 D83 K42
    Date: 2018–12
  7. By: Gerling, Lena; Kellermann, Kim Leonie
    Abstract: Despite controversial debates about the social acceptability of its nationalist program, the rightwing populist AfD has recently entered all state parliaments as well as the federal parliament in Germany. Although professed AfD voters faced a likely risk of social stigmatization, electoral support followed a clear upward trend. In order to explain these dynamics, we analyze the impact of information shocks with respect to aggregate-level AfD support on individual party choices. Unexpectedly high aggregate support for a populist party may indicate a higher social acceptance of its platform and reduce the social desirability bias in self-reported party preferences. Consequently, the likelihood to reveal an AfD preference increases. We test this mechanism in an event-study approach, exploiting quasi-random variation in survey interviews conducted closely around German state elections. We define election information shocks as deviations of actual AfD vote shares from pre-election polls and link these to the individual disposition to report an AfD preference in subsequent survey interviews. Our results suggest that exposure to higher-than expected AfD support significantly increases the individual probability to report an AfD vote intention by up to 3 percentage points.
    Keywords: voting behavior,populist parties,contagion effects,information shocks,socialdesirability bias
    JEL: C21 D71 D72 D83 D91
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Becker, Sascha O. (Monash U and U Warwick, CAGE, CEPR, CESifo, Ifo, IZA and ROA); Hornung, Erik (University of Cologne, CAGE, CEPR, and CESifo)
    Abstract: Did the Prussian three-class franchise, which politically over-represented the economic elite, affect policy-making? Combining MP-level political orientation, derived from all roll call votes in the Prussian parliament (1867–1903), with constituency characteristics, we analyze how local vote inequality, determined by tax payments, affected policymaking during Prussia’s period of rapid industrialization. Contrary to the predominant view that the franchise system produced a conservative parliament, higher vote inequality is associated with more liberal voting, especially in regions with large-scale industry. We argue that industrialists preferred self-serving liberal policies and were able to coordinate on suitable MPs when vote inequality was high.
    Keywords: Inequality ; Political Economy ; Three-class Franchise ; Elites ; Prussia
    JEL: D72 N43 N93 P26
    Date: 2019
  9. 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
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Encarnacion Algaba (Seville University); Rene van den Brink (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In this paper we focus on restrictions arising from the players belonging to some hierarchical structure that is represented by a digraph. Two of these models are the games with a permission structure and games under precedence constraints. In both cases, the hierarchy can be represented by a directed graph which restricts the possibilities of coalition formation. These two approaches led to two different type of solutions in the literature. The precedence power solutions for games under precedence constraints, are axiomatized with an axiom that applies a network power measure to the precedence constraint. We will show that something similar can be done for games with a permission structure, and obtain a class of permission power solutions. This class contains the (conjunctive) permission value. With this we have two classes of solutions for games with a hierarchy, one based on permission structures and another based on precedence constraints, that are characterized by similar axioms. Moreover, the solutions are linked with network power measures.
    Keywords: Cooperative transferable utility game, permission structures, precedence constraints, Shapley value, hierarchical solution, power measures
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2019–08–09

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