nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒10‒21
eleven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Victorian Voting: The Origins of Party Orientation and Class Alignment By Dewan, Torun; Meriläinen, Jaakko; Tukiainen, Janne
  2. Can Biased Polls Distort Electoral Results? Evidence From The Lab And The Field By Aristotelis Boukouras; Will Jennings; Lunzheng Li; Zacharias Maniadis
  3. Complete Information Pivotal-Voter Model with Asymmetric Group Size By Christos Mavridis; Marco Serena
  4. The geography of EU discontent By Dijkstra, Lewis; Poelman, Hugo; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  5. Fiscal decentralization and electoral participation: Analyzing districts in Indonesia By Farah, Alfa
  6. Compliance in Teams - Implications of Joint Decisions and Shared Consequences By Tim Lohse; Sven A. Simon
  7. Electoral Sentencing Cycles By Abrams, David; Galbiati, Roberto; Henry, Emeric; Philippe, Arnaud
  8. How Communicative Performances Can Constitute an Organization's Self By Fabien Hildwein
  9. Does Public Attention Reduce the Influence of Moneyed Interests? Policy Positions on SOPA/PIPA Before and After the Internet Blackout By Stutzer, Alois; Matter, Ulrich
  10. The Stability of Conditional Cooperation: Egoism Trumps Reciprocity in Social Dilemmas By Luciano Andreozzi; Matteo Ploner; Ali Seyhun Saral
  11. Public Goods and Future Audiences: Acting as Role Models? By Giuseppe Attanasi; Roberta Dessi; Frédéric Moisan; Donald Robertson

  1. By: Dewan, Torun; Meriläinen, Jaakko; Tukiainen, Janne
    Abstract: Much of what we know about the alignment of voters with parties comes from mass surveys of the electorate in the postwar period or from aggregate electoral data. Using individual elector level panel data from 19th-century United Kingdom poll books, we reassess the development of a party-centred electorate. We show that (i) the electorate was party-centred by the time of the extension of the franchise in 1867; (ii) a decline in candidate-centred voting is largely attributable to changes in the behaviour of the working class; and (iii) the enfranchised working class aligned with the Liberal left. This early alignment of the working class with the left cannot entirely be explained by a decrease in vote buying. The evidence suggests instead that the alignment was based on the programmatic appeal of the Liberals. We argue that these facts can plausibly explain the subsequent development of the party system.
    Keywords: candidate-vs-party-oriented voting, party development, partisan alignment, Local public finance and provision of public services, C23, D72, N33,
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Aristotelis Boukouras; Will Jennings; Lunzheng Li; Zacharias Maniadis
    Abstract: Biased exposure of voters to the outcome of polls constitutes a risk to the principle of balanced and impartial elections. We first show empirically how modern communication (through social media) may naturally result in such biased exposure. Then, in a series of experiments with a total of 375 participants, we investigate the impact of such biased exposure on election outcomes in an environment where only a strict subset of voters has information on the quality of the two candidates. Thus, polls serve to communicate information to uninformed voters. In our treatment conditions, participants have access to a biased sample of polls’ results, favouring systematically one candidate. Participants in the biased treatment conditions consistently elect the candidate favoured by polls more often than in the unbiased control conditions. Remarkably, this holds even when voters are a priori informed about the bias. Accordingly, our results indicate that – in an experimental setting at least – biased polls distort election results via two channels: (i) by distorting the information set of voters, and (ii) by providing an anchor for subjects’ expectations regarding the election outcome. Overall, biased exposure distorts elections in a very robust manner.
    JEL: D72 D83
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: Christos Mavridis; Marco Serena
    Abstract: In this note, we characterize the equilibria of the standard pivotal-voter participation game between two groups of voters of asymmetric sizes, as originally proposed by Palfrey and Rosenthal [1983. A strategic calculus of voting. Public Choice. 41, 7-53].
    Keywords: Costly voting, pivotal voter model, complete information
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Dijkstra, Lewis; Poelman, Hugo; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: Support for parties opposed to EU-integration has risen rapidly and a wave of discontent has taken over the EU. This discontent is purportedly driven by the very factors behind the surge of populism: differences in age, wealth, education, or economic and demographic trajectories. This paper maps the geography of EU discontent across more than 63,000 electoral districts in the EU-28 and assesses which factors push anti-EU voting. The results show that anti-EU vote is mainly a consequence of local economic and industrial decline in combination with lower employment and a less educated workforce. Many of the other suggested causes of discontent, by contrast, matter less than expected or their impact varies depending on levels of opposition to European integration.
    Keywords: Anti-Europeanism; anti-system voting; economic decline; education; European Union; industrial decline; migration; populism
    JEL: D72 R11
    Date: 2019–10
  5. By: Farah, Alfa
    Abstract: Many countries have adopted decentralization policies in order to strengthen democratic governance. Nevertheless, empirical literature on whether decentralization actually strengthens democratic governance is relatively limited when compared to empirical literature on the impact of decentralization on a wide array of fiscal or economic variables. Therefore, this paper empirically explores the effect of fiscal decentralization on democratic governance, particularly by highlighting one aspect of democratic governance, namely participation in local elections. Upon analyzing data from districts across Indonesia using the within-between specification, the empirical findings generally suggest that participation in district mayoral elections might not necessarily be driven by the increased autonomy that district have, but rather by some adverse consequences of decentralization such as capture by local elites. In addition, the analysis shows that when a district government gains fiscal power, this might not necessarily encourage electoral participation when the district's budget is mostly allocated to spending that does not benefit the public at large.
    Keywords: fiscal decentralization,fiscal autonomy,voter turnout,local election,the within-between specification
    JEL: H71 H72 H77 D72
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Tim Lohse; Sven A. Simon
    Abstract: In today's business environment, team work is omnipresent. But might teams be more prone toward non-compliance with laws and regulations than single individuals despite imminent negative consequences of uncovering misconduct? The recent prevalence of corporate delinquencies gives rise to this concern. In our laboratory experiment, we investigate the determinants of teams' compliance behavior. In particular, we disentangle the e¤ect of deciding jointly as a team of two from sharing the economic consequences among both team members. Our findings provide evidence that teams are substantially less compliant than individuals are. This drop in compliance is driven by the joint, rather than the individual, liability of team members. In contrast, whether subjects make their decisions alone or together does not influence the overall compliance rate. When coordinating their compliance decision teams predominately discuss the risk of getting caught in an audit, and team decision-making is characterized by behavioral spillovers between team members. Holding each team member fully liable is a promising means to deter them from going astray.
    Keywords: Compliance, lying, team decision, shared liability, audit, communication, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C92 D91 K42
    Date: 2018–05
  7. By: Abrams, David; Galbiati, Roberto; Henry, Emeric; Philippe, Arnaud
    Abstract: Exploiting features of the North-Carolina judicial system, elections and forced rotation of judges, we overcome major challenges hampering the identifi cation of the existence and source of sentencing variation over the electoral cycle. We show that when elections approach, sentencing for felonies increase. This increase is driven by decisions taken by judges present in their district of election, and only when elections are contested. When judges operate outside their district of elections, sentencing decisions do not signi ficantly vary over the electoral cycle. Our results demonstrate the existence of strategic sentencing by judges in an attempt to please voters and allow us to discard alternative explanations for the rise along the cycle, such as behavioral motives or contextual explanations.
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2019–10
  8. By: Fabien Hildwein (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The creation of an organization's self is the attribution of a collective will and agency to a group of individuals, thereby constituting them into an organization able to interact with its peers. As such, the organization's self represents a central issue for collective action, as studied through the prism of the "communicative constitution of organizing" (CCO). Performances, as communicative and spectacular events during which a collectivity presents its self and displays a given message, represent a little-studied opportunity to understand the constitution of the organization's self, and to explore the links between the organization's self and the selves of its members. The empirical part of this study analyses the French feminist activist group, La Barbe, which uses innovative performances to denounce the absence of women at the top of organizations. The paper's contribution is twofold: the analysis presents how visual and symbolic performances can help to constitute an organization's self, notably through what performances produce for the organization: visibility, coordination and mobilization. Second, it shows the impact of performances on those who execute them, which retroactively has important organizational effects by ensuring their engagement in the organization.
    Keywords: organization's self,communicative constitution of organizing,qualitative case-study,activist groups,communicative performances
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Stutzer, Alois (University of Basel); Matter, Ulrich (University of Basel)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of public attention in determining the effect that campaign contributions by interest groups have on legislators' policy positions. We exploit the shock in public attention induced by the Internet service blackout of January 2012 that increased the salience of the SOPA/PIPA bills aimed at stronger protection of property rights on the Internet. Using a new dataset of U.S. congressmen's public statements, we find a strong statistical relationship between campaign contributions funded by the affected industries and legislators' positions. However, this relationship evaporates once the two bills become primary policy issues. Our results are consistent with the notion that legislators choose positions on secondary policy issues in order to cater to organized interests, whereas positions on primary policy issues are driven by electoral support.
    Keywords: Campaign finance, public attention, outside lobbying, Internet governance, mass media, policy positions, interest groups
    Date: 2019–05–22
  10. By: Luciano Andreozzi (Department of Economics, University of Trento); Matteo Ploner (Department of Economics, University of Trento); Ali Seyhun Saral (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: An often-replicated result in the experimental literature on social dilemmas is that a large share of subjects reveal conditionally cooperative preferences. Cooperation generated by this type of preferences is notoriously unstable, as individuals reduce their contributions to the public good in reaction to other subjects free-riding. This has led to the widely-shared conclusion that cooperation observed in experiments (and its collapse) is mostly driven by imperfect reciprocity. In this study, we explore the possibility that reciprocally cooperative preferences may themselves be unstable. We do so by observing the evolution of subjects’ preferences in an anonymously repeated social dilemma. Our results show that a significant fraction of reciprocally cooperative subjects become selfish in the course of the experiment, while the reverse is rarely observed. We are thus driven to the conclusion that egoism is more resistant to exposure to social dilemmas than reciprocity.
    Keywords: reciprocity, conditional cooperation, strategy method
    JEL: C72 C91
    Date: 2019–10
  11. By: Giuseppe Attanasi (Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG, France); Roberta Dessi (Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)); Frédéric Moisan (University of Cambridge); Donald Robertson (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: Individuals' decisions to behave prosocially (or the contrary) can often be observed by other individuals, with no direct connection to them, but who may nevertheless be influenced by them (e.g. through social media). Does knowing that they may be viewed as role models by other, notably younger, people a ect the way individuals behave? Does it make them more likely to behave prosocially? We study how participants' behavior in an experimental public good game is affected when they know that information about their choices and outcomes, together with different sets of information about their identity, will be transmitted the following year to a set of new, unknown, younger participants - with no payoff linkages between the two sets of players. When subjects know their photo, choices and outcomes will be transmitted, they contribute significantly less. We consider different possible explanations, and argue that the most convincing is based on image concerns, but in a surprising way: subjects in the photo treatment care about not being perceived as "suckers" by future players.
    Keywords: Role models, image concerns, identity, audience, public goods
    JEL: C91 C92 H41
    Date: 2019–10

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