nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒11‒25
fifteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Voting for Democracy: Chile's Plebiscito and the Electoral Participation of a Generation By Ethan Kaplan; Fernando Saltiel; Sergio S. Urzúa
  2. Eat Widely, Vote Wisely? Lessons from a Campaign Against Vote Buying in Uganda By Blattman, Chris; Larreguy, Horacio; Marx, Benjamin; Reid, Otis
  3. Network Formation in Large Groups By Syngjoo Choi; Sanjeev Goyal; Fr¢¥ed¢¥eric Moisan
  4. Pork and Turkey: Distributive Politics in the Allocation of Public Investments into Turkish Electoral Districts 1987–2004 By Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali; Yaraşır-Tülümce, Sevinç
  5. Economic Insecurity and the Rise of the Right By Walter Bossert; Andrew E. Clark; Conchita d'Ambrosio; Anthony Lepinteur
  6. The Role of Institutional Investors in Corporate Lobbying By Anqi Jiao
  7. Conventions and Coalitions in Repeated Games By Liu, Ce; Ali, S. Nageeb
  8. A general model of synchronous updating with binary opinions By Alexis Poindron
  9. On the political and social consequences of economic inequality: Civic engagement in Colombia By Justino Patricia; Arjona Ana; Cárdenas Juan; Ibáñez Ana; Vallejo Julian
  10. Communication, Distortion, and Randomness in Metric Voting By David Kempe
  11. Deterrence in sequential contests: An experimental study By Arthur B. Nelson
  12. Democratizing Tech Giants! A Roadmap By Hans Gersbach
  13. Mapping the pathways towards farm-level sustainable intensification of agriculture: an exploratory network 3 analysis of stakeholders’ views By Micha, Evgenia; Fenton, Owen; Daly, Karen; Kakonyi, Gabriella; Ezzati, Golnaz; Moloney, Thomas; Thornton, Steven F
  14. A story of how a climate change sceptic politician changed their mind By Calyx, Cobi; Low, Jenny
  15. The Curious Case of Cú Chulainn: Nationalism, Culture, and Meaning Making in the Contested Symbols of Northern Ireland By Goalwin, Gregory

  1. By: Ethan Kaplan; Fernando Saltiel; Sergio S. Urzúa
    Abstract: This paper assesses if voting for democracy affects long-term electoral participation. We study the effects of participating in Chile's 1988 plebiscite, which determined whether democracy would be reinstated after a 15-year long military dictatorship. Taking advantage of individual-level voting data for upwards of 13 million Chileans, we implement an age-based RD design comparing long run registration and turnout rates across marginally eligible and ineligible individuals. We find that Plebiscite eligibility (participation) significantly increased electoral turnout three decades later, reaching 1.8 (3.3) percentage points in the 2017 Presidential election. These effects are robust to different specifications and distinctive to the 1988 referendum. We discuss potential mechanisms concluding that the scale of initial mobilization explains the estimated effects. We find that plebiscite eligibility induced a sizable share of less educated voters to register to vote compared to eligibles in other upstream elections. Since less educated voters tended to support Chile's governing left-wing coalition, we argue that the plebiscite contributed to the emergence of one party rule the twenty years following democratization.
    JEL: C21 D72 N46
    Date: 2019–11
  2. By: Blattman, Chris; Larreguy, Horacio; Marx, Benjamin; Reid, Otis
    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.
    Date: 2019–09–10
  3. By: Syngjoo Choi; Sanjeev Goyal; Fr¢¥ed¢¥eric Moisan
    Abstract: We conduct an experiment to understand the principles that govern network formation. The design of the experiment builds on a model of linking and efforts taken from Galeotti and Goyal [2010]. In order to reduce cognitive complexity facing human subjects and facilitate learning, we develop a new experimental platform that integrates a network visualization tool using an algorithm of Barnes and Hut [1986] with an interactive tool of asynchronous choices in continuous time. Our experiment provides strong support for macroscopic predictions of the theory: there is specialization in linking and e?orts across all treatments. Moreover, and in line with the theory, the specialization is more pronounced in larger groups. Thus subjects abide by the law of the few. Information on payo?s provided to subjects a?ects their behavior and yields di?erential welfare consequences. In the treatment where subjects see only their own payo?s, in large groups, the most connected individuals compete ?ercely they exert large efforts and have small earnings. By contrast, when a subject sees everyone¡¯s payo?s, in large groups, the most connected individuals engage in less intense competition they exert little e?ort and have large earnings. The e?ects of information are much more muted in small groups.
    JEL: C92 D83 D85 Z13
    Date: 2019–03
  4. By: Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali; Yaraşır-Tülümce, Sevinç
    Abstract: We investigate the political factors involved in the allocation of public investments into Turkish electoral districts. In contrast to the general presumption in the literature, we argue that the Closed-List Proportional Representation electoral rule is associated with pork barrel politics, given the strong reelection motives of the legislators. Using a unique data set from Turkey covering detailed individual characteristics of approximately 2,000 MPs over five legislative periods during 1987–2004, we test this argument and demonstrate that the composition of legislator characteristics in a district proxying pork barrel engagement such as seniority, education, and former profession, matters significantly for attracting investments into specific geographic constituencies. The findings also indicate the strong presence of partisan motivations and targeted support for core and smaller opposition groups in public investment allocations. We also document that a stronger right-wing tendency in the cabinet, a single-party government, and fractionalized voter preferences and higher voter turnout in the electorate are all associated with increased public investments.
    Keywords: Pork Barrel; Turkey; Individual Legislator Characteristics
    JEL: H4
    Date: 2019–10–01
  5. By: Walter Bossert (CIREQ - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, University of Montreal - University of Montreal); Andrew E. Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Conchita d'Ambrosio (INSIDE - INtegrative research unit on Social and Individual DEvelopment - University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg]); Anthony Lepinteur (INSIDE - INtegrative research unit on Social and Individual DEvelopment - University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg])
    Abstract: Economic insecurity has attracted growing attention in social, academic and policy cir- cles. However, there is no consensus as to its precise de_nition. Intuitively, economic insecurity is multi-faceted, making any comprehensive formal de_nition that subsumes all possible aspects extremely challenging. We propose a simpli_ed approach, and character- ize a class of individual economic-insecurity measures that are based on the time pro_le of economic resources. We then apply our economic-insecurity measure to data on political preferences. In US, UK and German panel data, and conditional on current economic resources, economic insecurity is associated with both greater political participation (sup- port for a party or the intention to vote) and notably more support for parties on the right of the political spectrum. We in particular _nd that economic insecurity predicts greater support for both Donald Trump before the 2016 US Presidential election and the UK leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum.
    Keywords: Economic index numbers,Insecurity,Political participation,Conservatism,Right-leaning political parties,Trump,Brexit
    Date: 2019–10
  6. By: Anqi Jiao
    Abstract: This study investigates whether and how institutional investors affect corporate lobbying of firms in their portfolios. I find that firmsâ lobbying activities are positively associated with ownership by institutional investors who also lobby. The effect is stronger for the firms that face more constraints to lobbying. I use the Russell index reconstitution to establish causality. I further document three plausible channels. First, institutional investors support firmsâ lobbying by pushing for the same congressional bills. Second, institutional investors share political resources such as lobbyists with firms. Third, institutional investors protect firmsâ private information by voting against proposals on additional lobbying disclosure. Overall, the study shows that institutional investors can alleviate the constraints and costs in corporate lobbying.
    JEL: D72 G23 G38 P16
    Date: 2019–08–20
  7. By: Liu, Ce (Michigan State University, Department of Economics); Ali, S. Nageeb (Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: We develop a theory of repeated interaction for coalitional behavior. We consider stage games where both individuals and coalitions may deviate. However, coalition members cannot commit to long-run behavior (on and off the path), and anticipate that today’s actions influence tomorrow’s behavior. We evaluate the degree to which history-dependence can ward off coalitional deviations. If monitoring is perfect, every feasible and strictly individually rational payoff can be supported by history-dependent conventions. By contrast, if players can make secret side-payments to each other, every coalition achieves a coalitional minmax value, reducing the set of supportable payoffs to the core of the stage game.
    Keywords: cooperative games; core; repeated games; secrecy
    JEL: C71 C72 C73 D71
    Date: 2019–06–02
  8. By: Alexis Poindron (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Université Paris 1Panthéon-Sorbonne;
    Abstract: We consider a society of agents making an iterated yes/no decision on some issue, where updating is done by mutual influence under a Markovian process. Agents update their opinions at the same time, independently of each other, in an entirely mechanical manner. They can have a favourable or an unfavourable perception of their neighbours. We study the qualitative patterns of this model, which captures several notions, including conformism, anti-conformism, communitarianism and leadership. We discuss under which conditions opinions are stable. Finally, we introduce a notion of entropy that we use to extract information on the society and to predict future opinions
    Keywords: opinion dynamics; convergence; absorbing class; groups; entropy
    JEL: C7 D7 D85
    Date: 2019–10
  9. By: Justino Patricia; Arjona Ana; Cárdenas Juan; Ibáñez Ana; Vallejo Julian
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of inequality on individual civic engagement at the community level, whether this impact persists over time, and what mechanisms may shape the relationship between inequality and civic engagement.The results show that inequality in Colombia is associated with increases in individual participation in political organizations, including increased membership, meeting attendance, and assumption of leadership roles. Mechanisms explaining this effect include elite influence, strong connectivity between community members, and high individual aspirations. The effect is strongest in the medium term and weakens over time.
    Keywords: Economic inequality,Civic participation,Collective action,Colombia
    Date: 2019
  10. By: David Kempe
    Abstract: In distortion-based analysis of social choice rules over metric spaces, one assumes that all voters and candidates are jointly embedded in a common metric space. Voters rank candidates by non-decreasing distance. The mechanism, receiving only this ordinal (comparison) information, should select a candidate approximately minimizing the sum of distances from all voters. It is known that while the Copeland rule and related rules guarantee distortion at most 5, many other standard voting rules, such as Plurality, Veto, or $k$-approval, have distortion growing unboundedly in the number $n$ of candidates. Plurality, Veto, or $k$-approval with small $k$ require less communication from the voters than all deterministic social choice rules known to achieve constant distortion. This motivates our study of the tradeoff between the distortion and the amount of communication in deterministic social choice rules. We show that any one-round deterministic voting mechanism in which each voter communicates only the candidates she ranks in a given set of $k$ positions must have distortion at least $\frac{2n-k}{k}$; we give a mechanism achieving an upper bound of $O(n/k)$, which matches the lower bound up to a constant. For more general communication-bounded voting mechanisms, in which each voter communicates $b$ bits of information about her ranking, we show a slightly weaker lower bound of $\Omega(n/b)$ on the distortion. For randomized mechanisms, it is known that Random Dictatorship achieves expected distortion strictly smaller than 3, almost matching a lower bound of $3-\frac{2}{n}$ for any randomized mechanism that only receives each voter's top choice. We close this gap, by giving a simple randomized social choice rule which only uses each voter's first choice, and achieves expected distortion $3-\frac{2}{n}$.
    Date: 2019–11
  11. By: Arthur B. Nelson (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
    Abstract: Many contests are sequential, with leaders making decisions rst, and followers observing those decisions and responding to them. The theory predicts that, unlike in standard Stackelberg duopoly settings, in two-player sequential contests the leader has no strategic advantage. However, this is no longer the case for sequential contests with multiple leaders. Applications include political competition with two established parties and a possibility for a third party entry, or R&D competition with multiple incumbents and a new entrant. We conduct a lab experiment testing the equilibrium predictions for two- and three-player sequential contests, with the corresponding simultaneous contests as controls. Consistent with theory, we find evidence of entry deterrence by leaders in the three-player sequential contest, but not in the two-player version.
    Keywords: contest, sequential move, Stackelberg, deterrence, experiment
    JEL: C92 D72
    Date: 2019–11
  12. By: Hans Gersbach (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: How society should deal with the self-strengthening Tech Giants is a much-discussed issue. We suggest to democratize them by giving users a say in their decisions. With newly-developed collective decision rules and user councils, democratization of Tech Giants becomes feasible.
    Date: 2019–10
  13. By: Micha, Evgenia; Fenton, Owen; Daly, Karen; Kakonyi, Gabriella; Ezzati, Golnaz; Moloney, Thomas; Thornton, Steven F
    Abstract: Sustainable intensification of agriculture (SIA) has become an important concept to ensuring food security in the context of increasing agricultural production while minimising negative externalities in contemporary agronomic systems. In supporting this, there is a need to establish a decision-making and management system that involves the views and opinions of different stakeholders and unifies the goals of SIA amongst them. The objective of this work is to identify and describe pathways toward farm-level SIA. An explanatory network approach and fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs) support the analysis of stakeholder views across the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. Different stakeholder groups were asked to collectively map the pathways towards farm level SIA in a workshop exercise. The respective groups considered a common set of pre-selected factors as potential descriptors of sustainability and created unique maps by adding their own components and descriptors and identifying causal links between them. While the relative weighting of factors by each group differed, according to their perspectives and interpretation, yield, knowledge transfer, water quality, weather extremes and technology/infrastructure were scored as priority descriptors of farm-level sustainability by all groups in an aggregate analysis. Exploratory analysis of FCMs was found to provide an efficient mechanism to investigate stakeholder views on pathways towards farm-level SIA, by identifying causal relationships and interactions between factors and actors that affect its achievement. The study shows that sustainable intensification is a complex dynamic system that includes institutional structures, personal goals, stakeholder interests and socio-economic factors, and is affected by cognitive beliefs and particular knowledge within stakeholder groups. Our results show how experience, knowledge and beliefs affect the perception of farm-level SIA by various stakeholder groups, and how this knowledge is often fragmented and miscommunicated. The exercise confirmed the hypothesis that farm-level SIA has to be seen as a dynamic process in which farm performance is affected by various factors, with the complexity of the process increasing when different stakeholder interests and beliefs combine for farm management.
    Date: 2019–09–10
  14. By: Calyx, Cobi; Low, Jenny
    Abstract: Inherent in deliberative democracy is the possibility of individuals changing their position on an issue in response to persuasive communication. This is a case study of how a person in a position of power changed their mind about climate change in response to deliberations, then used their position to put on record their thought processes in changing mind. Reactions to the public announcement are explored, as are factors contributing to the change of mind and decision to publicly speak about it. Power dynamics that enabled the public discussion of changing mind are also discussed.
    Date: 2019–09–06
  15. By: Goalwin, Gregory
    Abstract: While scholars have long recognized the importance of symbols to nationalism, most analyses examine relatively unambiguous symbols. I seek to understand how such processes function when symbolic meaning is contested, analyzing how organizations on both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland deployed representations of Cú Chulainn to support conflicting political programs. I argue that movements in Northern Ireland imbued symbols with meaning by emplotting them within ideological narratives. In return, these symbols provided evidence that strengthened and supported the ideological narratives of the movements that produced them, serving as potent reminders of the worldview such narratives advocate.
    Date: 2019–08–30

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