nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2019‒12‒23
twelve papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Policy Choices in Assembly versus Representative Democracy: Evidence from Swiss Communes By Patricia Funk; Stephan Litschig
  2. Attacking the weak or the strong? An experiment on the targets of parochial altruism By Simon Varaine; Ismaël Benslimane; Raul Magni Berton; Paolo Crosetto
  3. Valence, Complementarities, and Political Polarization By Denter, Philipp
  4. Moved to Vote: The Long-Run Effects of Neighborhoods on Political Participation By Eric Chyn; Kareem Haggag
  5. Alternative Axioms in Group Identification Problems By Federico Fioravanti; Fernando Tohm\'e
  6. Campaign Contests By Denter, Philipp
  7. Decision-Making in Complex Households By Marcos Rangel; Duncan Thomas
  8. The Fallacy of the Creatures of the Provinces Doctrine: By Kristin Good
  9. Brexit : Eurosceptic Victory In British Referendum In Term Of Britain Membership Of European Union By ARISTO, Jurnal
  10. Mind the Funding Gap: Transit Financing in Los Angeles County and Metro Vancouver By Matthew Lesch
  11. Getting to know you: motivating cross-understanding for improved team and individual performance By Janardhanan, Niranjan S.; Lewis, Kyle; Reger, Rhonda K.; Stevens, Cynthia K.
  12. Fuzzy Group Identification Problems By Federico Fioravanti; Fernando Tohm\'e

  1. By: Patricia Funk (Università della Svizzera italiana); Stephan Litschig (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the form of the legislative institution - citizen assembly versus elected parliament - affects the level and composition of local public expenditure. Our empirical analysis focuses on medium-sized and mostly German-speaking communes in Switzerland that switched from assembly to parliament between 1945 and 2010. Event study estimates suggest that parliament adoption increases total spending by about 6 percent and that this increase is driven mostly by general administration and education spending. To understand potential mechanisms at play, we run a survey among assembly participants and document a sizeable under-representation of 20- to 40-year-olds, as well as of women in assemblies compared to both voters in elections and to the electorate at large. Since these two demographics have relatively strong preferences for public spending on education in our setting, switching from citizen assembly to parliament likely increased their representation in the political process.
    Date: 2019–11
  2. By: Simon Varaine (Pacte, Laboratoire de sciences sociales - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Ismaël Benslimane (IPhiG - Institut de Philosophie de Grenoble - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Raul Magni Berton (Pacte, Laboratoire de sciences sociales - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Paolo Crosetto (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes)
    Abstract: Studies on parochial altruism have insofar focused on the causes leading individuals to attack any out-group on the behalf of one's group. Yet, we have no clue to understand why parochial altruists target specific groups, such as big firms in some contexts and refugees in other contexts. The present paper introduces an experiment to analyse the conditions under which individuals costly attack strong versus weak out-groups. In our study, 300 participants played a repeated Inter-group Prisonner Dilemma (IPD) involving multiple groups and inter-group differences in resources. The results show that individuals have a basic preference for targeting strong out-groups, but that attacks decrease when the inequality in destructive capacity between groups is high. Besides, individuals target weak out-groups when they are threatening their in-group status. Decisions in the game correlate with participants' political ideology and social dominance orientation. Overall, the results give clues to understand historical variations in the targets of political violence.
    Keywords: D74,H41,Parochial altruism,Terrorism,Social comparison,Inequality,Ideology,Intergroup conflict,JEL codes : C92
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Denter, Philipp
    Abstract: I study a model of electoral competition where two parties that care about both the spoils of office and policy compete by announcing policy platforms. Parties are characterized by their valence on the one hand and by their policy platforms on the other. Unlike in the extant literature, I assume that valence and policy are complements (instead of substitutes) from the voter's perspective. I generally characterize electoral equilibrium and show that in such a framework increasing one or both parties' valence level(s) leads to policy moderation. To the contrary, if both candidates have minimal valence policy platforms are maximally polarized. The model hence uncovers valence as an important determinant of political polarization.
    Keywords: electoral competition, valence, policy, complements
    JEL: D72 H41 P16
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Eric Chyn; Kareem Haggag
    Abstract: How does one's childhood neighborhood shape political engagement later in life? We leverage a natural experiment that moved children out of disadvantaged neighborhoods to study effects on their voting behavior more than a decade later. Using linked administrative data, we find that children who were displaced by public housing demolitions and moved using housing vouchers are 12 percent (3.3 percentage points) more likely to vote in adulthood, relative to their non-displaced peers. We argue that this result is unlikely to be driven by changes in incarceration or in their parents' outcomes, but rather by improvements in education and labor market outcomes, and perhaps by socialization. These results suggest that, in addition to reducing economic inequality, housing assistance programs that improve one's childhood neighborhood may be a useful tool in reducing inequality in political participation.
    JEL: D72 H75 I38 J13 R23 R38
    Date: 2019–11
  5. By: Federico Fioravanti; Fernando Tohm\'e
    Abstract: Kasher and Rubinstein (1997) introduced the problem of classifying the members of a group in terms of the opinions of their potential members. This involves a finite set of agents $N = \{1,2,\ldots,n\}$, each one having an opinion about which agents should be classified as belonging to a specific subgroup J. A Collective Identity Function (CIF) aggregates those opinions yielding the class of members deemed $J$. Kasher and Rubinstein postulate axioms, intended to ensure fair and socially desirable outcomes, characterizing different CIFs. We follow their lead by replacing their liberal axiom by other axioms, constraining the spheres of influence of the agents. We show that some of them lead to different CIFs while in another instance we find an impossibility result.
    Date: 2019–12
  6. By: Denter, Philipp
    Abstract: I develop a formal model of political campaigns in which candidates choose how to distribute their resources over two different policy issues. I assume that campaigning on an issue has two simultaneous effects, both rooted in social and cognitive psychology: It increases the perceived quality of the advertising candidate in that issue and it makes the issue more salient, thereby increasing the issue's perceived importance to the voters. Whether a candidate can increase his vote share during the contest depends on the interplay of strategic issue selection, which depends on candidates' comparative advantages, and the aggregate resource allocation to the issues. The aggregate resource allocation-or campaign agenda-depends on an issue's importance, the firmness of voters' conviction regarding candidates' relative quality, and the divisiveness of this issue. A candidate increases his vote share during the campaign contest if he has a comparative advantage on the issue that receives more aggregate spending. Consequently, the contest may be biased in one candidate's favor and an a priori less popular candidate might be the actual odds on favorite. I show that a relatively unimportant issue might receive most aggregate spending and thus could decide the election.
    Keywords: electoral competition, campaign spending, contests, priming, advertising
    JEL: D72 L2 P16
    Date: 2019–08
  7. By: Marcos Rangel; Duncan Thomas
    Abstract: Extremely rich data on farm households in Burkina Faso are used to test whether resource are allocated Pareto efficiently. The complexity of household structures, including multi-generation and polygynous households, is taken into account to developing tests from theoretical models of behavior. Credible measures of bargaining power are constructed exploiting the fact that individuals within a household have well-defined property rights over the plots they own. Using data on consumption choices, we establish that in farm households headed by a monogamous couple (with no co-resident adult sons), resource allocations are consistent with efficiency. In more complex household structures, including polygynous households, efficiency in allocations is not rejected in models that allow more than two household members to have agency in decision-making. In contrast, tests for efficiency based on whether the same farm households maximize profits by equating marginal products across plots are rejected for all household types. Further, these same tests indicate individuals do not equate marginal products across their own plots. We conclude, therefore, that tests of models of resource allocation based on production-side decisions are likely to be misleading. In contrast, the consumption-side tests provide novel insights into the nature of decision-making within complex households.
    JEL: J1 O13 Q15
    Date: 2019–11
  8. By: Kristin Good (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: This paper explores the place of municipalities in Canada’s democratic system and constitution, arguing that their status in Canada’s constitutional order ought to be recognized and secured. The constitutional doctrine of “creatures of the provinces” is a legal fiction. The fact that municipalities are included under provincial jurisdiction in Section 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867, need not imply a subordinate status. Municipal systems are fundamentally constitutional insofar as they establish and design democratically elected governments and divide power on councils and between levels of government in a way that furthers constitutional values. Nevertheless, municipalities’ current status is insecure because their boundaries, institutions, and division of power can be altered by ordinary provincial legislation. Moreover, court interpretations of their status do not recognize how municipal systems interact with other elements of the constitution including its underlying principles of federalism and democracy, which have been recognized and articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada. The paper suggests ways to secure municipalities’ place in the constitutional order either through recognition in the federal constitution or by legal recognition in provincial constitutions. The latter option is preferable because it is feasible and flexible and respects provincial autonomy. More specifically, the paper argues for the inclusion of “manner and form” provisions in provincial laws establishing municipal systems (including city charters) to protect municipal autonomy and democracy; these provisions must be sufficiently flexible to allow provinces to implement changes if a strong consensus develops that provincial intervention in municipal affairs is warranted to achieve important legislative objectives.
    Keywords: Municipal governance, municipal autonomy, federalism, constitution, Canada
    JEL: H77 H11
    Date: 2019–11
  9. By: ARISTO, Jurnal
    Abstract: On June 23, 2016, eurosceptic group won a British referendum on Britain's motion of leaving the European Union. This paper will explore the factors related to the victory of eurosceptic group in the historic referendum. This paper uses theory of voting behaviour and strategy of campaign to answer the research of this paper. Eurosceptic group victory in this referendum couldn’t be separated from eurosceptic's success in influencing the mindset of Britishsociety as the voter in this referendum. By using the concept of the campaign strategy, the writer will examine various forms of brexit campaign strategy that used to influence voters behaviour.
    Date: 2018–01–12
  10. By: Matthew Lesch (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: Across North American cities, the demand for better public transit is pervasive, yet many local governments lack sufficient revenue to finance the construction of new infrastructure. To resolve this dilemma, some localities have turned to citizens directly, proposing temporary, earmarked, sales tax increases as a way to finance capital-intensive projects. Why have some communities been more receptive to this funding model than others? This study addresses this question by comparing the recent experiences of Los Angeles County (2008), where a ballot measure to raise money for transportation was successful and Metro Vancouver (2015), where a similar public vote was unsuccessful. The analysis demonstrates the importance of political trust, issue framing, policy design, and coalition-building when engaging public support. The findings offer important lessons for other municipalities looking to invest in their public transportation systems.
    Keywords: transit, taxes, ballot measures, municipal finance
    JEL: H54 H71 R42
    Date: 2019–03
  11. By: Janardhanan, Niranjan S.; Lewis, Kyle; Reger, Rhonda K.; Stevens, Cynthia K.
    Abstract: Many contemporary organizations depend on team-based organizing to achieve high performance, innovate services and products, and adapt to environmental turbulence. Significant research focuses on understanding how teams develop, assimilate, and apply diverse information; yet organizational practices have evolved in new ways that are not fully explored in the teams literature. Individuals with diverse motivations, knowledge and perspectives are often assigned to teams, creating burdens for members to develop effective ways to work together, to learn from each other, and to achieve goals amid the complexity of today’s organizational contexts. In this paper we examine a multilevel model of how team goal orientation affects cross-understanding—the extent to which team members understand the other members’ mental models—which in turn affects team and individual performance. We examine these effects using 160 teams of 859 participants who completed a semester-long business simulation. Findings show that the more team members are motivated by learning goals, the greater a team’s cross-understanding and subsequent team and individual performance. These effects are dampened when members are motivated by performance goals—to avoid mistakes or prove competence. This study expands the cross-understanding literature, revealing motivational antecedents that explain why some teams develop higher cross-understanding than others. We also contribute to the goal orientation literature by demonstrating that team goal orientation influences members’ learning about other members, and in so doing, also affects team and individual performance. As team motivation can be influenced by organizational practices, our findings also contribute practical insights for organizational leaders. Key words: Team cognition, cross-understanding, team goal orientation, team performance, individual performance
    Keywords: Team cognition; cross-understanding; team goal orientation; team performance; individual performance
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2019–11–27
  12. By: Federico Fioravanti; Fernando Tohm\'e
    Abstract: We present a fuzzy version of the Group Identification Problem ("Who is a J?") introduced by Kasher and Rubinstein (1997). We consider a class $N = \{1,2,\ldots,n\}$ of agents, each one with an opinion about the membership to a group J of the members of the society, consisting in a function $\pi : N \to [0; 1]$, indicating for each agent, including herself, the degree of membership to J. We consider the problem of aggregating those functions, satisfying different sets of axioms and characterizing different aggregators. While some results are analogous to those of the originally crisp model, the fuzzy version is able to overcome some of the main impossibility results of Kasher and Rubinstein.
    Date: 2019–12

This nep-cdm issue is ©2019 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.