nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2020‒05‒11
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Politics in the Facebook Era - Evidence from the 2016 US Presidential Elections By Federica Liberini; Michela Redoano; Antonio Russo; Ángel Cuevas; Rubén Cuevas
  2. The Last will be First, and the First Last: Segregation in Societies with Relative Payoff Concerns (RM/18/027-revised-) By Herings, P. Jean-Jacques; Saulle, Riccardo; Seel, Christian
  3. The Political Competition over Life and Death - Evidence from Infant Mortality in India By Anders Kjelsrud; Kalle Moene; Lore Vandewalle
  4. Merchants of doubt: Corporate political action when NGO credibility is uncertain By Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline; Thomas Lyon
  5. The impact of incorrect social information on collective wisdom in human groups By Jayles, Bertrand; Escobedo, Ramon; Cezera, Stéphane; Blanchet, Adrien; Kameda, Tatsuya; Sire, Clément; Théraulaz, Guy
  6. East Prussia 2.0: Persistent regions, rising nations By Polugodina, Maria; Grigoriadis, Theocharis
  7. Transforming Economies and Generating Sustainable “Green” Economic Growth After the COVID-19 Pandemic through General Collective Intelligence By Williams, Andy E
  8. Feminist Ideologies at Work: Culture, Collectivism and Entrepreneurship among Poor Women in India By Punita Bhatt; Supriya Garikipati

  1. By: Federica Liberini; Michela Redoano; Antonio Russo; Ángel Cuevas; Rubén Cuevas
    Abstract: Through social media, politicians can personalize their campaigns and target specific groups of voters with an unprecedented precision. We assess the effects of such political micro-targeting by exploiting daily advertising prices on Facebook during the 2016 US presidential campaign. We measure the intensity of online campaigns using variation in ad prices charged to reach certain audiences, defined by political orientation, location, and demographic characteristics. We address two fundamental questions: How intensively did social media political campaigns target each audience? How large were any effects on voters? We find that micro-targeted political ads on social media had significant effects when based on geographical location, ideology, ethnicity, and gender. Exposure to these ads made individuals less likely to change their initial voting intentions, particularly among those who had expressed an intention to vote for Donald Trump. We also find that micro-targeted ads reduced turnout among targeted liberals, whereas they increased turnout and support for Trump among targeted moderates.
    Keywords: social media, political micro-targeting, elections, advertising, populism, polarization
    JEL: D72 M37 D91
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Herings, P. Jean-Jacques (RS: GSBE Theme Data-Driven Decision-Making, RS: GSBE Theme Conflict & Cooperation, General Economics 1 (Micro)); Saulle, Riccardo; Seel, Christian (RS: GSBE Theme Conflict & Cooperation, General Economics 1 (Micro))
    Abstract: This paper studies coalition formation among individuals who differ in productivity. The output of a coalition is determined by the sum of the productivities and the size of the coalition. We consider egalitarian societies in which coalitions split their surplus equally and individualistic societies in which the surplus of a coalition is split according to productivity. Preferences of coalition members depend on their material payoffs, but are also influenced by relative payoff concerns, which relate their material payoffs to the average material payoff in the coalition. Our analysis uses two stability notions, the Core and the Myopic Stable Set. The stable partitions in both egalitarian and individualistic societies are segregated, i.e., individuals with adjacent productivities form coalitions. If some individuals are not part of a productive coalition, then these are the least productive ones for egalitarian societies and the most productive ones for individualistic societies. If all individuals have different productivity levels and there are sufficient complementarities in production, egalitarian societies induce more efficiency than individualistic societies.
    JEL: C70 C71 D62
    Date: 2020–03–26
  3. By: Anders Kjelsrud (University of Oslo, Norway); Kalle Moene (University of Oslo, Norway); Lore Vandewalle (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: We argue that economic inequality harms social provisions for the poor, but that higher political competition can mitigate this effect. We test this hypothesis using a large redistricting of electoral boundaries in India and find that higher inequality causes more post-neonatal infant deaths, but only when there is weak political competition. We further show that government health centers located in constituencies with low political competition and high inequality are disfavored, indicating that the e ect on mortality operates via changes in public provision. Finally, we show that the same mechanisms are at play in the implementation of the MGNREGA employment program.
    Keywords: Health, infant mortality, income inequality, political competition
    JEL: O15 D72 P46
    Date: 2020–04–24
  4. By: Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Thomas Lyon (University of Michigan [Ann Arbor] - University of Michigan System)
    Abstract: The literature on special interest groups emphasizes two main influence channels: campaign contributions and informational lobbying. We introduce a third channel: providing information about the credibility of political rivals. In particular, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) often aim to communicate scientific knowledge to policymakers, but industry‐backed groups often attempt to undermine their credibility. We extend a standard signaling model of interest‐group lobbying to include fixed costs of policymaker action and show that these costs make possible two mechanisms for creating doubt about the value of policy action. The first uses Bayesian persuasion to suggest the NGO may be a noncredible radical. The second involves creating an opposition think tank (TT) that acts as a possible radical, not a credible moderate. We show that the TT cannot always implement the Bayesian persuasion benchmark, and we characterize how optimal TT design varies with exogenous parameters.
    Keywords: Informational lobbying,persuasion,nonmarket strategy,special interest politics
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Jayles, Bertrand; Escobedo, Ramon; Cezera, Stéphane; Blanchet, Adrien; Kameda, Tatsuya; Sire, Clément; Théraulaz, Guy
    Abstract: A major problem that resulted from the massive use of social media networks is the diffusion of incorrect information. However, very few studies have investigated the impact of incorrect information on individual and collective decisions. We performed experiments in which participants had to estimate a series of quantities before and after receiving social information. Unbeknownst to them, we controlled the degree of inaccuracy of the social information through "virtual influencers", who provided some incorrect information. We find that a large proportion of individuals only partially follow the social information, thus resisting incorrect information. Moreover, we find that incorrect social information can help a group perform better when it overestimates the true value, by partly compensating a human underestimation bias. Overall, our results suggest that incorrect information does not necessarily impair the collective wisdom of groups, and can even be used to dampen the negative effects of known cognitive biases.
    Date: 2020–05
  6. By: Polugodina, Maria; Grigoriadis, Theocharis
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the economic and political effects of the breakup of East Prussia into what is today Poland, Russia and Lithuania. We explore the dissolution of imperial regions into the boundaries of modern states, adding new insights to the research on the imperial legacies. We expect that German imperial legacies in the form of advanced economic institutions, and specifically East Prussian legacies of nationalistic and conservative political preferences, persist in the territories of former East Prussia in Poland, Russia and Lithuania compared to neighboring regions in their respective countries. We find no pattern of persistence in former East Prussian territories of contemporary Poland, whereas East Prussian persistence appears to be robust in Lithuania. We find strong evidence for the comparative persistence of political preferences in the Kaliningrad region, whereas we observe no economic spillovers. Drawing evidence from West German electoral data in the aftermath of World War II, we find that the presence of East Prussian refugees is conducive to conservative and nationalist support in the FRG. Hence, the East Prussian legacy relates primarily to the persistence of political preferences and migrating agents.
    Keywords: institutions,political economy,political preferences,migration,East Prussia,West Germany
    JEL: F14 N74 O52 P51
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Williams, Andy E
    Abstract: The lockdown of economic activity in many countries as a measure to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to high levels of unemployment and other indicators of a potentially upcoming economic crisis. As a gauge of the seriousness of these concerns some have suggested that current levels of some of these indicators have not been seen in the US since the time of the great depression. This paper explores how General Collective Intelligence, a recent innovation in group decision-making systems, might reliably generate the economic growth needed to avert such a crisis where not reliably achievable otherwise. Current group decision-making systems, whether choosing a human decision-maker, consensus voting on decisions, or automated decision-systems such as conventional collective intelligence, have been suggested to lack the capacity to maximize more than a very few group outcomes simultaneously due to specific limitations. Since impact on collective well-being is determined by impact on an open (unbounded) set of outcomes, this implies lack of the capacity to maximize the necessary range of impacts on well-being for groups if that range is too broad. If so, the breadth of impact required to achieve sustainable “green” economic development while simultaneously solving hunger, solving the environmental degradation that consensus has linked to climate change, as well as providing maximal access to healthcare, education, and other resources, may not be reliably possible with current decision systems. General Collective Intelligence or GCI replicates the adaptive problem solving mechanisms by which nature has demonstrated the ability to optimally respond to an unlimited set of problems, and by which nature has demonstrated the ability to potentially increase sustainability per unit of resources by orders of magnitude so that life is reliably self-sustaining. This paper explores why GCI can potentially be used to reliably drive self-sustaining economic growth to revive economies in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and why GCI has the potential to reliably drive a transformation to sustainable green economies while doing so.
    Date: 2020–04–20
  8. By: Punita Bhatt; Supriya Garikipati
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of feminist ideologies in developing a culture of work and entrepreneurship among disadvantaged women. It draws on evidence from ‘Lijjat’, a women’s cooperative in India where poor women were able to initiate, develop and successfully operate a women’s only enterprise. Ideological influences exist both, at the individual level (motivation) and at the collective level (organisational practices). Pragmatist feminist ideologies are found to be particularly supportive of women’s collective ventures. Women use collectivist strategies to resist the patriarchal corralling of the business. Through an intersection of feminist ideologies at individual and collective levels we explore how women have successfully engaged in economic activity while influencing the structures of patriarchy around them. We extrapolate the influence of feminist ideology further by drawing implications for women’s work in patriarchal contexts.
    Keywords: women’s entrepreneurship, feminist ideologies, pragmatist feminist, collectivism, cooperative, Lijjat, India
    Date: 2020–04

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