nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2020‒05‒25
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Exploring Weak Strategy-Proofness in Voting Theory By Anne Carlstein
  2. The Creation of Social Norms under Weak Institutions By Diekert, Florian; Eymess, Tillmann; Luomba, Joseph; Waichman, Israel
  3. World War I and the Rise of Fascism in Italy By Gianluca Russo
  4. Does Immigration Decrease Far-Right Popularity? Evidence from Finnish Municipalities By Lonsky, Jakub
  5. Estimating Intra-household Bargaining Power When Outside Options Are Endogenous By Chavas, Jean-Paul; Klein, Matthew J.
  6. Dynamic effects of enforcement on cooperation By Roberto Galbiati; Emeric Henry; Nicolas Jacquemet
  7. Organised crime, captured politicians, and the allocation of public resources By Marco Di Cataldo; Nicola Mastrorocco
  8. Merchants of doubt: Corporate political action when NGO credibility is uncertain By Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline; Thomas Lyon

  1. By: Anne Carlstein (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Voting is the aggregation of individual preferences in order to select a winning alternative. Selection of a winner is accomplished via a voting rule, e.g., rank-order voting, majority rule, plurality rule, approval voting. Which voting rule should be used? In social choice theory, desirable properties of voting rules are expressed as axioms to be satisfied. This thesis focuses on axioms concerning strategic manipulation by voters. Sometimes, voters may intentionally misstate their true preferences in order to alter the outcome for their own advantage. For example, in plurality rule, if a voter knows that their top-choice candidate will lose, then they might instead vote for their second-choice candidate just to avoid an even less desirable result. When no coalition of voters can strategically manipulate, then the voting rule is said to satisfy the axiom of Strategy-Proofness. A less restrictive axiom is Weak Strategy-Proofness (as defined by Dasgupta and Maskin (2019)), which allows for strategic manipulation by all but the smallest coalitions. Under certain intuitive conditions, Dasgupta and Maskin (2019) proved that the only voting rules satisfying Strategy-Proofness are rank-order voting and majority rule. In my thesis, I generalize their result, by proving that rank-order voting and majority rule are surprisingly still the only voting rules satisfying Weak Strategy-Proofness.
    Date: 2020–05
  2. By: Diekert, Florian; Eymess, Tillmann; Luomba, Joseph; Waichman, Israel
    Abstract: Preventing overfishing at Lake Victoria is a typical situation where policies have to rely on norm-based interventions to improve outcomes. Our lab-in-the-field experiment studies how information about high or low levels of previous cooperation affects the creation of social norms in a three-player prisoner’s dilemma game with/without a feedback mechanism. The provision of social information succeeds in creating norms of cooperation only if a feedback mechanism is available. Without feedback, social information cannot prevent the decline of cooperation rates. Exploring the role of the reference network, we find that the effect increases with social proximity among participants.
    Keywords: common pool resource; collective action; social norms; lab-in-the-field experiment
    Date: 2020–05–14
  3. By: Gianluca Russo (Boston University)
    Abstract: One of the key steps that allowed Mussolini to become the Italian Duce was the victory in the 1924 national elections. I study the impact of World War I on Mussolini’s electoral success. I reconstruct the military death rate for the universe of Italian municipalities, which is matched to municipal level voting in the 1924 election. After controlling for the number of individuals drafted in a municipality, the variation in the share of fatalities is caused by military events exogenous to municipality characteristics that could simultaneously affect support for Fascism. I find that a higher share of fatalities increases the vote share for Fascism. In particular, the vote share for Fascism is higher in municipalities with both higher fatality rates and a greater number of veterans returning from the frontline. I show that the effect of WWI deaths is driven by municipalities that in 1921 had above median vote shares for the Socialist party. This is consistent with the historical narrative that the initial rise of Mussolini was facilitated by the red menace: the threat of a Socialist revolution in Italy.
    Keywords: Political Economy, Fascism, War Fatalities
    JEL: D72 P16 N44
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Lonsky, Jakub
    Abstract: Across Europe, far-right parties have made significant electoral gains in recent years. Their anti-immigration stance is considered one of the main factors behind their success. Using data from Finland, this paper studies the effect of immigration on voting for the far-right Finns Party on a local level. Exploiting a convenient setup for a shift-share instrument, I find that one percentage point increase in the share of foreign citizens in municipality decreases Finns Party's vote share by 3.4 percentage points. Placebo tests using pre-period data confirm this effect is not driven by persistent trends at the municipality level. The far-right votes lost to immigration are captured by the two pro-immigration parties. Turning to potential mechanisms, immigration is found to increase voter turnout, potentially activating local pro-immigration voters. Moreover, the negative effect is only present in municipalities with high initial exposure to immigrants, consistent with the intergroup contact theory. Finally, I also provide some evidence for welfarestate channel as a plausible mechanism behind the main result.
    Keywords: Immigration,far-right,political economy,voting
    JEL: H71 J15 J61 P16
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Chavas, Jean-Paul (U of Wisconsin-Madison); Klein, Matthew J. (U of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Abstract: We generalize the collective model of the family to let partners choose their outside options, whether to act on them, and how to allocate shared resources. To do so, we apply Harsanyi's (1986) generic games framework to a limited-commitment collective model where a family's real consumption opportunities depend on each partners' specified outside option. We demonstrate uniqueness and existence of the solution by applying Rubinstein, Safra, and Thomson's (1992) appeals-immunity solution concept. We demonstrate that the expected value of bargaining power is semi-parametrically identified in an ordinal framework; the research need not assume specific utility or social welfare functional forms. In addition to empirical tractability and analytical precision, this update to the collective model provides a more nuanced view of intra-household bargaining power: partners with a greater capacity to specify more damaging threats will have more control over the decision-making process, regardless of whether they act on those threats.
    JEL: D1 D6 D7
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: Roberto Galbiati (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Emeric Henry (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nicolas Jacquemet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: In situations where social payoffs are not aligned with private incentives, enforcement with fines can be a way to sustain cooperation. In this paper we show, by the means of a lab experiment , that past fines can have an effect on current behavior even when no longer in force. We document two mechanisms: a) past fines affect directly individuals' future propensity to cooperate; b) when fines for non cooperation are in place in the past, individuals experience higher levels of cooperation from partners and, consistent with indirect reciprocity motives, are in turn nicer towards others once these fines have been removed. This second mechanism is empirically prevalent and, in contrast with the first, induces a snowball effect of past enforcement. Our results can inform the design of costly enforcement policies.
    Keywords: experiments,Laws,social values,cooperation,learning,spillovers,persistence of institutions,repeated games
    Date: 2018–12
  7. By: Marco Di Cataldo (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari; London School of Economics); Nicola Mastrorocco (Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: What is the impact of organised crime on the allocation of public resources and on tax collection? This paper studies the consequences of collusion between members of criminal organisations and politicians in Italian local governments. In order to capture the presence of organised crime, we exploit the staggered enforcement of a national law allowing the dissolution of a municipal government upon evidence of collusion between elected officials and the mafia. We measure the consequences of this infiltration of mafia groups within local governments by using data on public spending, local revenues, and elected politicians at the municipality level. Difference-in-differences estimates reveal that infiltrated local governments spend more on average for construction and waste management, less for municipal police and public transport, and collect fewer taxes for waste and garbage. In addition, we uncover key elements of local elections associated with mafia-government collusion.
    Keywords: Organised crime, collusion, local public finance, municipalities, Italy
    JEL: K42 H72 D72
    Date: 2020
  8. 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

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