nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2020‒08‒31
eleven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. Apostolic Voting By Ruzica Savivc; Dimitrios Xefteris
  2. The Trade-off between Deepening and Broadening of Democracy Lessons from Youth Enfranchisement By Anna Maria Koukal; Patricia Schafer; Reiner Eichenberger
  3. Moral Hazard in Electoral Teams By Gary W. Cox; Jon H. Fiva; Daniel M. Smith; Rune J. Sørensen
  4. Moral Transgressions by Groups: What Drives Individual Voting Behavior? By Eberhard Feess; Florian Kerzenmacher; Gerd Muehlheusser
  5. Is the euro up for grabs? Evidence from a survey experiment By Baccaro, Lucio; Bremer, Björn; Neimanns, Erik
  6. Racial disparities in law enforcement: The role of in-group bias and electoral pressures By Amartya Bose
  7. Distributive politics inside the city? The political economy of Spain’s Plan E By Carozzi, Felipe; Repetto, Luca
  8. Politics as a determinant of primary school provision The case of Uruguay, 1914-1954 By Paola Azar
  9. Divided Information Space: Media Polarization on Twitter during 2019 Indonesian Election By Maulana, Ardian; Situngkir, Hokky
  10. The Power of Focal Points is Strong: Coordination Games with Labels and Payoffs By Bodoff, David
  11. Two-Stage Majoritarian Choice By Sean Horan; Yves Sprumont

  1. By: Ruzica Savivc; Dimitrios Xefteris
    Abstract: We study electoral competition under the, so-called, Apostolic voting rule (AVR) in the framework of the Hotelling-Downs model (Osborne, 1993). The AVR is a two-stage election procedure composed of a voting stage and a lottery stage: the voters vote for the candidate they like best, and each of the two most-voted candidates is elected with even probability. Under standard assumptions regarding the voters' preferences, we show that the AVR leads to a unique -up to permutations of the players' identities- equilibrium: only two candidates enter in the electoral race and they choose distinct policy platforms. This is the first rule which is proved to support an essentially unique equilibrium in this popular model. Our analysis highlights that as long as candidates do not compete for a single first place (as in standard plurality or runoff elections), but for a number of them (as under the AVR), strategic incentives alter dramatically and lead to stable and predictable configurations.
    Keywords: Apostolic Voting, Hotelling-Downs model, manipulation, lotteries, unique equilibrium
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2020–08
  2. By: Anna Maria Koukal; Patricia Schafer; Reiner Eichenberger
    Abstract: Broadening democracy by lowering the voting age is on the political agenda in many democratic societies. Previous suffrage extensions suggest that there are systematic differences between what parliaments decide and what voters want with respect to enfranchisement of new groups. This paper analyzes a new municipality level dataset of two Swiss federal referendums on lowering the voting age from 20 to 18. We focus on the role of institutional price variations by (i) the depth of democracy proxied by the strength of direct democratic institutions and (ii) the size of the new electorate. Our results provide evidence that the price the current electorate faces – thus their potential influence loss – varies with the strength of direct democracy and affects citizens’ willingness to lower the voting age. Moreover, we find systematic price reactions of present voters to the number of new voters.
    Keywords: voting age; youth enfranchisement; direct democracy; power loss
    JEL: D72 D02 J15 P16
    Date: 2020–08
  3. By: Gary W. Cox; Jon H. Fiva; Daniel M. Smith; Rune J. Sørensen
    Abstract: How do parties motivate candidates to exert effort in closed-list elections? If each candidate’s primary goal is winning a seat, then those in safe and hopeless list positions have weak incentives to campaign. We present a model in which (i) candidates care about both legislative seats and the higher offices available when their party enters government; and (ii) parties commit to allocating higher offices monotonically with list rank. This model predicts that the volume and geo-diversity of candidates’ campaign efforts will increase as their list rank improves. Using new data cover-ing Norwegian parliamentary candidates’ use of mass and social media during the 2017 election, we find clear support for this prediction. As their list rank increases, candidates shift from intra-district to extra-district media exposure—which cannot help them win their own seats; but can improve their party’s chance of entering government, and thus their own potential share of the spoils.
    Keywords: party lists, cabinet promotion, Gamson’s law, proportional representation, voter mobilization
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Eberhard Feess; Florian Kerzenmacher; Gerd Muehlheusser
    Abstract: We conduct an experiment where subjects are matched in groups of three and vote on a moral transgression. Analyzing different voting rules, the frequency of votes for the moral transgression increases with the number of votes required for it. This effect persists when considering pivotal votes only, which eliminates opportunities to save on own moral costs and to rely instead on sufficiently many votes for the transgression by other group members. A series of novel treatments allows us to identify guilt sharing and preferences for consensual voting as empirically relevant and independent drivers of voting behavior.
    Keywords: group decisions, unethical behaviour, experiment, voting, diffusion of responsibility, guilt sharing, donations
    JEL: C92 D02 D63 D71
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Baccaro, Lucio; Bremer, Björn; Neimanns, Erik
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic may lead to a resurgence of the euro crisis. In this context, Italy seems particularly vulnerable: support for the euro is lower than in most other eurozone countries, and a possible exit could have serious consequences for the common currency. Based on a novel survey experiment, this paper shows that the pro-euro coalition is fragile in Italy and preferences are malleable. They are heavily dependent on the perceived costs of continued membership, as a majority of Italians would opt for Italexit rather than accepting a bailout plan requiring the implementation of austerity policies. Individuals who feel they have not benefited from the euro are most likely to support exit when faced with the prospect of austerity. This suggests that, differently from Greece, where voters were determined to remain in the euro at all costs, the pro-euro coalition may crumble if Italy is exposed to harsh conditionality.
    Keywords: euro,framing,Italy,public opinion,survey experiment,voting behaviour,Italien,öffentliche Meinung,Umfrageexperiment,Wahlverhalten
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Amartya Bose (School of Economics, UNSW)
    Abstract: Racial disparities are widespread throughout the U.S. justice system; in arrests and incarceration. These disparities are typically explained by appealing to racial biases among the police and the judiciary. I present a model in which disparities arise between groups in spite of unbiased actions on the part of these authorities. I assume that individuals discount the harm caused by criminal acts by members of their own group. Voters in each county determine the intensity with which legal sanctions are enforced against crimes. There are two groups, with the median voter drawn from the majority. In this model the intensity of law enforcement increases with the size of the minority. When counties are heterogeneous this leads to group disparities at the state level. The intensity of law enforcement depends on both the level of policing and the strictness of the judiciary. In some states, voters can elect their judges and increase the legal sanction through judicial severity, while in other states judges are appointed. We should therefore expect that the relationship between the size of the minority population and the intensity of policing to be stronger in counties where judges are appointed. Using a county-level panel of arrests between 2000-2014 in the United States, I find that in states with appointed judges the level of policing is increasing with the share of the black population. A 1% higher share of black population leads to a 0.58% increase in the clearance rate of property crimes. I do not find a comparable effect in states with elected judges. This agrees with the predictions of the theoretical model.
    Date: 2020–08
  7. By: Carozzi, Felipe; Repetto, Luca
    Abstract: We study distributive politics inside cities by analysing how local governments allocate investment projects to voters across neighbourhoods. In particular, we ask whether politicians use investment to target their own supporters. To this aim, we use detailed geo-located investment data from Plan E, a large fiscal stimulus program carried out in Spain in 2009–2011. Our main empirical strategy is based on a close-elections regression-discontinuity design. In contrast to previous studies – which use aggregate data at the district or municipal level – we exploit spatial variation in both investment and voter support within municipalities and find no evidence of supporter targeting. Complementary results indicate that voters may be responding to investment by increasing turnout.
    Keywords: political economy; distributive Politics; partisan alignment; local governments
    JEL: H70 R53 D72
    Date: 2019–03–01
  8. By: Paola Azar (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between school provision and the political power of the president in Uruguay between 1914 and 1954. The empirical test relies on panel fixed effects models based on newly compiled information about the partisan orientation of legislative members, the electoral competition and the schooling diffusion at the department-level. The estimates suggest the use of school provision as a pork barrel good. Ceteris paribus, school provision was lower in districts where government did not need to capture votes or to obtain legislative support. The direction of the influence shifted over time as an answer to increasing political fragmentation. Against the traditional historical narrative, these findings suggest that political interests did influence the provision of basic schooling over the territory.
    Keywords: public schooling, distributive politics, pork barrel, Uruguay
    JEL: D72 H75 I28 N36
    Date: 2020–05
  9. By: Maulana, Ardian; Situngkir, Hokky
    Abstract: Nowadays, the understanding of the impact of social media and online news media on the emergence of extreme polarization in political discourse is one of the most pressing challenges for both science and society. In this study, we investigate the phenomenon of political polarization in the indonesian news media network based on the pattern of news consumption patterns of Twitter users during 2019 Indonesian elections. By modeling news consumption patterns as a bipartite network of news outletsTwitter user, and then projecting to a network of news outlets, we observed the emergence of a number of media communites based on audience similarity. By measuring the political alignments of each news outlet, we shows the politically fragmented Indonesian news media landscape, where each media community becomes an political echo chamber for its audience. Our finding highlight the important role of mainstream media as a bridge of information between political echo chamber in social media environment
    Keywords: network, news media network, echo-chamber, twitter, community detection, news consumption
    JEL: C00 C10 C12 C13 C15 C60 C63 C90 D80 D85
    Date: 2020–06
  10. By: Bodoff, David
    Abstract: People’s ability to coordinate on salient labels has been widely reported since Schelling. However, it is not known how players behave when label salience conflicts with payoff dominance. We consider such games by independently varying the two elements, focusing especially on cases where the two criteria conflict. We also introduce a new form of the game, in which players choose labeled strategies in response to a stimulus. In games with no reference stimulus, behavior is consistent with a simple model, according to which strategic players assume their naïve counterparts choose the higher payoff. In games with a reference stimulus, behavior is consistent with a model in which strategic players assume their naïve counterparts choose the label that is more salient to them, except perhaps where the two labels’ salience are very similar, in which case the higher payoff is chosen. A key finding is that in the presence of a stimulus, play is best explained by a model in which players choose according to label salience, even against the combination of payoff and risk dominance.
    Keywords: coordination games; focal points; cognitive hierarchy;
    JEL: C70 C72
    Date: 2020–08–03
  11. By: Sean Horan (Université de Montréal and CIREQ); Yves Sprumont (Université de Montréal and CIREQ)
    Abstract: We propose a class of decisive collective choice rules that rely on an exogenous linear ordering to partition the majority relation into two acyclic relations. The first relation is used to obtain a shortlist of the feasible alternatives while the second is used to make a final choice. In combination with faithfulness to the underlying majority relation, rules in this class are characterized by two desirable rationality properties: Sen’s expansion consistency and a version of Manzini and Mariotti’s weak WARP. The rules also satisfy natural adaptations of Arrow’s independence of irrelevant alternatives and May’s positive responsiveness.
    Keywords: majority rule, decisiveness, IIA, monotonicity, rational shortlist methods
    JEL: D71 D72
    Date: 2020–05

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