nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2020‒10‒12
eleven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Delegation and public pressure in a threshold public goods game By İriş, D.; Lee, J.; Tavoni, A.
  2. Party Preference Representation By André Blais; Eric Guntermann; Vincent Arel-Bundock; Ruth Dassonneville; Jean-François Laslier; Gabrielle Péloquin-Skulski
  3. Committee Decision-Making under the Threat of Leaks By Fehrler, Sebastian; Hahn, Volker
  4. Regional Variations in the Brexit Vote: Causes and Potential Consequences By David Blackaby; Stephen Drinkwater; Catherine Robinson
  5. Workplace Contact and Support for Anti-Immigration Parties By Henrik Andersson; Sirus H. Dehdari
  6. In the Land of OZ: Designating Opportunity Zones By James Alm; Trey Dronyk-Trosper; Sean Larkin
  7. The Effect of Community Size on Electoral Preferences: Evidence From Post-WWII Southern Germany By Fiorini, Luciana C.; Jetter, Michael; Parmeter, Christopher F.; Parsons, Christopher
  8. A Subscription vs. Appropriation Framework for Natural Resource Conflicts By Bakshi, Dripto; Dasgupta, Indraneel
  9. Hate Trumps Love: The Impact of Political Polarization on Social Preferences By Eugen Dimant
  10. Strength in Numbers: A Field Experiment in Gender, Influence, and Group Dynamics By Stoddard, Olga B.; Karpowitz, Christopher F.; Preece, Jessica
  11. Roots of dissent: Trade liberalization and the rise of populism in Brazil By Francesco Iacoella; Patricia Justino; Bruno Martorano

  1. By: İriş, D.; Lee, J.; Tavoni, A.
    Abstract: Many public goods cannot be provided directly by interested parties (e.g. citizens), as they entail decision-making at nested hierarchical scales: at a lower level individuals elect a representative, while at a higher scale elected delegates decide on the provision level, with some degree of scrutiny from their constituency. Furthermore, many such decisions involve uncertainty about the magnitude of the contribution that is needed for the good to be provided (or bad to be avoided). In such circumstances delegates can serve as important vehicles for coordination by aggregating societal preferences for provision. Yet, the role of delegation in threshold public goods games is understudied. We contrast the behavior of delegates to that of self-representing individuals in the avoidance of a public bad in an experimental setting. We randomly assign twelve subjects into four teams and ask each team to elect a delegate via majority voting. The elected delegates play several variants of a one-shot public goods game in which losses can ensue if the sum of their contributions falls short of a threshold. We find that when delegation is coupled with a mild form of public pressure, it has a significantly negative effect on contributions, even though the non-delegates can only signal their preferred levels of public good contributions. The reason is that delegates give more weight to the least cooperative suggestion: they focus on the lower of the two public good contributions recommended by their teammates.
    Keywords: delegation; cooperation; threshold public goods game; climate experiment
    JEL: C72 C92 D81 H40 Q54
    Date: 2019–11–01
  2. By: André Blais (UdeM - Université de Montréal); Eric Guntermann (UC BERKELEY - Berkeley University of California); Vincent Arel-Bundock (UdeM - Université de Montréal); Ruth Dassonneville (UdeM - Université de Montréal); Jean-François Laslier (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - 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); Gabrielle Péloquin-Skulski (UdeM - Université de Montréal)
    Abstract: Political parties are key actors in electoral democracies: they organize the legislature, form governments, and citizens choose their representatives by voting for them. How citizens evaluate political parties and how well the parties that citizens evaluate positively perform thus provide useful tools to estimate the quality of representation from the individual's perspective. We propose a measure that can be used to assess party preference representation at both the individual and aggregate levels, both in government and in parliament. We calculate the measure for over 160,000 survey respondents following 111 legislative elections held in 38 countries. We find little evidence that the party preferences of different socio-economic groups are systematically over or underrepresented. However, we show that citizens on the right tend to have higher representation scores than their left-wing counterparts. We also find that whereas proportional systems do not produce higher levels of representation on average, they reduce variance in representation across citizens.
    Keywords: party preference representation,party like/dislike,elections,cabinet,legislature
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Bremen); Hahn, Volker (University of Konstanz)
    Abstract: Leaks are pervasive in politics. Hence, many committees that nominally operate under secrecy de facto operate under the threat that information might be passed on to outsiders. We study theoretically and experimentally how this possibility affects the behavior of committee members and the decision-making accuracy. Our theoretical analysis generates two major predictions. First, a committee operating under the threat of leaks is equivalent to a formally transparent committee in terms of the probabilities of project implementation as well as welfare (despite differences in individual voting behavior). Second, the threat of leaks causes a committee to recommend rejection of a project whenever precise information has been shared among committee members. As a consequence, a status-quo bias arises. Our laboratory results confirm these predictions despite subjects communicating less strategically than predicted.
    Keywords: committee decision-making, strategic communication, voting, leaks, transparency, monetary policy committees, information aggregation
    JEL: C92 D71 D82 J45
    Date: 2020–09
  4. By: David Blackaby (Swansea University and WISERD); Stephen Drinkwater (University of Roehampton, London CReAM (UCL), IZA Bonn and WISERD); Catherine Robinson (University of Kent and WISERD)
    Abstract: There were large regional differentials in the Brexit vote. Most notably, the percentage voting to leave the EU ranged from 38% in Scotland and 40% in London to 59% in the East and West Midlands. Turnout also varied across Britain, from a low of 67% in Scotland to 77% in the South East and South West. Existing empirical studies have tended to focus on the demographic composition of geographical areas to identify the key socio-economic characteristics in explaining spatial and other variations in the leave vote - with age and education found to be important drivers. We use the British Social Attitudes Survey to provide a more nuanced picture of regional differences in the Brexit vote by examining in particular the role that national identity and attitudes towards immigration played. In addition to education, we find that national identity exerted a strong influence on the probability voting leave in several English regions, including the East, North East, London and South East. Whereas, over and above this, concerns about immigration had a quantitatively large and highly significant impact in all regions bar London, and the East to a lesser extent. Differences by country of birth are also explored, with national identity and concerns about immigration having a larger impact for the English-born. Our findings are then discussed in the light of changes that have affected regional economies during the process of increased globalisation, austerity, the current Covid-19 crisis and recent UK government announcements to rebalance the economy.
    Keywords: Brexit; Regional Economies; Globalisation; Immigration
    JEL: D72 R11 F60 J61
    Date: 2020–08
  5. By: Henrik Andersson (Uppsala University); Sirus H. Dehdari (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the consequences of an increased presence of immigrants in the workplace on anti-immigration voting behavior by combining detailed Swedish workplace data with election outcomes for a large anti-immigration party (the Sweden Democrats). At each election precinct, we match the election outcomes with the share of non-European co-workers among the average native-born worker for three consecutive elections between 2006 and 2014. Using a fixed effects approach, we estimate a negative effect of an increased share of non-Europeans in the workplace on support for the Sweden Democrats: a one standard deviation increase in the average share of non-European co-workers decreases the precinct vote share for the Sweden Democrats by roughly 0.4 percentage points. We show that these results are solely driven by within-skill contact, and by contact within occupations that are less exposed to job loss. We interpret the results as supporting the contact hypothesis: that increased interactions with minorities r duce prejudice among native-born voters, which leads to lower support for anti-immigration parties.
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: James Alm (Tulane Economics); Trey Dronyk-Trosper (Amazon); Sean Larkin (Tulane University)
    Abstract: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allowed governors of the fifty states to designate low-income areas as a “Qualified Opportunity Zone” (QOZ), which entitled the investors in these QOZs to significant tax incentives. As a result, each governor’s designation of QOZs provided an opportunity for the governor to introduce investments in low-income communities that would, in principle, increase economic opportunities in these areas. At the same time, each governor’s decision also provided an opportunity for the governor to reward political allies, to buy voter support, and to help business interests. Which of these many factors influenced the designation of QOZs? In this paper we estimate the impact of economic and political variables on the governors’ decisions to choose which areas among all eligible areas would receive QOZ status and which would not. We find that the QOZ selection process overall seems to have been relatively technocratic, with many of the strongest factors that determine QOZ designation being indicators of economic distress such as higher rates of unemployment, welfare receipt, or lower median income, all of which are consistent with the presumed goals of QOZs. Even so, we also find that political factors are significant in QOZ designation, with Democratic representation being negatively associated with QOZ nomination and with political representation by a local politician of the same party as the governor being positively associated with QOZ nomination. Of some note, we also find that areas with higher college attainment are favored.
    Keywords: Opportunity zones, Tax incentives, Place-based development policies.
    JEL: H24 I38 O23 R38
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Fiorini, Luciana C. (University of Western Australia); Jetter, Michael (University of Western Australia); Parmeter, Christopher F. (University of Miami); Parsons, Christopher (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Populous communities often prefer more government involvement than less populous communities, but does community size per se affect citizens' preferences for government? Endogeneity commonly prevents testing for causal effects because (i) people can select into communities while (ii) government structures can affect community size (e.g., by en- or discouraging migration and fertility decisions). This paper studies a plausibly exogenous setting from post-WWII Baden-Württemberg (located in Southern Germany), in which the French occupation zone prevented the entry of German expellees after 1945, whereas the U.S. occupied zone did not. Consequently, municipalities on the U.S. side, just across the border from the French zone, experienced large and relatively homogenous population shocks. Studying voting patterns in the 1949 national- and 1952 state-level elections for 828 municipalities, we find more populous municipalities systematically preferred the SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands), the party advocating for greater government involvement in virtually all areas of policymaking, over the CDU (Christlich Demokratische Union), the major conservative party that emphasized free markets. Our results hold when accounting for a host of potential confounding factors, county-fixed effects, pre-WWII vote shares, employing fractional response models and alternative instrumental variable specifications. Our benchmark estimates imply that a one standard deviation increase in population size (equivalent to ≈4,000 citizens) raised the SPD vote share by more than 11 percentage points.
    Keywords: community size, government size, voting preferences, public good provision
    JEL: D61 D72 H11 N44
    Date: 2020–09
  8. By: Bakshi, Dripto (Indian Statistical Institute); Dasgupta, Indraneel (Indian Statistical Institute)
    Abstract: We examine how cross-community cost or benefit spillovers, arising from the consumption of group-specific public goods, affect both inter-group conflicts over the appropriation of such goods and decentralized private provision for their production. Our model integrates production versus appropriation choices, vis-Ã -vis group-specific public goods, with their decentralized voluntary supply, against a backdrop of such cross-community consumption spillovers. Our flexible and general formulation of consumption spillovers incorporates earlier specifications as alternative special cases. We show that stronger negative (or weaker positive) consumption spillovers across communities may reduce inter-group conflict and increase aggregate income (and consumption) in society under certain conditions. Thus, stronger negative consumption spillovers may have socially beneficial consequences. We also identify conditions under which their impact will be both conflict-augmenting and income-compressing. Our general theoretical analysis offers a conceptual structure within which to organize investigation of feedback loops linking ethnic conflict and natural resource degradation in developing country contexts.
    Keywords: public good contest, rent-seeking, production versus appropriation, public bad, natural resource conflict
    JEL: D72 D74 O10 O20
    Date: 2020–10
  9. By: Eugen Dimant (University of Pennsylvania; CESifo, Munich; Identity and Conflict Lab)
    Abstract: Political polarization has ruptured the fabric of U.S. society. The focus of this paper is to examine various layers of (non-)strategic decision-making that are plausibly affected by political polarization through the lens of one's feelings of hate and love for Donald J. Trump. In several pre-registered experiments, I document the behavioral-, belief-, and norm-based mechanisms through which perceptions of interpersonal closeness, altruism, and cooperativeness are affected by polarization, both within and between political factions. To separate ingroup-love from outgroup-hate, the political setting is contrasted with a minimal group setting. I find strong heterogeneous effects: ingroup-love occurs in the perceptional domain (how close one feels towards others), whereas outgroup-hate occurs in the behavioral domain (how one helps/harms/cooperates with others). In addition, the pernicious outcomes of partisan identity also comport with the elicited social norms. Noteworthy, the rich experimental setting also allows me to examine the drivers of these behaviors, suggesting that the observed partisan rift might be not as forlorn as previously suggested: in the contexts studied here, the adverse behavioral impact of the resulting intergroup conflict can be attributed to one's grim expectations about the cooperativeness of the opposing faction, as opposed to one's actual unwillingness to cooperate with them.
    Keywords: Identity, Norms, Political Polarization, Social Preferences, Trump
    JEL: B41 D01 D9
    Date: 2020–09
  10. By: Stoddard, Olga B. (Brigham Young University); Karpowitz, Christopher F. (Brigham Young University); Preece, Jessica (Brigham Young University)
    Abstract: Policy interventions to increase women's presence in the workforce and leadership positions vary in their intensity, with some including a lone or token woman and others setting higher quotas. However, little is known about how the resulting group gender compositions influence individuals' experiences and broader workplace dynamics. In this paper, we investigate whether token women are disadvantaged compared to women on majority-women mixed-gender teams. We conducted a multi-year field experiment with a top-10 undergraduate accounting program that randomized the gender composition of semester-long teams. Using laboratory, survey, and administrative data, we find that even after accounting for their proportion of the group, token women are seen as less influential by their peers and are less likely to be chosen to represent the group than women on majority-women teams. Token women also participate slightly less in group discussions and receive less credit when they do. Women's increased authority in majority-women teams is driven primarily by men's behavior, not homophily or self-assessment. We find that over time, the gap in general assessments of influence between token and other women shrinks, but this improvement does not carry over to task-specific assessments. Finally, predictors of future grades are different for token women than for other participants, and regardless of treatment condition, women's task expertise is incorporated into group decisions less often than men's. Our findings have implications for team assignments in male-dominated settings and cast significant doubt on the idea that token women can solve influence gaps by "leaning in."
    Keywords: gender, field experiment
    JEL: J16
    Date: 2020–09
  11. By: Francesco Iacoella; Patricia Justino; Bruno Martorano
    Abstract: This paper investigates the long-term impact of economic shocks on populism, by exploiting a natural experiment created by the trade liberalization process implemented in Brazil between 1990 and 1995. This high impact and low duration event generated a profound shock to the economy with, we argue, long term implications for political outcomes. We focus on the 2002 and 2018 presidential elections in Brazil, which resulted in the election of a left-wing and a right-wing populist president, respectively.
    Keywords: Trade liberalization, Populism, austerity, Inequality, Brazil, insecurity
    Date: 2020

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