nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2020‒11‒02
thirteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Strategic Interdependence in Political Movements and Countermovements By Hager, Anselm; Hensel, Lukas; Hermle, Johannes; Roth, Christopher
  2. What Drives Populist Votes? Recent Insights and Open Questions By Thiemo Fetzer; Robert Gold
  3. Dancing with the Populist. New Parties, Electoral Rules and Italian Municipal Elections By Massimo Bordignon; Tommaso Colussi
  4. Synchronized Elections, Voter Behavior and Governance Outcomes: Evidence from India By Balasubramaniam, Vimal; Bhatiya, Apurav Yash; Das, Sabyasachi
  5. Political competition and legislative shirking in roll-call votes: Evidence from Germany for 1953–2017 By Marco Frank; David Stadelmann
  6. Strategic Campaign Communication: Evidence from 30,000 Candidate Manifestos By Caroline Le Pennec
  7. Expressway to Power: Infrastructure Projects and Political Support By Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude; Okoye, Dozie; Turan, Belgi
  8. The Effects of Asylum Seekers on Political Outcomes By Zurlinden, Noémie; Valladares-Esteban, Arnau; Gottlieb, Charles
  9. Loose Cannons: War Veterans and the Erosion of Democracy in Weimar Germany By Koenig, Christoph
  10. Cooperation and Norm-Enforcement under Impartial vs. Competitive Sanctions By Jan Philipp Krügel; Nicola Maaser
  11. Ethical Voting in Heterogenous Groups By Alberto Grillo
  12. “Friends Are Thieves of Time": Heuristic Attention Sharing in Stable Friendship Networks By Tenev, Anastas P.
  13. Climate Risk and Preferences over the Size of Government: Evidence from California Wildfires By Michael Coury

  1. By: Hager, Anselm (Humboldt-Universit¨at zu Berlin); Hensel, Lukas (University of Oxford); Hermle, Johannes (University of California, Berkeley and IZA); Roth, Christopher (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Collective action is the result of the efforts of groups consisting of many individuals. This gives rise to strategic interactions: the decision of an individual to participate in collective action may depend on the efforts of both like-minded and opposing activists. This paper causally studies such strategic interactions in the context of left- and right-wing protests in Germany. In an experiment, we investigated whether randomly varied information on turnout of both like-minded and opposing movements impacts activists’ willingness to protest. In response to information about high turnout of their own group, left-wing activists increased their willingness to protest, consistent with theories of conditional cooperation. In contrast, right-wing activists decreased their willingness to protest, consistent with instrumental accounts and free-riding motives. For both groups, there was no significant reaction to information about turnout of the opposing movement. The results highlight substantial heterogeneity in strategic interactions and motives across the political spectrum
    Keywords: Political rallies, field experiment, strategic behavior, beliefs JEL Classification:
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Thiemo Fetzer (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Robert Gold (University of Potsdam, IfW, and CESifo.)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview on current research on the rise of populism in Europe. The focus is on economic developments that foster voting for populist parties and candidates. The paper argues that the simultaneity of macro-economic shocks from the financial crisis, globalization, and technological change increased inequality between skill and income groups. This increased the demand for populist policies amongst those on the losing side of economic development. Perceived distributional conflict was exacerbated by immigration and austerity policies. Economics alone, however, is not sufficient for explaining the large increases in electoral support of populists. While culture also plays a role, it is the individual voter who eventually decides whom to vote for. And populist parties are particular successful in developing strategies to attract voters that feel anxious about current and future economic developments.
    Keywords: populism, protest voting, globalization, European Union
    JEL: D72 F5 F6 H3 H5
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Massimo Bordignon; Tommaso Colussi
    Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical framework that makes predictions on (a) the conditions under which a populist party decides to run and the policy position it takes and (b) voters’ response under different electoral systems. We test these predictions using data on Italian municipal elections over the 2009-2019 period and focusing on the electoral outcomes of the Five Star Movement. The empirical analysis shows: (i) populists are more likely to run under a Dual Ballot (DB) system and in municipalities where there is a large share of dissatisfied voters; (ii) when the populist runs, turnout increases under both Single and Dual Ballot systems; (iii) in a DB system, the populist candidate who ranked second in the first round has a higher probability of winning than the candidate of traditional party who ranked second by the same margin, as a result of increased turnout in the second round. We finally provide evidence that the low education and the young age of populist candidates are likely to deteriorate the efficiency of the local administration.
    Keywords: voting behaviour, populism, Five Star Movement, municipal elections
    JEL: D72 D74 H56 D91
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Balasubramaniam, Vimal (Queen Mary, University of London, CEPR, UK and CAGE); Bhatiya, Apurav Yash (University of Warwick); Das, Sabyasachi (Ashoka University, India)
    Abstract: We examine whether holding national and state elections simultaneously or sequentially affects voter decisions and consequently, electoral and economic outcomes in India. Synchronized elections increase the likelihood of the same political party winning constituencies in both tiers by 21%. It reduces split-ticket voting, increases the salience of party among voters and shifts voters’ priority to state issues, without significantly affecting turnout and winning margin. A model of behaviorally constrained voters with costly information acquisition best explains our results. Finally, synchronization results in insignificant economic gains. Our findings have implications for the design of elections to multiple tiers of government.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Marco Frank; David Stadelmann
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of elected competitors from the same constituency on legislative shirking in the German Bundestag from 1953 to 2017. The German electoral system ensures that there is always at least one federal legislator per constituency with a varying number of elected competitors from the same constituency from zero to four. We exploit the exogenous variation of elected competitors by investigating changes in competition induced by legislators who leave parliament during the legislative period and their respective replacement candidates in an instrumental variables setting with legislator fixed effects. The existence of elected competitors from the same constituency decreases absence rates in roll-call votes by about 6.1 percentage points, which corresponds to almost half of the mean absence rate in our sample. This effect is robust to the inclusion of other measures for political competition.
    Keywords: Political Competition; Accountability; Absence; Rent Seeking; Political Representation
    JEL: D72 D78 H11
    Date: 2020–10
  6. By: Caroline Le Pennec (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University)
    Abstract: In representative democracy, individual candidates often run for parliamentary seats under a national party platform, which limits their ability to compete on policy issues at the local level. I exploit a novel dataset of 30,000 candidate manifestos issued before the first and second rounds of nine French legislative elections to show that politicians strategically adjust their campaign communication to persuade voters who do not support their platform—not by moderating their policy positions but by advertising neutral non-policy issues instead. Doing so predicts better performance in office and may therefore provide voters with information that matters for representation.
    Keywords: Electoral competition, Campaign Communication, Political economy, Text as data
    JEL: D72 D83
    Date: 2020–10
  7. By: Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude (Dalhousie University); Okoye, Dozie (Dalhousie University); Turan, Belgi (University of Houston)
    Abstract: This paper provides causal evidence on how political parties consolidate power in an electoral democracy. We collect administrative data on expressway construction by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, and use province-by-year variation in expressway construction to show that vote shares for the AKP increased in response to the expressways. For the average province in which the length of the expressway network increased from 51km to 193km, the estimates imply that the expressway expansion increased the AKP's vote share by 4.2 percentage-points or one-third of the increase from 2002 to 2011. Electoral gains by the AKP primarily came at the expense of its more established rivals. The estimates account for province and year fixed effects, which allows us to control for any fixed province characteristics and time-specific factors that might be related to expressway expansion and vote shares. We further show that the estimates are robust to arbitrary region-specific time trends, province-specific quadratic time trends, and are not driven by province-by-year variation in other investments undertaken by the AKP. Examining mechanisms, we do not find evidence that increased economic growth due to the express-ways drove increased vote shares for the AKP. We find evidence that the visibility and success of the expressway expansion project signalled competence and stability. The electoral benefits of the expressway were stronger in provinces that experienced greater political instability between 1995 and 2002, losses for the rival parties were greater in provinces they previously controlled indicating changes in perception, and there were no similar electoral gains to less visible projects.
    Keywords: expressways, political economy, voting, Turkey
    JEL: H54 N45 N95 O18 P16
    Date: 2020–10
  8. By: Zurlinden, Noémie; Valladares-Esteban, Arnau; Gottlieb, Charles
    Abstract: We exploit the quasi-random allocation of asylum seekers across Swiss cantons and the high frequency of national referenda to identify the causal effect of immigration on political outcomes in receiving countries. We find that the arrival of asylum seekers causes voters to increase their support for right-wing and conservative policies. However, this effect is driven by episodes of unusually high inflows of asylum seekers. Moreover, we find that for votes on immigration and refugee policy, the arrival of more asylum seekers shifts voters towards policies endorsed by conservative and centre-right parties but not towards positions backed by the rightmost anti-immigration party. In contrast, the shift towards the rightmost stances is sizeable in votes related to the welfare state, international integration, and the rights of minorities.
    Keywords: Immigration, political preferences, re-distribution, quasi-random allocation
    JEL: D72 F22 H80
    Date: 2020–10
  9. By: Koenig, Christoph (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: I study the adverse political effects of WW1 in Weimar Germany. Using novel data on WW1 veterans and an election panel from 1893-1933, I show that former soldiers are associated with a sizeable, persistent and potentially momentous shift in political preferences from left to right. Contrary to historical accounts, this shift cannot be explained by exposure to violence or other polarising post-war events. Rather, I provide suggestive evidence that war participation made veterans highly receptive to Red Menace fears of a Socialist revolution. This alienated veterans from leftwing parties and drove the majority towards inclusive, rightwing parties using anti-left platforms.
    Keywords: JEL Classification: D72, N43, N44
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Jan Philipp Krügel (Helmut-Schmidt University Hamburg); Nicola Maaser (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: The willingness of mere bystanders, or “third parties,” to incur costs to sanction non-cooperators in social dilemma situations has been documented in numerous studies. It is, however, not clear yet how different forms of higher-order punishment affect third party behavior and the level of cooperation. This paper experimentally studies incentives for third parties to enforce contribution norms in public-good games. We compare two treatments where the third party is embedded in different stylized institutions to a baseline treatment where this is not the case. In our treatments, the third party is, first, evaluated by another uninvolved individual ("fourth party"), and second, faces competition by another potential third party punisher. We find that third parties punish free-riding public good players more severely if they have to fear negative payoff consequences for themselves. Importantly, our results point to substantial qualitative differences between the institutional arrangements: When the third party is under scrutiny of a fourth party, punishment is more balanced, but also high compared to the other treatments. By contrast, competition between two third party candidates leads to strategic and partial punishment, generating the most profitable outcomes for public good players.
    Keywords: Third party punishment, Higher-order punishment, Cooperation, Public goods game, Experiments
    JEL: C92 D02 H41
    Date: 2020–10–26
  11. By: Alberto Grillo (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)
    Abstract: Voting in large elections appears to be both ethically motivated and influenced by strategic considerations. One way to capture this interplay postulates a rule-utilitarian calculus, which abstracts away from heterogeneity in the intensity of support (Feddersen and Sandroni 2006, Coate and Conlin 2004). I argue that this approach is unsatisfactory when such heterogeneity is considered, since it implies that idiosyncratic preferences are irrelevant for participation, in contrast to the empirical evidence. A model of Kantian optimizationà la Roemer (2019), based on the maximization of individual utility under a universalization principle, predicts instead differential participation and links ethical motivation to the spatial theory of voting.
    Keywords: Voting,Turnout,Ethical Voter,Rule-utilitarian,Kantian Optimization
    Date: 2020–10–08
  12. By: Tenev, Anastas P. (General Economics 0 (Onderwijs), RS: GSBE Theme Conflict & Cooperation)
    Abstract: This paper studies a model of network formation in which agents create links following a simple heuristic -- they invest their limited resources proportionally more in neighbours who have fewer links. This decision rule captures the notion that when considering social value more connected agents are on average less beneficial as neighbours and node degree is a useful proxy when payoffs are difficult to compute. The decision rule illustrates an externalities effect whereby an agent's actions also influence his neighbours' neighbours. Besides complete networks and fragmented networks with complete components, the pairwise stable networks produced by this model include many non-standard ones with characteristics observed in real life networks like clustering and irregular components. Multiple stable states can develop from the same initial structure -- the stable networks could have cliques linked by intermediary agents while sometimes they have a core-periphery structure. The observed pairwise stable networks have close to optimal welfare. This limited loss of welfare is due to the fact that when a link is established, this is beneficial to the linking agents, but makes them less attractive as neighbours for others, thereby partially internalising the externalities the new connection has generated.
    JEL: A13 C72 D85
    Date: 2020–10–12
  13. By: Michael Coury
    Abstract: How does exposure to risk shape individual preferences for an expanded state? I examine this question in the context of a source of risk prominently featured in the public discourse: climate change. I use variation in California wildfire activity to study how demand for government services evolves following exposure to climate change associated disaster events. I find that Census block groups experiencing a large fire in the two years preceding a biennial Congressional election increase support by 0.7 percentage points for ballot initiatives which expand government spending and taxation. Preference for a more activist state is stronger on the issues rendered most salient by fire exposure, as I document a larger increase of 2.6 percentage points in support for ballot initiatives endorsed by pro-environment interest groups. The effect of fire exposure is stronger in more Republican areas and decays with distance from a fire. The effect does not appear to be driven by shifts in voter registration or turnout, suggesting that the mechanism is indeed changes in individual preferences rather than compositional changes in the electorate.
    Date: 2020–01

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