nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2020‒11‒23
seven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Governance and Group Conflict By Kölle, Felix
  2. Who is the ultimate boss of legislators: Voters, special interest groups or parties? By Stadelmann, David; Torrens, Gustavo
  3. Persuading an Informed Committee By Nina Bobkova; Saskia Klein
  4. Coordinating to avoid the catastrophe By Bühl, Vitus; Schmidt, Robert C.
  5. Restoring cultivated agrobiodiversity: The political ecology of knowledge networks between local peasant seed groups in France By Armelle Mazé; Aida Calabuig Domenech; Isabelle Goldringer
  6. On Convexity in Games with Externalities By José María Alsonso-Maijide; Mikel Álvarez-Mozos; María Gloria Fiestras-Janeiro; Andrés Jiménez-Losada
  7. Asymmetric Guessing Games By AKIN, ZAFER

  1. By: Kölle, Felix
    Abstract: Many situations in the social and economic life are characterized by rivalry and conflict between two or more competing groups. Warfare, socio-political conflicts, political elections, lobbying, and R&D competitions are all examples of inter-group conflicts in which groups spend scarce and costly resources to gain an advantage over other groups. Here, we report on an experiment that investigates the impact of political institutions within groups on the development of conflict between groups. We find that relative to the case in which group members can decide individually on their level of conflict engagement, conflict significantly intensifies when investments are determined democratically by voting or when a single group member (the dictator) can decide on behalf of the group. These results hold for both symmetric and asymmetric contests, as well as for situations in which institutions are adopted exogenously or endogenously. Our findings thus suggest that giving people the possibility to vote is not the main reason for why democracies seem to engage in less wars than autocracies. Nevertheless, when giving participants the possibility to choose which institution to adopt, we find that democracy is the by far most popular one as it combines the desirable features of autonomy and equality.
    Keywords: Conflict,competition,institutions,democracy,groups,experiment
    JEL: D72 C72 C92
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Stadelmann, David; Torrens, Gustavo
    Abstract: Politicians have multiple principals. We investigate the weights that politicians put on the revealed preferences of their constituents, special interest groups and party when deciding on legislative proposals. Preferences of constituents, special interest groups and parties are directly observed in our setting and they are positively correlated among each other. The empirical findings suggest that constituent preferences are assigned the lowest weight. Holding constant the preferences of other principals, constituent preferences are assigned a weight of only 10.0%. Party preferences are assigned the highest weight of all principals and special interest groups lie in between. A politician's personal ideology plays no substantial role in legislative decisions. We explore conflict among principals as well as heterogeneity among politicians. Our results cast doubt on the empirical relevance of the median voter model and suggest that more principals need to be considered to explain legislative decisions.
    Keywords: Principal-agent,multiple principals,voting,political representation,behavior of politicians
    JEL: D72 D78
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Nina Bobkova; Saskia Klein
    Abstract: A biased sender seeks to persuade a committee to vote for a proposal by providing public information about its quality. Each voter has some private information about the proposal's quality. We characterize the sender-optimal disclosure policy under unanimity rule when the sender can versus cannot ask voters for a report about their private information. The sender can only profit from asking agents about their private signals when the private information is sufficiently accurate. For all smaller accuracy levels, a sender who cannot elicit the private information is equally well off.
    Keywords: Voting, Bayesian Persuasion, Strategic Voting, Unanimity
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Bühl, Vitus; Schmidt, Robert C.
    Abstract: In the presence of a tipping point for dangerous climate damages, the cooperation problem of climate protection can be transformed into a coordination problem that is much easier to deal with (Barrett, 2013). This holds in particular if the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that triggers the catastrophe is precisely known, while the well-known free-rider problem re-appears if the location of the threshold is sufficiently uncertain. In this paper, we focus on the question how the non-signatories (outsiders of a climate agreement) coordinate to avoid the catastrophe, if the tipping point is known. In particular, in light of a multiplicity of equilibria in this coordination problem, the assumption that outsiders will always successfully coordinate to avoid the threshold, even if this is in their collective interest, seems overly optimistic. We analyze how the probability that the outsiders coordinate on an equilibrium in which the threshold is avoided, affects the incentives of countries to join the climate coalition. In some cases, there are multiple equilibria at the participation stage: an equilibrium with full participation, and an equilibrium in which a much smaller coalition forms - just large enough to achieve an outcome in which the catastrophe is avoided with positive probability.
    Keywords: tipping point,climate catastrophe,coordination game,international environmental agreement,climate cooperation
    JEL: D62 F53 Q54
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Armelle Mazé (SADAPT - Sciences pour l'Action et le Développement : Activités, Produits, Territoires - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Aida Calabuig Domenech (SADAPT - Sciences pour l'Action et le Développement : Activités, Produits, Territoires - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Isabelle Goldringer (GQE-Le Moulon - Génétique Quantitative et Evolution - Le Moulon (Génétique Végétale) - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: This article, using an institutional and political ecological perspective, analyses the role of knowledge networks supporting peasant seed groups in France. These groups promote a dynamic approach to agrobiodiversity restoration , developing new models of collaborative "peer-to-peer genetics" and distributed participatory breeding. Our analysis focuses here on the small grain cereal participatory breeding group. Based on detailed qualitative surveys and a network formalization, our study provides a better understanding of how these peasant seed groups self-organized and of how their horizontal and distributed network structure favors the dynamics of collective learning and knowledge spillovers. Further directions for policy making are discussed in support of more resilient plant breeding and agrobiodiversity restoration in European agricultural landscapes.
    Keywords: IAD/SESF,Social-ecological fit theory,Institutional economics,Peer-to-peer production,Participatory breeding,Community-based conservation,Seed Commons
    Date: 2021–01
  6. By: José María Alsonso-Maijide (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela); Mikel Álvarez-Mozos (Universitat de Barcelona); María Gloria Fiestras-Janeiro (Universidade de Vigo); Andrés Jiménez-Losada (Universidad de Sevilla)
    Abstract: We introduce new notions of superadditivity and convexity for games with coalitional externalities. We show parallel results to the classic ones for transferable utility games without externalities. In superadditive games the grand coalition is the most efficient organization of agents. The convexity of a game is equivalent to having non decreasing contributions to larger embedded coalitions. We also see that convex games can only have negative externalities.
    Keywords: Externalities, Partition function, Lattice, Superadditivity, Convexity, Contribution.
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2019
  7. By: AKIN, ZAFER
    Abstract: This paper theoretically and experimentally investigates the behavior of asymmetric players in guessing games. The asymmetry is created by introducing k>1 replicas of one of the players. Two-player and restricted N-player cases are examined in detail. Based on the model parameters, the equilibrium is either unique in which all players choose zero or mixed in which the weak player (k=1) imitates the strong player (k>1). A series of experiments involving two and three-player repeated guessing games with unique equilibrium is conducted. We find that equilibrium behavior is observed less frequently and overall choices are farther from the equilibrium in two-player asymmetric games in contrast to symmetric games, but this is not the case in three-player games. Convergence towards equilibrium exists in all cases but asymmetry slows down the speed of convergence to the equilibrium in two, but not in three-player games. Furthermore, the strong players have a slight earning advantage over the weak players, and asymmetry increases discrepancy in choices (defined as the squared distance of choices from the winning number) in both games.
    Keywords: Guessing game, asymmetry, convergence, game theory, experimental economics
    JEL: C72 C92
    Date: 2020–10–20

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