nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2021‒01‒04
sixteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. Voting behavior in one-shot and iterative multiple referenda By Grandi, Umberto; Lang, Jérôme; Ozkes, Ali; Airiau, Stéphane
  2. Ideological Motives and Group Decision-Making By Florian Engl
  3. Shaping a Network Constituency: A PGI Analysis inspired by the City of Munich By Manfred J. Holler; Florian Rupp
  4. Reverse Party Favoritism in Times of Pandemics: Evidence from Poland By Kantorowicz, Jaroslaw
  5. The electoral consequences of corruption and integrity scandals: The case of Dutch local elections By Harm Rienks
  6. Information, get-out-the-vote messages, and peer influence: causal effects on political behavior in Mozambique By Matilde Grácio; Pedro C. Vicente
  7. How does legislative behavior change when the country becomes democratic? The case of South Korea By Francesco Lagona; Fabio Padovano
  8. "The mother of all political problems"? On asylum seekers and elections By Tomberg, Lukas; Smith Stegen, Karen; Vance, Colin
  9. Designing Preference Voting By Philipp Harfst; Damien Bol; Jean-François Laslier
  10. Political Budget Forecast cycles By Frank Bohn; Francisco José Veiga
  11. Reconciling agency and impartiality: positional views as the cornerstone of Sen’s idea of justice By Antoinette BAUJARD; Muriel GILARDONE
  12. A political economy of loose means-testing in targeted social programs By Cremer, Helmuth; Klimaviciute, Justina; Pestiau, Pierre
  13. Developing Market-Oriented Politics in Nigeria: A Review of the 2019 Presidential Election By Olanrewaju O. Akinola; Ibrahim A. Adekunle
  14. Humanistic Digital Governance By Dennis J. Snower; Paul Twomey
  15. RENEILWE Community Engagement Programme: A Transformative Township Developmental Plan By Maseko, P.B. Neo; Costa, King
  16. The Intrinsic Value of Decision Rights: A Note on Team vs Individual Decision-Making By Justin Buffat; Matthias Praxmarer; Matthias Sutter

  1. By: Grandi, Umberto; Lang, Jérôme; Ozkes, Ali (WU Vienna); Airiau, Stéphane
    Abstract: We consider a set of voters making a collective decision via simultaneous vote on two binary issues. Voters' preferences are captured by payoffs assigned to combinations of outcomes for each issue and they can be nonseparable: a voter's preference over an issue might be dependent on the other issue. When the collective decision in this context is reached by voting on both issues at the same time, multiple election paradoxes may arise, as studied extensively in the theoretical literature. In this paper we pursue an experimental approach and investigate the impact of iterative voting, in which groups deliberate by repeating the voting process until a final outcome is reached. Our results from experiments run in the lab show that voters tend to have an optimistic rather than a pessimistic behaviour when casting a vote on a non-separable issue and that iterated voting may in fact improve the social outcome. We provide the first comprehensive empirical analysis of individual and collective behavior in the multiple referendum setting.
    Date: 2020–12–15
  2. By: Florian Engl
    Abstract: This paper studies experimentally when and how ideological motives shape outcomes in group decision-making scenarios. Groups play a repeated coordination game in which they can agree on a payoff-dominant or a payoff-dominated but ideologically preferred outcome, or disagree and forego all payoffs. We find that groups which disagree initially are more likely to end up agreeing on the ideologically preferred outcome. We classify subjects into ideologically motivated and payoff motivated types and show that this effect stems from the two types’ differential reaction to disagreements. After disagreements, ideologically motivated types are more committed and steer the group towards their preferred outcome. Heterogeneous groups disagree more often and, thus, foster agreements on the ideologically motivated outcome. Our treatments show that, because of this mechanism, large groups are more likely to implement the ideologically preferred outcome than small groups. Furthermore, we show that individual ideological commitment is stronger when it targets the prevention of an outcome in conflict with the ideology than when it targets the implementation of an outcome aligned with the ideology. Theoretically, we study whether fixed or malleable ideological preferences can explain our results.
    Keywords: ideology, group decision-making, coordination, heterogeneous types
    JEL: C92 D01 D70 D91
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Manfred J. Holler (University of Hamburg and CCR-Munich); Florian Rupp (Technical University Munich and CCR-Munich)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes a network constituency which is characterized by voting in a political network. It applies power index analysis to the notorious Krackhardt’s kite social network by imposing a weighted voting game on the given network structure. It compares the results of this analysis, derived by applying the Public Good Index and the Public Value, with the outcome of employing the centrality concepts - degree centrality, closeness centrality, and betweenness centrality - that we find in Krackstadt (1990), and eigenvector centrality. Alternative collective decision rules and alternative network structure are considered. The study is concurs with a real-world collective decision problem which one of the authors experiences concerning a massive expansion of housebuilding with the City of Munich, the State of Bavaria and some German Federal Government institutions as possible players in a decision network. Other players are the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, the farmers who are threatened by the expropriation of land and the incumbent inhabitants of the area who like their last resort of green fields and relatively fresh air, and already suffer from the heavy traffic in this area. The city’s housebuilding project is strongly contested.
    Keywords: network, centrality, Public Good Index, Public Value, power indices, weighted voting game, collective decision rules
    JEL: C70 C72 D72 D85 L14 Z13
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Kantorowicz, Jaroslaw
    Abstract: There is an abundant empirical literature demonstrating party favoritism whereby the central government is prone to disburse financial transfers to favor aligned local governments. This contrasts with much scarcer evidence on reverse party favoritism, i.e. aligned local governments offering non-pecuniary support to the central government in times of elections. In this paper I show that such reverse party favoritism exists. To demonstrate it, I exploit the fact that during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic crisis, the Polish government was keen to launch postal voting in the presidential elections scheduled for May 2020. The organization of these elections hinged on the Polish Post getting access to the lists of voters, which were in the possession of heads of the municipal executive (mayors). Since the relevant legislation on postal voting had not been enacted on time, the vast majority of local executives refused to share their lists of voters. Nonetheless, numerous mayors did transfer the lists to the Post. By employing a set of standard (linear probability and logistic) regression models and regression discontinuity design, I show that the political alignment of mayors with the central government leads to approximately 20-25 percentage points greater likelihood of transferring the lists of voters to the Polish Post. This difference in probabilities tends to be smaller in cases of divided governments but not in cases of higher political contestability.
    Date: 2020–12–15
  5. By: Harm Rienks (University of Groningen and COELO)
    Abstract: Corruption scandals reveal to voters that a politician is not who he publicly is presenting to be and also reveals information about mal-performance. This paper investigates whether voters mainly respond to the first cue, as predicted by theories modeling elections as a type-selection device, or rather to the second cue, as predicted by theories modeling elections as an accountability device. For this a unique panel dataset is used on corruption and integrity scandals in Dutch local elections in the period 2006-2018. It finds that Dutch voters severely punish parties whose candidates have been involved in corruption scandals. An average sized party loses on average 11 percentage points of their voters compared to similar parties whose candidates were not involved in a corruption scandal. This paper also shows that voters punish integrity violation less directly related to in-office performance, such as misconduct in private time, much more mildly. These results support the accountability theory of voting rather than the type-selection theory. This also indicates that the corruption literature does not suffer from sub-set-bias and has been correct in treating corruption as being distinct from other integrity violations.
    Date: 2019–04
  6. By: Matilde Grácio; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Political accountability requires informed voters and electoral participation. Both have been lagging in many developing countries like Mozambique. We designed and implemented a field experiment during the 2013 municipal elections in that country. We study the impact on political behavior of location-level distribution of a free newspaper and get-out-the-vote text messages aimed at mobilizing voters. As part of our design, we randomly assigned peers to experimental subjects in order to test for peer influence via text messages. Measurement of political outcomes comes from official electoral results at the level of the polling station, and from a range of behavioral and survey-based measures. We find that the distribution of the newspaper increased turnout and voting for the ruling party. The text messages led to higher political participation. When turning to influencing peers, we observe a clear role of male and older individuals, as well as complementarity with the distribution of newspapers.
    Keywords: Political behavior, information, peer influence, political economy, field experiment, Africa
    JEL: D72 O55
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Francesco Lagona (DSP, University of Roma Tre, Italy); Fabio Padovano (CREM-CNRS, Condorcet Center for Political Economy, University of Rennes 1 and DSP, Università Roma Tre, Italy)
    Abstract: The Political Legislation Cycle theory predicts a peak of legislative production in the preelectoral period, when legislators focus on voters’ welfare to be reelected. This paper verifies the theory on South Korean legislative production (1948-2016) and is the first test of the theory in a country undergoing a process of democratization. Two insofar untested hypotheses are being verified: 1) peaks of legislative production should increase with the degree of democracy; 2) as the party system and the mechanisms of legislative checks and balances develop, the PLC should become more evident in bills of legislative rather than executive’s initiative. A hurdle model estimated on both laws of parliamentary proposal and of government assignment lends empirical support to both hypotheses, with the noticeable feature that PLC in Korea appear more in the form of an upward trend than of pre-electoral peaks.
    Keywords: Political legislation cycles, conditional political cycles, democratic transition, autocracy, executive vs. parliamentary legislative initiative, hurdle model
    JEL: D72 C49 H61 H62
    Date: 2020–09
  8. By: Tomberg, Lukas; Smith Stegen, Karen; Vance, Colin
    Abstract: As immigration to Europe has increased, so has support for extremist parties. While many studies have examined the effect of immigration on election outcomes, few have probed the effect of asylum seekers - those fleeing strife and persecution - on voting, nor has there been much research on the mediating role of local economic conditions. Drawing on county level panel data from Germany, our study fills both gaps. We find that economic circumstances, as measured by the unemployment rate and the level of disposable income, condition voters' responses to the presence of asylum seekers, but the effects for parties on the far right and left diverge markedly. Under economic prosperity, immigration increases support on both sides of the political spectrum. As economic conditions worsen, however, the effect of asylum seekers on the vote share for the far right remains stable, but weakens for the left, eventually becoming negative. This divergence - which has not yet been reported in the literature - suggests that an influx of asylum seekers, particularly when coupled with an economic downturn, could tilt a political system rightwards. From a policy perspective, these results suggest that heterogeneity arising from local economic conditions has important implications for the regional allocation of asylum seekers.
    Keywords: asylum seekers,immigration,voting outcomes,fractional response
    JEL: D72 J15 K37 P16
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Philipp Harfst (TUD - Technische Universität Dresden); Damien Bol (King‘s College London); Jean-François Laslier (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, 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)
    Abstract: Electoral systems in which voters can cast preference votes for individual candidates within a party list are increasingly popular. To the best of our knowledge, there is no research on whether and how the scale used to evaluate candidates can affect electoral behavior and results. In this paper, we analyze data from an original voting experiment leveraging real-life political preferences and embedded in a nationally representative online survey in Austria. We show that the scale used by voters to evaluate candidates makes differences. For example, the possibility to give up to two points advantages male candidates because male voters are more likely to give 'zero points' to female candidates. Yet this pattern does not exist in the system in which voters can give positive and negative points because male voters seem reluctant to actively withdraw points from female candidates. We thus encourage constitution makers to think carefully about the design of preference voting.
    Keywords: Electoral system,Proportional representation,Preference voting,Approval voting,experiment,Austria
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Frank Bohn (Radboud University); Francisco José Veiga (Universidade do Minho and NIPE)
    Abstract: By forecasting overly optimistic revenues opportunistic governments can increase spending in order to appear more competent prior to elections. Ex post deficits emerge in election years, thereby producing political forecast cycles - as also found for US states in the empirical literature. In our theoretical moral hazard model we obtain three additional results which are tested with panel data for Portuguese municipalities. The extent of manipulations is reduced when (i) the winning margin is expected to widen; (ii) the incumbent is not re-running; and/or (iii) the share of informed voters (proxied by education) goes up.
    Keywords: opportunistic political cycles; political budget cycles; revenue forecasts; deficit; transfers; asymmetric information; political economy.
    JEL: D72 H68 E32
    Date: 2019–06
  11. By: Antoinette BAUJARD (Université Jean Monnet, Université de Lyon, GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne CNRS); Muriel GILARDONE (Université de Caen Normandie, UNICAEN, CREM CNRS)
    Abstract: Our paper offers a novel reading of Sen’s idea of justice, going beyond two standard prisms that we have identified as obscuring the debate: 1) welfarism, i.e.the focus on one definition of individual welfare; and 2)transcendentalism, i.e.resting on external normative criteria. Instead we take seriously Sen’s emphasis on personal agency,and we focus on his original contribution to the issue of positional objectivity.Firstly, we demonstrate that Sen’s idea of justice, with the notion of “positional views” at its core, is more respectful of persons’agency than any theory based on individual preference or capability could be. Secondly, we argue that Sen’s conception of positional views considers that both information and sentiments are relevant. Such an alternative approach to both objectivity and subjectivity in their standard meanings allows the formation of more impartial views through collective deliberation and a better consideration of justice by agents themselves. This paper contributes to better articulating Sen’s constructive proposal regarding justice and clarifying its anti-paternalistic nature.
    Keywords: individual preferences, positional objectivity, sentiments, public reasoning, agency, justice, welfarism, transcendentalism, impartiality, anti-paternalism
    JEL: A13 B31 B41 D63 I31
    Date: 2020–12
  12. By: Cremer, Helmuth; Klimaviciute, Justina; Pestiau, Pierre (Université catholique de Louvain, LIDAM/CORE, Belgium)
    Abstract: This paper studies the political sustainability of programs that are targeted towards the poor. Given that the poor to whom these programs cater do not constitute a majority, we show that for their own good it pays to let the middle class benefit from them in a random way. This approach mimics the actual institutional arrangements whereby middle-class individuals feel that they can successfully apply to the programs. We consider a two stage decision process: first a Rawlsian government chooses the probability at which the middle class is allowed to benefit from a given program; then, majority voting determines the level of benefit and the rate of contribution. At the first, constitutional stage, the government cannot commit to a specific level of taxes and benefit but anticipates that these are set by majority voting in the second stage.
    Keywords: Targeted transfers; Political support; Redistribution paradox
    JEL: H23 D72 H50
    Date: 2020–12–01
  13. By: Olanrewaju O. Akinola (Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria); Ibrahim A. Adekunle (Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria)
    Abstract: The 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria were unique in many facets. Apart from being the first time an incumbent candidate of a ruling party lost to the candidate of the opposition party, it was also the first presidential election that did not go through expensive and rigorous post-election litigations processes. From the political marketing point of view, we argued that the market-oriented approach, the purposeful, coordinated, and strategic use of marketing communication media and tools contributed to the success of APC at the 2015 presidential polls. The success story of the 2015 election gave rise to the evolution of voter-centric election campaigns, indicating that marketing and communication professionals and strategies, rather than violence and electoral fraud, have dominated and could dictate the outcomes of future elections in Nigeria. Based on the foregoing, this study reviewed the 2019 presidential election (the next election after the 2015 general election in Nigeria) to ascertain if that anticipated better tomorrow is here. We rely on experts’ interviews, direct observations, and secondary materials to confirm if the political landscape in Nigeria is market-driven. Findings revealed that the 2019 presidential election was extremely monetised, violent, and fraught with all manners of electoral misconducts such that are antithetical to the principles and practice of political marketing. We aver that electioneering in Nigeria is not market-driven and voter-centric.
    Keywords: Political Marketing; Democracy; 2019 Election; Market-Orientation; Nigeria
    Date: 2020–01
  14. By: Dennis J. Snower; Paul Twomey
    Abstract: We identify an important feature of current digital governance systems: “third-party funded digital barter”: consumers of digital services get many digital services for free (or underpriced) and in return have personal information about themselves collected for free. In addition, the digital consumers receive advertising and other forms of influence from the third parties that fund the digital services. The interests of the third-party funders are not well-aligned with the interests of the digital consumers. This fundamental flaw of current digital governance systems is responsible for an array of serious problems, including inequities, inefficiencies, manipulation of digital consumers, as well as dangers to social cohesion and democracy. We present four policy guidelines that aim to correct this flaw by shifting control of personal data from the data aggregators and their third-party funders to the digital consumers. The proposals cover “official data” that require official authentication, “privy data” that is either generated by the data subjects about themselves or by a second parties, and “collective data.” The proposals put each of these data types under the individual or collective control of the data subjects. There are also proposals to mitigate asymmetries of information and market power.
    Keywords: digital governance, digital services, personal data, digital service providers, market power, advertising, preference manipulation
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Maseko, P.B. Neo; Costa, King (Global Centre for Academic Research)
    Abstract: Township communities in the democratic South Africa are still grappling with the injustices of the pre-democratic era, resulting in social fragmentation and weakened social networks and engagement platforms. Successful social investment programmes need to be hinged upon robust and sustainable community engagement fora that enhances participation, opinion sharing, concept/project ownership, more perspectives and participant value-affirmations and contribution-recognition. RENEILWE Community Engagement model, a multi-layered, interdisciplinary and comprehensive socio-cultural and economic growth strategy, is aimed at engaging communities through the implementation of varied engagement and participatory methods. Community engagement is technically a term also known as citizen/civic engagement or collective interaction that uses various approaches to include people in matters of public concern for social change. Participatory and transformative approaches with the goal of increasing awareness and empowering communities to take charge of their transformation are the primary means of expected inclusion in the RENEILWE community interaction programme.
    Date: 2020–12–20
  16. By: Justin Buffat (University of Lausanne); Matthias Praxmarer (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: Team decision-making prevails in modern organizations. Teams often need to decide whether to delegate or make a decision themselves. Recent work has found that many individuals assign a significantly positive intrinsic value to having a decision right, which may distort the choice between delegating a decision or not. Here we examine experimentally whether teams are also prone to such distortions. While in the aggregate we find no differences between individuals and teams, we uncover an important heterogeneity within teams. Teams with a smooth decision making process have much lower intrinsic values of decision rights than individuals, often not even significantly different from zero. Yet, teams with conflicts in reaching a decision have very high intrinsic values of decision rights, thus distorting decisions. Hence, the team decision making process is of significant importance for the decision-making quality in organizations.
    Keywords: Decision rights, intrinsic value, team decision making, experiment
    JEL: C92 D23 D80
    Date: 2020–12

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