nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2021‒02‒08
fourteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Voting Advice Applications and Elections By Christine Benesch; Rino L. Heim; Mark Schelker; Lukas D. Schmidt
  2. Trapped by the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the United States Presidential Election Needs a Coordination Device By Héloïse Cloléry; Yukio Koriyama
  3. Stable Coalition Structures and Power Indices for Majority Voting By Takaaki Abe
  4. The Advantage of Incumbents in Coalitional Bargaining By Jaakko Meriläinen; Janne Tukiaianen
  5. Class, Social Mobility, and Voting: Evidence from Historical Voting Records By Torun Dewan; Christopher Kam; Jaakko Meriläinen; Janne Tukiaianen
  6. Designing Preference Voting By Philipp Harfst; Damien Bol; Jean-François Laslier
  7. Monetary Costs Versus Opportunity Costs in a Voting Experiment By Yoichi Hizen; Kengo Kurosaka
  8. Self-Signaling in Moral Voting By Lydia Mechtenberg; Grischa Perino; Nicolas Treich; Jean-Robert Tyran; Stephanie Wang
  9. Division of Labor and the Organization of Knowledge in Production: A Laboratory Experiment By Victor Klockmann; Alicia von Schenk; Ferdinand von Siemens
  10. Buying Votes across Borders? A List Experiment on Mexican Immigrants in the US By Jaehyun Song; Takeshi Iida; Yuriko Takahashi; Jesús Tovar
  11. Changes in Well-Being Around Elections By Schreiner, Nicolas
  12. Friendship Networks and Political Opinions: A Natural Experiment among Future French Politicians By Algan, Yann; Dalvit, Nicolò; Do, Quoc-Anh; Le Chapelain, Alexis; Zenou, Yves
  13. Decision–making on public facility location by using social choice rules with a deliberative suggestion By Takashi Kurihara; Koichi Suga
  14. How Scandals Act as Catalysts of Fringe Stakeholders' Contentious Actions against Multinational Corporations By Thibault Daudigeos; Thomas Roulet; Bertrand Valiorgue

  1. By: Christine Benesch; Rino L. Heim; Mark Schelker; Lukas D. Schmidt
    Abstract: We analyze how the introduction of the voting advice application (VAA) smartvote affects voter turnout, voting behavior and electoral outcomes. The Swiss context offers an ideal setting to identify the causal effects of online information with aggregate real world data because smartvote was introduced in different cantons at different points in time. In contrast to previous experimental studies, we find that smartvote did not affect turnout but that voters more actively select candidates instead of parties by splitting their ballot. Our findings suggest that no specific parties seem to benefit from the change in voting behavior and we find no effects on aggregate electoral outcomes.
    Keywords: elections, information, internet
    JEL: D70 D72
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Héloïse Cloléry; Yukio Koriyama (X - École polytechnique)
    Abstract: Summary: The system according to which the President of the United States of America is elected, the Electoral College, has often raised concerns. Among those, the winner-take-all rule is often criticized for potentially – and in recent years effectively – bringing to power a president who has not obtained the majority of the popular vote. This note shows that most of the reform proposals have failed due to the structure of the problem: the US Presidential Election is trapped by the Prisoner's Dilemma. Each state would rationally choose the winner-take-all rule in order to best reflect its citizens' preferences on the federal decision. However, the outcome of such a choice, if adopted by all states, would not be desirable for the nation as a whole, because it prevents the optimal aggregation of all citizens' preferences. A weighted proportional rule, if used by all states, would make all citizens better off by reflecting their preferences on the final decision more accurately. However, since each state has an incentive to adopt the winner-take-all rule regardless of the choice of the other states, it is impossible for all the states to adopt such a rule without a coordination device. We therefore analyze interesting attempts to escape from this dilemma, such as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, and how our framework applies to representative democracy. Key points: The winner-take-all rule has been used almost exclusively in the US presidential elections since the 1830s, but has been criticized for various reasons. One of these is the occasional discrepancy between the election winner and the national popular vote results (e.g. George W. Bush vs. Al Gore in 2000, and Donald Trump vs. Hilary Clinton in 2016). The structure of the problem can be described with a game-theoretic analysis, at least partially: the Electoral College system is trapped by the Prisoner's Dilemma. States could benefit from cooperating, but they do not achieve this because each state does not have any guarantee that the other states would join a cooperative action. A coordination device is necessary in order to escape from the dilemma. Some interesting attempts, such as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, are underway. The same structure of the dilemma appears in representative democracy. Party discipline may induce distortion of the preference aggregation and thus may be welfare-detrimental for the society.
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Takaaki Abe (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: An (n,k)-game is a voting game in which each player has exactly one vote, and decisions are made by at least k affirmative votes of the n players. A power index is a measure of the a priori power of the n voters. The purpose of this paper is to show what axioms of power indices generate stable coalition structures for each (n,k)-game. Using the stability notion of the core, we show that a coalition structure containing a minimal winning coalition is stable for a wide range of general power indices satisfying a set of axioms, such as the Shapley-Shubik, Banzhaf, normalized Banzhaf, and Deegan-Packel power indices. Moreover, we also show that a coalition structure that represents a two-party system can be stable if the two large parties are close enough in size. Some unstable coalition structures are also analyzed.
    Keywords: coalition structure; core; majority voting; power index
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2020–10
  4. By: Jaakko Meriläinen (Centro de Investigación Económica and Department of Economics, ITAM, Av. Camino Santa Teresa 930, Col. Héroes de Padierna, Del. Magdalena Contreras, 10700 Ciudad de México, Mexico); Janne Tukiaianen (Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics, Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland; VATT Institute for Economic Research, Arkadiankatu 7, FI-00101, Helsinki, Finland)
    Abstract: The composition of governing coalitions does not always reflect the relative sizes of the coalition members, but research has not been able to fully reconcile why. We propose that political parties with more (reelected) incumbent representatives fare better in coalitional bargaining. To evaluate this argument empirically, we construct a data set of parties and governing coalitions in Finnish local governments. Using an instrumental variable strategy that hinges on within-party close elections between incumbents and non-incumbents, we find that, ceteris paribus, having more re-elected incumbents improves a partyâs coalitional bargaining outcomes. Descriptive evidence suggests that incumbent representation is particularly useful when a party is in a disadvantaged position (e.g., it is ideologically distant from other parties) and when the bargaining environment is more complex (e.g., there are more parties). Lastly, incumbent representation also matters for selection: parties that have more incumbent representatives nominate more incumbents in the municipal executive.
    Keywords: coalitional bargaining, coalitions, government formation, incumbency advantage, local government, multi-party system
    JEL: C26 D72
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Torun Dewan (Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom.); Christopher Kam (Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Campus C425 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1); Jaakko Meriläinen (Centro de Investigación Económica and Department of Economics, ITAM, Av. Camino Santa Teresa 930, Col. Héroes de Padierna, Del. Magdalena Contreras, 10700 Ciudad de México, Mexico); Janne Tukiaianen (Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics, Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland; VATT Institute for Economic Research, Arkadiankatu 7, FI-00101, Helsinki, Finland)
    Abstract: We explore the connection between social class, social mobility, and voting behavior in nineteenth-century England. To avoid pitfalls associated with survey or aggregate data on voting behavior, we use administrative longitudinal records preceding secret ballot on voters’ choices and occupation. These data reveal that the landed gentry, farm workers, non-skilled workers and white-collar workers voted, on average, more for the Conservatives, and petty bourgeoisie and skilled workers for the Liberals. The changes in voting behavior within individuals due to social mobility are immediate and mainly consistent with the same cleavage. Our interpretation is that voting was influenced by economic incentives.
    Keywords: Class-based voting, economic voting, social mobility, voting behavior, poll books
    JEL: D72 N33 N93
    Date: 2021–01
  6. 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
  7. By: Yoichi Hizen (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Kengo Kurosaka (Hiroshima Shudo University)
    Abstract: Monetary incentives are widely used to reproduce various voting environments in the laboratory. In actual elections, however, non-monetary opportunity costs play a role in voter turnout. Our research question was two-fold; whether the effect of opportunity costs on voter turnout differs from the effect of monetary costs, and if so, to what extent they differ. To generate opportunity costs, we asked participants to work on tasks for two minutes; they were rewarded for successful task completions but lost thirty seconds if they chose to vote. Our regression analysis suggested that nearly half of the participants’ decisions took account of opportunity costs as well as monetary costs, and that for such decisions, the effect of opportunity costs on voter turnout was about one-third of the effect of monetary costs. These observations attribute the “paradox of voter turnout†to the misperception and/or depreciation of voting costs.
    Keywords: Laboratory experiment, Monetary incentives, Opportunity cost, Paradox of voter turnout, Finite mixture model
    JEL: C92 D72 D90
    Date: 2021–02
  8. By: Lydia Mechtenberg (University of Hamburg); Grischa Perino (University of Hamburg); Nicolas Treich (University Toulouse Capitole, INRAE, Toulouse School of Economics); Jean-Robert Tyran (University of Vienna, University of Copenhagen and CEPR (London)); Stephanie Wang (University of Pittsburgh)
    Abstract: This paper presents a two-wave survey experiment on self-image concerns in moral voting. We elicit votes on the so-called Horncow Initiative. This initiative required subsidization of farmers who refrain from dehorning. We investigate how non-consequentialist and non-deontological messages changing the moral self-signaling value of a Yes vote affect selection and processing of consequentialist information, and reported voting behavior. We find that a message enhancing the self-signaling value of a Yes vote is effective: voters agree more with arguments in favor of the initiative, anticipate more frequently voting in favor, and report more frequently having voted in favor of the initiative.
    Keywords: moral bias, voting, multi-wave field experiment, information avoidance
    JEL: C93 D72 D91
    Date: 2021–01–04
  9. By: Victor Klockmann; Alicia von Schenk; Ferdinand von Siemens
    Abstract: Following Garicano (2000), we consider groups whose members decide what knowledge to acquire and how to use this knowledge in production. If efficient production requires common knowledge, all group members should become workers and acquire common knowledge. But if efficient production requires diverse knowledge, one group member should become manager, acquire rare knowledge, and stand ready to help the other workers. In our laboratory experiment, we find that most groups eventually manage to coordinate on an efficient division of labor. Still, we find substantial adoption frictions. Coordination takes time, and some groups coordinate on an inefficient division of labor, probably because they do not understand what organization of knowledge is most efficient.
    Keywords: knowledge, division of labor, organizational economics
    JEL: C72 C92 D20 L23 M20
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Jaehyun Song (Waseda Institute of Advanced Studies, Waseda University); Takeshi Iida (Department of Political Science, Doshisha Universit); Yuriko Takahashi (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Jesús Tovar (Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México)
    Abstract: Although immigrant populations have grown worldwide, their electoral connections with their home countries have been understudied. This study investigated vote-buying in the overseas ballot. Focusing on the 2018 federal elections in Mexico, we assumed that the recent reform of extending voting rights abroad, the lower socioeconomic status of the immigrants, the dubious secret ballot, and the weak oversight mechanisms in overseas ballots provided favorable conditions for buying expatriates' votes through the cross-border networks. Our list experiment found that approximately 32 percent of Mexican immigrants in the US experienced vote-buying during the electoral campaign. Furthermore, multivariate analysis showed that the most susceptible to vote-buying were those who were female, young, full-time workers, contacted by party activists, supporters of PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) and MORENA (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional), and living where there was a high concentration of Hometown Associations (HTAs).
    Keywords: vote-buying; overseas ballot; list experiment; immigration; Mexico; US
    Date: 2020–01
  11. By: Schreiner, Nicolas (University of Basel)
    Abstract: Elections constitute the essential element of democracy, yet surprisingly little is known about their immediate consequences for individual well-being. Cross-country empirical evidence is particularly absent for the campaign period leading up to elections. While elections as a process allow citizens to contribute to democratic quality, they are also intrinsically conflictual and require voters to exert effort to make informed decisions. To measure the aggregate changes in well-being along the entirety of the electoral process, I use survey data from before and after 148 national elections in 24 European countries between 1989 and 2019. Respondents interviewed in the months preceding election day report significantly lower levels of life satisfaction than their compatriots asked the same calendar week but in years without elections. Once voting has taken place, aggregate well-being immediately returns to its regular average. Exploratory analyses suggest that partisan conflict and social pressures regarding democratic participation may play a role in explaining the reduction in life satisfaction before elections.
    Keywords: elections, well-being, life satisfaction, election campaigns, electoral systems, political polarization, eurobarometer
    JEL: D72 D91 I31
    Date: 2021–01–21
  12. By: Algan, Yann (Sciences Po, Paris); Dalvit, Nicolò (Sciences Po, Paris); Do, Quoc-Anh (Sciences Po, Paris); Le Chapelain, Alexis; Zenou, Yves (Monash University)
    Abstract: We study how social interaction and friendship shape students' political opinions in a natural experiment at Sciences Po, the cradle of top French politicians. We exploit arbitrary assignments of students into short-term integration groups before their scholar cursus, and use the pairwise indicator of same-group membership as instrumental variable for friendship. After six months, friendship causes a reduction of differences in opinions by one third of the standard deviation of opinion gap. The evidence is consistent with a homophily-enforced mechanism, by which friendship causes initially politically-similar students to join political associations together, which reinforces their political similarity, without exercising an effect on initially politically-dissimilar pairs. Friendship affects opinion gaps by reducing divergence, therefore polarization and extremism, without forcing individuals' views to converge. Network characteristics also matter to the friendship effect.
    Keywords: political opinion, polarization, friendship effect, social networks, homophily, extremism, learning, natural experiment
    JEL: C93 D72 Z13
    Date: 2020–12
  13. By: Takashi Kurihara (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Koichi Suga (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: To decide a public facility location by considering both voters' preferences and a deliberative suggestion from the government (all of them are assumed to be complete preorders over a fixed finite location set), we propose a democratic–deliberative preference update system (DD system). The DD system updates the voters' preferences according to the government's preference as follows: if any two locations are indifferent for a voter, the updated preference of the voter is equivalent to that of the government, and if any two locations are ordered strictly by the voter, the updated preference is equal to the original one. We provide a simple axiomatic characterisation of the DD system and show that the system updates the voters' preferences in linear time. We then compare the set of winners by using (I) only the voters' preferences, (II) only the government's preference, and (III) the democratic–deliberative updated preferences based on the following five scoring rules: (adjusted) plurality, (adjusted) anti-plurality, and Borda rules. We run the simulation 10,000 times for each pair of the numbers of locations and voters and estimate the relationship between the set of winners, the numbers of locations and voters, and the voting rules. We find that the Borda rule has better performance than the others in our simulation and regression analyses.
    Keywords: single–facility location; the democratic–deliberative preference update system; axiomatisation; time complexity; simulation analyses; regression analyses
    JEL: C63 D70 D71 D72 D83
    Date: 2020–03
  14. By: Thibault Daudigeos; Thomas Roulet; Bertrand Valiorgue (CleRMa - Clermont Recherche Management - Clermont Auvergne - ESC Clermont-Ferrand - École Supérieure de Commerce (ESC) - Clermont-Ferrand - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: In this article, we build on the stakeholder-politics literature to investigate how corporate scandals transform political contexts and give impetus to the contentious movements of fringe stakeholders against multinational corporations (MNCs). Based on Adut's scandal theory (2005), we flesh out three scandal-related processes that directly affect political-opportunity structures (POSs) and the generation of social movements against MNCs: convergence of contention towards a single target, publicisation of deviant practices, and contagion to other organisations. These processes reduce the obstacles to collective actions by fringe stakeholders by pushing corporate elites to be more sensitive to their claims, by decreasing MNCs' capability to repress contentious movements, by forcing the targeted MNCs to formalise a policy to monitor and eradicate the controversial practices and by helping fringe stakeholders find internal and external allies to support their claims. This conceptual model of scandals as catalysts of contentious actions contributes to a better understanding of stakeholder politics by unveiling the role of the political context in the coordination of fringe stakeholders.
    Keywords: fringe stakeholders,multinational corporations,political-opportunity structures,scandals,stakeholder politics
    Date: 2020–02

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