nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2021‒07‒12
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Rewarding Conservative Politicians? Evidence from Voting on Same-Sex Marriage By Björn Kauder; Niklas Potrafke
  2. To Swing or Not to Swing: An Assessment of Age and Political Cynicism of Swing Voting By Damon Proulx; David A. Savage; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
  3. Optimal Voting Mechanisms on Generalized Single-Peaked Domains By Tobias Rachidi
  4. Punishing Mayors Who Fail the Test: How do Voters Respond to Information on Educational Outcomes? By Loreto Cox; Sylvia Eyzaguirre; Francisco Gallego; Maximiliano García
  5. Deeds or words? The local influence of anti-immigrant parties on foreigners’ flows in Italy By Cerqua, Augusto; Zampollo, Federico
  6. Measuring Violations of Positive Involvement in Voting By Wesley H. Holliday; Eric Pacuit
  7. How Does Court Stability Affect Legal Stability? By Álvaro Bustos
  8. A systems framework for remedying dysfunction in U.S. democracy By Samuel S. -H. Wang; Jonathan Cervas; Bernard Grofman; Keena Lipsitz

  1. By: Björn Kauder; Niklas Potrafke
    Abstract: We examine whether voters rewarded conservative politicians who were voting in favor of same-sex marriage. Data is based on a roll-call vote in the German national parliament (Bundestag) in June 2017. This roll-call vote drastically influenced the public discourse about the social political platform of the conservative party. National elections took place in September 2017. The results show that the vote share of conservative politicians who voted in favor of same-sex marriage was around 1.29 percentage points (around 0.33 standard deviations of the change in the first vote share) higher than the vote share of conservative politicians who did not vote in favor of same-sex marriage. Voters were seeking for outcomes other than economic outcomes to evaluate politicians’ performance in office.
    Keywords: Rewarding and punishing politicians;, conservative politicians;, roll-call votes;, same-sex marriage;, economic voting
    JEL: D72 D78 P16
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Damon Proulx; David A. Savage; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: The empirical question of voting preferences and how these may change (swing) is yet to be answered, as there is little first-hand microeconomic evidence on swing voting. We focus on the interactions between voters’ age and political cynicism. Towards this end, we apply a stated and revealed preference framework to assess swing voting, using data from the Dutch Parliamentary Election Survey (DPES) 1989 to 2010. Our results indicate that swing voting is less likely to occur in older age groups and more likely among individuals with higher levels of political cynicism. The age effects tend to be stronger among those with lower political cynicism values.
    Keywords: swing voting; age; cynicism; elections
    JEL: D72 D79
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Tobias Rachidi
    Abstract: This paper studies the design of voting mechanisms in a setting with more than two alternatives and voters who have generalized single-peaked preferences derived from median spaces as introduced in [Nehring and Puppe, 2007b]. This class of preferences is considerably larger than the well-known class of preferences that are single-peaked on a line. I characterize the voting rules that maximize the ex-ante utilitarian welfare among all social choice functions satisfying strategy-proofness, anonymity, and surjectivity. The optimal mechanism takes the form of voting by properties, that is, the social choice is determined through a collection of binary votes on subsets of alternatives involving qualified majority requirements that reflect the characteristics of these subsets of alternatives. This general optimality result is applied to the design of voting mechanisms for the provision of two costly public goods subject to the constraint that the provided level of one good is weakly higher than the provided level of the other good.
    Keywords: Voting; Generalized Single-Peaked Preferences; Mechanism Design
    JEL: D71 D72 D82
    Date: 2021–06
  4. By: Loreto Cox; Sylvia Eyzaguirre; Francisco Gallego; Maximiliano García
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of providing information on the educational outcomes of municipal schools to voters on their electoral behavior in elections in which the incumbent mayor is running for reelection in Chile. We designed and implemented a randomized experiment whereby we sent 128,033 letters to voters with: (i) information on past test scores for local public schools (levels and changes), and (ii) different yardsticks, specifically the average and maximum test scores for comparable municipalities. We find that providing information of the relative performance affects turnout, which translates almost one-to-one into votes for the incumbent mayor, and produces spillovers on the election of local councilors. Results are concentrated in polling stations where most voters had already participated in previous elections. They are especially strong when educational results are bad and in stations that had stronger support for the incumbent mayor in the previous election, reducing turnout and thus votes for the incumbent.
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Cerqua, Augusto; Zampollo, Federico
    Abstract: We investigate the influence of anti-immigrant parties on foreigners' location choices in Italy. Considering municipal elections from 2000 to 2018, we create a database that includes a scientific-based classification on the anti-/pro-immigration axis of all Italian political parties based on experts' opinions. Via the adoption of a regression discontinuity design, we find that the election of a mayor supported by an anti-immigrant coalition significantly affect immigrants' location choices only when considering the most recent years. This finding does not appear to be driven by the enactment of policies against immigrants but by an 'inhospitality effect', which got stronger over time due to the exacerbation of political propaganda at the national and local level.
    Keywords: immigration,political parties,regression discontinuity design
    JEL: D72 J61 C13
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Wesley H. Holliday (University of California, Berkeley); Eric Pacuit (University of Maryland)
    Abstract: In the context of computational social choice, we study voting methods that assign a set of winners to each profile of voter preferences. A voting method satisfies the property of positive involvement (PI) if for any election in which a candidate x would be among the winners, adding another voter to the election who ranks x first does not cause x to lose. Surprisingly, a number of standard voting methods violate this natural property. In this paper, we investigate different ways of measuring the extent to which a voting method violates PI, using computer simulations. We consider the probability (under different probability models for preferences) of PI violations in randomly drawn profiles vs. profile-coalition pairs (involving coalitions of different sizes). We argue that in order to choose between a voting method that satisfies PI and one that does not, we should consider the probability of PI violation conditional on the voting methods choosing different winners. We should also relativize the probability of PI violation to what we call voter potency, the probability that a voter causes a candidate to lose. Although absolute frequencies of PI violations may be low, after this conditioning and relativization, we see that under certain voting methods that violate PI, much of a voter's potency is turned against them - in particular, against their desire to see their favorite candidate elected.
    Date: 2021–06
  7. By: Álvaro Bustos
    Abstract: The formation of coalitions in a court has attracted the attention of political scientists and legal economists. The question we address in this article is the extent to which coalition stability impacts the law. We consider a model where a court has two judicial coalitions, majority and minority. However, they may change their relative influence over time. We show that, while both sides have a preferred legal policy and want their standard to become law, the two coalitions may compromise on not changing the standard, thus maintaining the status quo, because of majority uncertainty in the future. One important implication from our article is that less certainty concerning the future (in terms of majority and minority) could actually make the law more stable in the present (since the standard is unchanged). In addition, we prove that moderate standards are more likely to endure the passage of time when compared to extreme standards.
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Samuel S. -H. Wang; Jonathan Cervas; Bernard Grofman; Keena Lipsitz
    Abstract: Democracy often fails to meet its ideals, and these failures may be made worse by electoral institutions. Unwanted outcomes include polarized institutions, unresponsive representatives, and the ability of a faction of voters to gain power at the expense of the majority. Various reforms have been proposed to address these problems, but their effectiveness is difficult to predict against a backdrop of complex interactions. Here we outline a path for systems-level modeling to help understand and optimize repairs to U.S. democracy. Following the tradition of engineering and biology, models of systems include mechanisms with dynamical properties that include nonlinearities and amplification (voting rules), positive feedback mechanisms (single-party control, gerrymandering), negative feedback (checks and balances), integration over time (lifetime judicial appointments), and low dimensionality (polarization). To illustrate a systems-level approach we analyze three emergent phenomena: low dimensionality, elite polarization, and anti-majoritarianism in legislatures. In each case, long-standing rules now contribute to undesirable outcomes as a consequence of changes in the political environment. Theoretical understanding at a general level will also help evaluate whether a proposed reform's benefits will materialize and be lasting, especially as conditions change again. In this way, rigorous modeling may not only shape new lines of research, but aid in the design of effective and lasting reform.
    Date: 2021–06

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