nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2021‒08‒30
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Persuasion and Information Aggregation in Elections By Carl Heese; Stephan Lauermann
  2. Concurrent elections and voting behaviour: evidence from an Italian referendum By Francesco Armillei; Enrico Cavallotti
  3. Group Size and Protest Mobilization across Movements and Countermovements By Anselm Hager; Lukas Hensel; Johannes Hermle; Christopher Roth
  4. Electoral Competition, Accountability and Corruption:Theory and Evidence from India By Farzana Afridi,; Sourav Bhattacharya,; Amrita Dhillon,; Eilon Solan,
  5. Partisan affect and political outsiders By Fernanda Herrera
  6. Understanding the Origins of Populist Political Parties and the Role of External Shocks By Eugenio Levi; Isabelle Sin; Steven Stillman
  7. Voting, Contagion and the Trade-Off between Public Health and Political Rights: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Italian 2020 Polls By Mello, Marco; Moscelli, Giuseppe
  8. Immigrants as Future Voters By Arye L. Hillman; Ngo Van Long

  1. By: Carl Heese (University of Vienna, Department of Economics); Stephan Lauermann (University of Bonn, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies a large majority election with voters who have heterogeneous, private preferences and exogenous private signals. We show that a Bayesian persuader can implement any state-contingent outcome in some equilibrium by providing additional information. In this setting, without the persuader's information, a version of the Condorcet Jury Theorem holds. Persuasion does not require detailed knowledge of the voters' private information and preferences: the same additional information is effective across environments. The results require almost no commitment power by the persuader. Finally, the persuasion mechanism is effective also in small committees with as few as 15 members.
    Keywords: Information Aggregation, Bayes Correlated Equilibria, Persuasion, Condorcet Jury Theorem
    JEL: C72 D72 D82
    Date: 2021–08
  2. By: Francesco Armillei; Enrico Cavallotti
    Abstract: In September 2020 Italy held a constitutional referendum. On the same election days, many municipalities and some regions held municipal and regional elections. We exploit this unique occasion, caused by the unexpected Covid-19 crisis, to obtain a causal estimate of the effects of the overlap of concurrent elections on the referendum results. When the referendum overlaps with either municipal or regional elections, we find a positive effect on turnout and on the proportion of blank and null votes. We also find a quantitatively small but statistically significant effect on the referendum preferences. We interpret the results through the use of the calculus of voting model, exploiting a slightly modified version of the most widespread one in the literature. Our findings are relevant from a policy-making standpoint, with respect to both fostering turnout and reducing election organizational costs.
    Keywords: Concurrent elections, Voting behaviour, Referendum, Calculus of voting
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Anselm Hager (Humboldt-Universität zuBerlin); Lukas Hensel (Peking University); Johannes Hermle (University of California,Berkeley); Christopher Roth (University of Cologne, ECONtribute, briq, CESifo, CAGE Warwick, CEPR)
    Abstract: Many social movements face fierce resistance in the form of a countermovement. When deciding to become politically active, a movement supporter, therefore, has to consider both her own movement’s activity, but also that of the opponent. This paper studies the decision of a movement supporter to attend a protest when faced with a counterprotest. We implement two field experiments among supporters of a right- and left-leaning movement ahead of two protest-counterprotest interactions in Germany. Supporters were exposed to low or high official estimates about their own and the opposing group’s turnout. We find that the size of the opposing group has no effect on supporters’ protest intentions. However, as the own protest gets larger, supporters of the right-leaning movement become less, while supporters of the left-leaning movement become more willing to protest. We argue that the difference is best explained by stronger social motives on the political left.
    Keywords: social movements; right-wing populism; political activism; field experiment
    Date: 2021–08
  4. By: Farzana Afridi, (Economics and Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi and IZA, Bonn); Sourav Bhattacharya, (Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata); Amrita Dhillon, (Department of Political Economy, Kings College, London, and CAGE, University of Warwick); Eilon Solan, (School of Mathematical Sciences, Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: In developing countries with weak enforcement institutions, there is implicitly a large reliance on electoral incentives to reduce corruption. However electoral discipline works well only under some conditions. In this paper we study the effect of electoral competition on corruption when uncertainty in elections is high (or accountability is low), as in many developing countries . Our theory focuses on the case of high uncertainty and shows that in this case there is a U-shaped relationship between electoral competition and corruption. We illustrate the predictions of the model with village level data on audit detected irregularities and electoral competition from India.
    Keywords: Corruption, Electoral Competition, Uncertainty, Audit, Accountability JEL Classification: D72, D82, H75, O43, C72.
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Fernanda Herrera
    Abstract: We examine the effects of introducing a political outsider to the nomination process leading to an election. To this end, we develop a sequential game where politicians -- insiders and outsiders -- make a platform offer to a party, and parties in turn decide which offer to accept; this process conforms the voting ballot. Embedded in the evaluation of a party-candidate match is partisan affect, a variable comprising the attitudes of voters towards the party. Partisan affect may bias the electorate's appraisal of a match in a positive or negative way. We characterize the conditions that lead to the nomination of an outsider and determine whether her introduction as a potential candidate has any effect on the winning policy and on the welfare of voters. We find that the victory of an outsider generally leads to policy polarization, and that partisan affect has a more significant effect on welfare than ideology extremism.
    Date: 2021–08
  6. By: Eugenio Levi (Masaryk University); Isabelle Sin (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Steven Stillman (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
    Abstract: We use electoral survey data to examine the impact that two large external shocks had on the development of New Zealand First (NZF), one of the oldest populist parties in the OECD. We find that structural reforms, which led to large negative impacts on particular locations, and immigration reforms, which led to large spatially concentrated increases in skilled migration, both increased voting for NZF in its first years of existence. These shocks led to changes in political attitudes and policy preferences and had persistent effects on voting for NZF even twenty years later. Overall, they play an important role in explaining the rise of populism in NZ. Understanding how these shocks led to the development of NZF is particularly relevant for thinking about how populism has been extending its reach in the 2010s.
    Keywords: Populism; political parties; trade; immigration; shocks
    JEL: D72 P16 H40
    Date: 2021–08
  7. By: Mello, Marco (University of Surrey); Moscelli, Giuseppe (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: We exploit a quasi-experimental setting provided by an election day with multiple polls to estimate the effect of voters' turnout on the spread of new COVID-19 infections and to quantify the policy trade-off implied by postponing elections during high infection periods. We show that post-poll new COVID cases increased by 1.1% for each additional percentage point of turnout. The cost-benefits analysis based on our estimates and real political events shows that averting an early general election has saved Italy up to about e362 million in additional hospital care costs and e7.5 billion in values of life saved from COVID.
    Keywords: control function, endogeneity, event-study, public health, civic capital, voting, COVID-19
    JEL: C23 D72 H51 I18
    Date: 2021–08
  8. By: Arye L. Hillman; Ngo Van Long
    Abstract: Immigration policies in western democracies have often been contrary to the policies predicted by the mainstream theory of international economics. In particular, political parties that, according to economic theory, should adopt policies beneficial for lower-income voter-constituencies, have not protected workers from labor-market competition or from a fiscal burden of financing welfare-dependent immigrants. We explain the contradiction by accounting for immigrants as future voters. We identify a political principal-agent problem based on ego-rents from political office. Our theory predicts voter defection from worker-supported political-establishment parties to new-entrant anti-immigration political candidates and parties. We give a hearing to alternative interpretations of the evidence.
    Keywords: international migration, political ego rents, immigrant welfare dependency, immigration amnesties, political entry barriers, policy exceptionalism
    JEL: F22 F66 H53 P16
    Date: 2021

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