nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2021‒09‒13
six papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Deliberative Democracy with Costly Voting Power Portfolios By Dimitrios Karoukis
  2. Voting for compromises: alternative voting methods in polarized societies By Carlos Alós-Ferrer; Johannes Buckenmaier
  3. Poverty, social networks, and clientelism By Nico Ravanilla; Allen Hicken
  4. Respecting Entitlements in Legislative Bargaining - A Matter of Preference or Necessity? By Regine Oexl; Anita Gantner
  5. Winning coalitions in plurality voting democracies By René van den Brink; Dinko Dimitrov; Agnieszka Rusinowska
  6. Economic elites and the constitutional design of sharing political power By Paniagua, Victoria; Vogler, Jan P.

  1. By: Dimitrios Karoukis
    Abstract: We present a collective decision-making model where one or more individuals propose a status quo change that is iteratively updated by a dynamic committee of experts until a point when a referendum is held to decide its finality. Suppose that everyone in the society has some initial voting power. In each iteration there are three stages. In the first stage, each individual decides what percentage of their voting power they want to keep for themselves and how to distribute the rest of it to other individuals in the society. With every change in distribution there is a voting power penalty. In the second stage, the deliberative committee consists of the most powerful individuals, whose role is to bring forward corrections to the proposal. In the third stage, if an individual outside of the committee has kept some voting power for herself and disagrees with a correction, she can vote against it. If more than half of the voting power outside the committee is against a correction then it is discarded. If the committee or the proposal remain unchanged for two consecutive time periods, the deliberation stops and a referendum is held. The sum of the voting power penalties from past redistributions is added to the final negative vote, while the voting power of those who abstain is counted as positive. We show that this process will stop in finite time.
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: Carlos Alós-Ferrer; Johannes Buckenmaier
    Abstract: Democratic societies have been increasingly confronted with extreme, knife-edge election outcomes that affect everybody’s lives and contribute to social instability. Even if political compromises based on social conventions as equity or economic arguments as efficiency are available, polarized societies might fail to select them. We demonstrate that part of the problem might be purely technical and, hence, potentially solvable. We study different voting methods in three experiments (total N = 5, 820), including small, medium-sized, and large electorates, and find that currently-used methods (Plurality Voting and Rank-Order systems) can lead voters to overwhelmingly support egoistic options. In contrast, alternative, more nuanced methods (Approval Voting and Borda Count) reduce the support for egoistic options and favor equity and efficiency, avoiding extreme outcomes. Those methods differ in whether they favor equity or efficiency when the latter benefits a majority. Our evidence suggests that targeted changes in the electoral system could favor socially-desirable compromises and increase social stability.
    Keywords: Polarization, social compromises, equity, efficiency, voting methods
    JEL: C91 C92 D63 D70 D71
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Nico Ravanilla; Allen Hicken
    Abstract: Why are the poor susceptible to clientelism, and what factors shield them from the influence of vote buying? We explore the role of both formal and informal social networks in shaping the likelihood of being targeted with private inducements. We argue that when the poor lack access to formal social networks, they become increasingly reliant on vote buying channelled through informal networks. To test our theory, we build the informal, family-based network linkages between voters and local politicians spanning a city in the Philippines.
    Keywords: Social networks, Poor, vote-buying, Clientelism, Voting behaviour, Philippines
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Regine Oexl; Anita Gantner
    Abstract: In division problems with entitlements, we investigate whether fairness concerns overrule strategic behavior and inhibit full use of the decision-making power. In a lab experiment where entitlements are derived from costly contributions, we vary bargaining power by using either the majority rule or the dictator rule to find a division allocation. We apply very coarse measures for assessing whether entitlements are respected under both rules. For inexperienced subjects, we find a large number of proposals in which all partners receive positive amounts. With experience, however, over one third of proposers leave at most the crumbs for both partners (dictator) or one of them (majority bargaining). Past individual observations of such 'extreme' outcomes increase the likelihood of own 'extreme' proposals not only under the majority rule, but also under the dictator rule, where no learning of strategic behavior is expected. In heterogeneous groups, where partners bring in different contributions, about 50% of proposals do not reflect an ordinal comparison of the partners' entitlements. Overall, this shows significant limits in people's preferences for fairness.
    Keywords: majority bargaining, dictator game, entitlements
    JEL: C91 D01
    Date: 2021
  5. By: René van den Brink (VU University Amsterdam); Dinko Dimitrov (Saarland University [Saarbrücken]); Agnieszka Rusinowska (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 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)
    Abstract: We consider plurality voting games being simple games in partition function form such that in every partition there is at least one winning coalition. Such a game is said to be weighted if it is possible to assign weights to the players in such a way that a winning coalition in a partition is always one for which the sum of the weights of its members is maximal over all coalitions in the partition. A plurality game is called decisive if in every partition there is exactly one winning coalition. We show that in general, plurality games need not be weighted, even not when they are decisive. After that, we prove that (i) decisive plurality games with at most four players, (ii) majority games with an arbitrary number of players, and (iii) decisive plurality games that exhibit some kind of symmetry, are weighted. Complete characterizations of the winning coalitions in the corresponding partitions are provided as well.
    Date: 2021–04
  6. By: Paniagua, Victoria; Vogler, Jan P.
    Abstract: What explains the emergence and persistence of institutions aimed at preventing any ruling group from using the state apparatus to advance particularistic interests? To answer this recurring question, a burgeoning literature examines the establishment of power-sharing institutions in societies divided by ethnic or religious cleavages. Going beyond existing scholarly work focused on these specific settings, we argue that political power-sharing institutions can also be the result of common disputes within the economic elite. We propose that these institutions are likely to emerge and persist when competition between elite factions with dissimilar economic interests is balanced. To address the possibility of endogeneity between elite configurations and public institutions, we leverage natural resource diversity as an instrument for elite configurations. We show that, where geological resources are more diverse, competition between similarly powerful economic groups is more likely to emerge, leading ultimately to the establishment of power-sharing mechanisms that allow elite groups to protect their diverging economic interests.
    Keywords: economic elites; power-sharing institutions; institutional design; political economy; elite competition; Springer deal
    JEL: P16 P48 Q34 D02 P52
    Date: 2021–08–19

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