nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2021‒09‒27
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Potentials and Solutions of Cooperative Games. By Masayuki Odora
  2. Costly Voting in Weighted Committees: The case of moral costs By Nicola Maaser; Thomas Stratmann
  3. Legislators in the Crossfire: The Effect of Transparency on Parliamentary Voting By Heloise Clolery
  4. Protection of natural and social resources. A political economy approach By Donatella Gatti
  5. Elections, Political Connections and Cash Holdings: Evidence from Local Assemblies By Adeabah, David; Andoh, Charles; Asongu, Simplice; Akomea-Frimpong, Isaac
  6. (The Impossibility of ) Deliberation-Consistent Social Choice By Tsuyoshi Adachi and Takashi Kurihara; Hun Chung; Takashi Kurihara
  7. Text mining methods for measuring the coherence of party manifestos for the German federal elections from 1990 to 2021 By Jentsch, Carsten; Mammen, Enno; Müller, Henrik; Rieger, Jonas; Schötz, Christof
  8. Voting, contagion and the trade-off between public health and political rights: quasi-experimental evidence from the Italian 2020 polls By Mello, M.; Moscelli, G.
  9. Emergent Collaboration in Social Purpose Games By Robert P. Gilles; Lina Mallozzi; Roberta Messalli
  10. Competitive versus cooperative incentives in team production with heterogeneous agents By E. Glenn Dutcher; Regine Oexl; Dmitry Ryvkin; Tim Salmon

  1. By: Masayuki Odora (Graduate School of Economics, Waseda University, 1-6-1, Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan.)
    Abstract: This study considers strategic communication before voting. Voters have partially conflicting interests rather than common interests. That is, voters cannot tell whether a collective decision is a matter of truth, such as guilty or innocent, or a matter of taste, such as left or right. A set of imperfectly informed voters communicates before casting their votes. From a statistical perspective, truth-telling by all voters in deliberation, coupled with majority rule, may lead to desirable outcomes asymptotically as the population of voters increases. Thus, from a statistical perspective, increasing the population of voters is desirable. This study, however, shows that truthful communication is not incentive-compatible with equilibrium behavior when the size of the electorate is sufficiently large. In particular, truthful communication by all voters is inconsistent with equilibrium for any voting rule and any degree of conflict when the population of voters becomes arbitrarily large. On the other hand, truthful communication might be an equilibrium for a small population of voters. Under these circumstances, voting rules matter. This study shows that majority rule most promotes truthful communication before voting.
    Keywords: Information aggregation, Common value elections, Private value elections, Deliberation, Voting rule, Conflicting interests
    JEL: C72 D71 D72
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: Nicola Maaser (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University); Thomas Stratmann (Department of Economics, George Mason University)
    Abstract: We develop a theoretical model of voting behavior in committees when members differ in influence and receive payoffs that condition on the individual vote and the collective decision. Applied to a group decision involving moral costs, the model predicts that the distribution of decision-making power affects committee members’ incentives to make immoral choices: More influential agents tend to support the immoral choice, while less influential agents free-ride. A skewed power distribution makes immoral collective choices more likely. We then present results of a laboratory experiment that studies committee members’ voting behavior and collective choices under different distributions of decision-making power. As hypothesized, we find that the frequency of immoral decisions is positively related to an agent’s voting power.
    Keywords: Moral decision-making, Committees, Decision rules, Deception, Institutions, Threshold public good games, Laboratory experiments
    JEL: D71 C92 D02 H41
    Date: 2021–09–20
  3. By: Heloise Clolery (CREST-Ecole polytechnique, France)
    Abstract: Legislators are agents who serve two different principals: their constituents and their Party. Legislators are caught in the crossfire if their Party leaders' position contradicts the electorate's interests. Legislators care about their reputation with both principals as they are career-motivated. Making their votes public increases the incentive to use voting for reputation-building, and therefore distortion in group decision-making. This paper first shows that reputational concerns drive the decision to participate in a vote. Second, the French transparency reform of 2014 provides a quasi-natural setting for a Difference-in-Differences analysis. Greater transparency has led to less participation and more alignment to the Party line. As such, knowing that their behavior is more easily observable, legislators prefer not to take sides, and additional information benefits Party leaders more than constituents in the short term. The effect size is sufficient to switch results in 12 percent of the vote outcomes.
    Keywords: Voting, Transparency, Party discipline, Principal agent
    JEL: D72 D82 H11
    Date: 2021–08–24
  4. By: Donatella Gatti
    Abstract: This paper studies the set-up (following a voting process) of institutional arrangements related to the protection of natural and social resources in a context of inequalities and environmental challenges. To analyze how institutional and legislative protection arises, three socioeconomic groups are considered: the educated bourgeoisie, the working classes and the ?nancial elite. Groups are di¤erentiated according to the following divides. Individuals belonging to the ?nancial elite only rely on capital incomes: they invest on ?rms running either polluting or non-polluting activities. Individuals belonging to the ?rst two groups are di¤erentiated on the following levels: the demand for redistribution (from the working class) and the claims for environment-friendly legislation in relation with clean transport means (by the educated bourgeoisie). We study the institutional framework chosen by individuals under di¤erent assumptions concerning the political vote: disjoint majority versus coalition voting. The main result is that -in reaction to the ?nancial elite being the unique winner of the disjoint majority vote- a people?s green coalition can emerge, whose redistributive and green choices run against the preferences of the ?nancial elite. This leads to the "greening" of the ?nancial elite, which in turn isolates the working classes in the political arena.
    Keywords: Institutions, political choice, redistribution, green legislation
    JEL: P48 P16 P51 Q59
    Date: 2021–09
  5. By: Adeabah, David; Andoh, Charles; Asongu, Simplice; Akomea-Frimpong, Isaac
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between elections, political connections, and cash holdings in Ghanaian local assemblies. Using a panel dataset of 179local assemblies over a period 2012 to 2017, a panel regression and the generalized method of moments estimation techniques was employed for the analysis. We find that local assemblies hold less cash during election years, which suggests that election may be one of the potential factors to mitigate agency conflict in weak governance environment. Further, we demonstrate that local assemblies that have political connections hold less cash; however, political uncertainty makes these entities conducive to agency problems than their non-connected peers because they hold more cash. Additional analysis indicates that one year prior to elections, managerial conservatism kicks-in and leads managers to hold more cash in local assemblies that have political connections, which continues and becomes more pronounced in election years. Our results have implications for regulations on the cash management practices of local assemblies.
    Keywords: agency problem; cash holdings; generalized method of moments; panel regression; political connections
    JEL: C1 O1
    Date: 2021–01
  6. By: Tsuyoshi Adachi and Takashi Kurihara (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Hun Chung (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Takashi Kurihara (School of Political Science and Economics, Tokai University)
    Abstract: There is now a growing consensus among democratic theorists that we should incorporate both ‘democratic deliberation’ and ‘aggregative voting’ into our democratic processes, where democratic deliberation precedes aggregating people’s votes. But how should the two democratic mechanisms of deliberation and voting interact? The question we wish to ask in this paper is which social choice rules are consistent with successful deliberation once it has occurred. For this purpose, we introduce a new axiom, which we call “Non-Negative Response toward Successful Deliberation (NNRD).” The basic idea is that if some individuals change their preferences toward other individuals’ preferences through successful deliberation, then the social choice rule should not make everybody who has successfully persuaded others through reasoned deliberation worse-off than what s/he would have achieved without deliberation. We prove an impossibility theorem that shows that there exists no aggregation rule that can simultaneously satisfy (NNRD) along with other mild axioms that reflect deliberative democracy’s core commitment to unanimous consensus and democratic equality. We offer potential escape routes: however, it is shown that each escape route can succeed only by compromising some core value of deliberative democracy.
    Keywords: Social Choice Theory; Deliberative Democracy; Deliberation; Aggregation; NNRD
    Date: 2021–06
  7. By: Jentsch, Carsten; Mammen, Enno; Müller, Henrik; Rieger, Jonas; Schötz, Christof
    Abstract: Text mining is an active field of statistical research. In this paper we use two methods from text mining: the Poisson Reduced Rank Model (PRR, see Jentsch et al. 2020; Jentsch et al. 2021) and the Latent Dirichlet Allocation model (LDA, see Blei et al. 2003) for the statistical analysis of party manifesto texts from Germany. For the nine federal elections in Germany from 1990 to 2021, we analyze party manifestos that have been written by the parties to present their political positions and goals for the next legislative period of the German federal parliament (Bundestag). We use the models to quantify distances in the language of the manifestos and in the weight of importance the parties attribute to several political topics. The statistical analysis is purely data driven. No outside information, e.g., on the position of the parties, on the meaning of words, or on currently hot political topics, is used in fitting the statistical models. Outside information is only used when we interpret the statistical results.
    Keywords: Poisson reduced-rank model,Latent Dirichlet Allocation,CDU,CSU,Union,SPD,Grüne,FDP,Linke,Kenia,Jamaica,Ampel,Deutschland,R2G,coalition
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Mello, M.; Moscelli, G.
    Abstract: In September 2020, a national-level constitutional referendum held alongside local administrative elections took place in Italy, resulting in a 22% average increase in the referendum turnout rate where more than one poll occurred. We exploit this quasi-experimental setting to estimate the e ect of voters' turnout on the spread of COVID-19, by employing an event-study design with a two-stage Control Function strategy. The estimated elasticities show that post-poll new COVID infections increased by an average of 1.1% for each additional percentage point of turnout. The findings suggest that national-level polls have the possibility to amplify nation-wide waves of contagion if held during peak periods of an epidemic. A cost-benefit simulation based on our estimates and real political events shows that averting an early general election in Spring 2021 has spared Italy up to about 362 million euros in additional hospital care costs and 22,900 deaths from COVID.
    Keywords: COVID-19; voting; civic capital; Control Function;
    JEL: C23 D72 H51 I18
    Date: 2021–09
  9. By: Robert P. Gilles; Lina Mallozzi; Roberta Messalli
    Abstract: We study a class of non-cooperative aggregative games -- denoted as \emph{social purpose games} -- in which the payoffs depend separately on a player's own strategy (individual benefits) and on a function of the strategy profile which is common to all players (social benefits) weighted by an individual benefit parameter. This structure allows for an asymmetric assessment of the social benefit across players. We show that these games have a potential and we investigate its properties. We investigate the payoff structure and the uniqueness of Nash equilibria and social optima. Furthermore, following the literature on partial cooperation, we investigate the leadership of a single coalition of cooperators while the rest of players act as non-cooperative followers. In particular, we show that social purpose games admit the emergence of a stable coalition of cooperators for the subclass of \emph{strict} social purpose games. Due to the nature of the partial cooperative leadership equilibrium, stable coalitions of cooperators reflect a limited form of farsightedness in their formation. As a particular application, we study the tragedy of the commons game. We show that there emerges a single stable coalition of cooperators to curb the over-exploitation of the resource.
    Date: 2021–09
  10. By: E. Glenn Dutcher; Regine Oexl; Dmitry Ryvkin; Tim Salmon
    Abstract: A debate among practicing managers is whether to use cooperative or competitive incentives for team production. While competitive incentives may drive individual effort higher, they may also lead to less help and more sabotage; an issue exacerbated when team members' abilities are varied. Using a lab experiment, we examine how increasing competitive incentives affects performance as team composition changes. We find that competitive incentives generally underperform noncompetitive incentives and a larger bonus does not generate enough effort to compensate for a loss in help. Our results help understand better how to balance out individual versus team rewards and how firms could structure teams when employees have heterogeneous abilities.
    Keywords: contest, help and sabotage, team composition, incentive structure
    JEL: C92 D01
    Date: 2021

This nep-cdm issue is ©2021 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.