nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2021‒11‒29
five papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. The Gates Effect in Public Goods Experiments: How Donors Focus on the Recipients Favored by the Wealthy By Luca Corazzini; Christopher Cotton; Enrico Longo; Tommaso Reggiani
  2. How Civilian Attitudes Respond to the State's Violence: Lessons from the Israel- Gaza Conflict By Loewenthal, Amit; Miaari, Sami H.; Abrahams, Alexei
  3. Elections and Government Efficiency By Florian Dorn
  4. Does Social Media cause Polarization? Evidence from access to Twitter Echo Chambers during the 2019 Argentine Presidential Debate By Rafael Di Tella; Ramiro H. Gálvez; Ernesto Schargrodsky
  5. Strategy Assortativity and the Evolution of Parochialism By Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Alessandro Tampieri

  1. By: Luca Corazzini; Christopher Cotton (Queen's University); Enrico Longo (Unviersity of Venice); Tommaso Reggiani
    Abstract: Experiments involving multiple public goods with contribution thresholds capture many features of charitable giving environments in which donors try to coordinate their contributions across various potential recipients. We present results from a laboratory experiment that introduces endowment and preference differences into such a framework to explore the impact of donor heterogeneity on public good success and payoffs. We observe that donors tend to focus on the recipients preferred by the wealthiest contributors, ignoring other recipients, as they try to coordinate their donations to ensure public good success. We refer to this collective focus on the preferred good of the wealthiest as the Gates Effect, showing that the public goods preferred by the wealthiest are more salient even in the absence of seed money, matching grants, misperception of payoffs. The Gates Effect can reduce inequality among donors groups that succeed in funding a public good; however, it also affects the philanthropic agenda, reducing the variety of public goods that receive funding.
    Keywords: philanthropy, lab experiment, public goods, donor heterogeneity, donor strategy, crowdfunding, campaign contributions, fundraising
    JEL: C91 C92 H40 H41 L31
    Date: 2021–11
  2. By: Loewenthal, Amit (Tel Aviv University); Miaari, Sami H. (Tel Aviv University); Abrahams, Alexei (Harvard University)
    Abstract: States, in their conflicts with militant groups embedded in civilian populations, often resort to policies of collective punishment to erode civilian support for the militants. We attempt to evaluate the efficacy of such policies in the context of the Gaza Strip, where Israel's blockade and military interventions, purportedly intended to erode support for Hamas, have inflicted hardship on the civilian population. We combine Palestinian public opinion data, Palestinian labor force surveys, and Palestinian fatalities data, to understand the relationship between exposure to Israeli policies and Palestinian support for militant factions. Our baseline strategy is a difference-in-differences specification that compares the gap in public opinion between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank during periods of intense punishment with the gap during periods when punishment is eased. Consistent with previous research, we find that Palestinian fatalities are associated with Palestinian support for more militant political factions. The effect is short-lived, however, dissipating after merely one quarter. Moreover the blockade of Gaza itself appears to be only weakly associated with support for militant factions. Overall, we find little evidence to suggest that Israeli security policies towards the Gaza Strip have any substantial lasting effect on Gazan support for militant factions, neither deterring nor provoking them relative to their West Bank counterparts. Our findings therefore call into question the logic of Israel's continued security policies towards Gaza, while also raising the possibility more generally that populations violently targeted by state actors may exhibit greater inertia in their support for militancy (or lack thereof) than is typically theorized in standard models of deterrence.
    Keywords: Israeli-Palestinian conflict, political preferences, public opinion, conflict, Palestine
    JEL: D72 D74 H56 J21 J45
    Date: 2021–10
  3. By: Florian Dorn
    Abstract: Politicians are expected to influence policy outcomes in a way to gain electoral advantage. There is, however, a pending question whether efficiency in the provision of public goods and services is affected by strategic behavior. I examine how electoral cycles influence local government efficiency by using OLS fixed effects, event study, and instrumental variable estimations in a large balanced panel of around 2,000 municipalities in the German state of Bavaria. Cost efficiency is estimated by employing a fixed effects semi-parametric stochastic frontier analysis. The results show that electoral cycles increase government efficiency in election and pre-election years by around 0.75– 0.85 %. The effect is larger when executive and council electoral cycles coincide, and when incumbent mayors run for office again. My findings suggest an efficiencyenhancing effect of elections at given institutional conditions.
    Keywords: Electoral cycle, efficiency, local government, panel data, event study, stochastic frontier analysis (sfa), instrumental variables
    JEL: C14 C23 C26 D72 D73 H41 H70 H72 R15 R50
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Rafael Di Tella; Ramiro H. Gálvez; Ernesto Schargrodsky
    Abstract: We study how two groups, those inside vs those outside echo chambers, react to a political event when we vary social media status (Twitter). Our treatments mimic two strategies often suggested as a way to limit polarization on social media: they expose people to counter-attitudinal data, and they get people to switch off social media. Our main result is that subjects that started inside echo chambers became more polarized when these two strategies were implemented. The only scenario where they did not become more polarized is when they did not even experience the political event. Interestingly, subjects that were outside echo chambers before our study began experienced no change (or a reduction) in polarization. We also study a group of non-Twitter users in order to have a simple, offline benchmark of the debate’s impact on polarization.
    JEL: D72 L82 L86 O33 P16 Z13
    Date: 2021–11
  5. By: Ennio Bilancini (IMT School for Advanced Studies, Lucca (I)); Leonardo Boncinelli (University of Florence); Alessandro Tampieri (University of Florence)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of strategy assortativity for the evolution of parochial- ism. Individuals belonging to different groups are matched in pairs to play a prisoner dilemma, conditioning their choice on the identity of the partner. Strategy assortativ- ity implies that a player is more likely to be matched with someone playing the same strategy. We find that, if the degree of strategy assortativity is sufficiently high, then parochialism (i.e., cooperate with your own group and defect with others) spreads over a group, while egoism (i.e., defect with everyone) emerges otherwise. Notably, parochialism is more likely to emerge in a smaller group.
    Keywords: prisoner dilemma; cooperation; in-group favoritism; cultures; asymptotic stability.
    JEL: C72 C73 Z10
    Date: 2021

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