nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2022‒01‒03
nine papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Central Influencer Theorem: Spatial Voting Contests with Endogenous Coalition Formation By Subhasish M. Chowdhury; Sang-Hyun Kim
  2. Collective Action in Intra-group Conflict with Fixed Budgets By Kai A. Konrad; Florian Morath
  3. Labor Unions and the Electoral Consequences of Trade Liberalization By Pedro Molina Ogeda; Emanuel Ornelas; Rodrigo R. Soares
  4. The Revelation Incentive for Issue Engagement By Chitralekha Basu; Matthew Knowles
  5. Shifting Punishment on Minorities: Experimental Evidence of Scapegoating By Michal Bauer; Jana Cahlíková; Julie Chytilová; Gérard Roland; TomᚠŽelinskı
  6. Public opinion of a government-enabled technology, by the example of Internet voting: survey evidence from Russia By Valeria Babayan; Israel Marques II; Michael Mironyuk; Aleksei Turobov
  7. Voice and Political Engagement : Evidence From a Natural Field Experiment By Hager, Anselm; Hensel, Lukas; Roth, Christopher; Stegmann, Andreas
  8. Network games with heterogeneous players By Orlova, Olena
  9. Contribution to a Public Good with Altruistic Preferences By Anwesha Banerjee

  1. By: Subhasish M. Chowdhury (University of Bath); Sang-Hyun Kim (Yonsei University)
    Abstract: We analyze a spatial voting contest without the “one person, one vote” restriction. Players exert continuous influence effort and incurs cost accordingly. They can be heterogeneous in terms of position, disutility function, and cost function. In equilibrium, two groups endogenously emerge: players in one group try to implement more leftist policy, while those in the other group more rightist one. Since the larger group suffers more severe free-riding problem, the equilibrium policy does not converge to the center if the larger group does not have a cost advantage. We demonstrate how the location of the center (i.e., the steady-state point) depends the convexities of the utility and cost functions. We extend the model to a dynamic setting.
    Keywords: Spatial Competition; Contest; Lobbying; Median Voter Theorem
    JEL: C72 D72 D74 D78
    Date: 2021–12
  2. By: Kai A. Konrad; Florian Morath
    Abstract: We study collective action under adverse incentives: each member of the group has a given budget (‘use-it-or-lose-it’) that is his private information and that can be used for contributions to make the group win a prize and for internal …fights about this very prize. Even in the face of such rivalry in resource use, the group often succeeds to overcome the collective action problem in non-cooperative equilibrium. One type of equilibrium has group members who both contribute, the other type has volunteers who make full stand-alone contributions. Both types of equilibrium exist for larger and partially overlapping parameter ranges.
    Keywords: Blotto budgets; intra-group conflict; threshold public good; collective action; all-pay auction; incomplete information
    JEL: D72 D74
    Date: 2021–08
  3. By: Pedro Molina Ogeda; Emanuel Ornelas; Rodrigo R. Soares
    Abstract: We show that the Brazilian trade liberalization in the early 1990s led to a permanent relative decline in the vote share of left-wing presidential candidates in the regions more affected by the tariff cuts. This happened even though the shock, implemented by a right-wing party, induced a contraction in manufacturing and formal employment in the more affected regions, and despite the left’s identification with protectionist policies. To rationalize this response, we consider a new institutional channel for the political effects of trade shocks: the weakening of labor unions. We provide support for this mechanism in two steps. First, we show that union presence—proxied by the number of workers directly employed by unions, by union density, and by the number of union establishments—declined in regions that became more exposed to foreign competition. Second, we show that the negative effect of tariff reductions on the votes for the left was driven exclusively by political parties with historical links to unions. Furthermore, the impact of the trade liberalization on the vote share of these parties was significant only in regions that had unions operating before the reform. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that tariff cuts reduced the vote share of the left partly through the weakening of labor unions. This institutional channel is fundamentally different from the individual-level responses, motivated by economic or identity concerns, that have been considered in the literature.
    Keywords: trade shocks, elections, unions, Brazil
    JEL: F13 D72 J51 F16 F14
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Chitralekha Basu (University of Cologne); Matthew Knowles (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: How do parties choose issues to emphasize in campaigns, and when does electoral competition force parties to address issues important to voters? Empirical studies have found that although parties focus disproportionately on favourable issues in campaigns, they also spend much of the `short campaign' addressing the same issues - and especially if these are salient issues. We write a model of multiparty competition with endogenous issue salience, where, in equilibrium, parties behave in line with these patterns. In our model, parties' issue emphases have two effects: influencing voter priorities, and also informing voters about their issue positions. Thus, parties trade off two incentives when choosing issues to emphasize: increasing the importance of favorable issues ('the salience incentive'), and revealing their positions on salient issues to sympathetic voters ('the revelation incentive'). The relative strength of these two incentives determines how far elections constrain parties to respond to voters' initial issue priorities.
    Keywords: Electoral competition; Issue salience; Issue selection; Party strategy; Campaigns
    JEL: D72 D83
    Date: 2021–12
  5. By: Michal Bauer; Jana Cahlíková; Julie Chytilová; Gérard Roland; TomᚠŽelinskı
    Abstract: This paper provides experimental evidence showing that members of a majority group systematically shift punishment on innocent members of an ethnic minority. We develop a new incentivized task, the Punishing the Scapegoat Game, to measure how injustice affecting a member of one’s own group shapes punishment of an unrelated bystander (“a scapegoat†). We manipulate the ethnic identity of the scapegoats and study interactions between the majority group and the Roma minority in Slovakia. We find that when no harm is done, there is no evidence of discrimination against the ethnic minority. In contrast, when a member of one’s own group is harmed, the punishment †passed†on innocent individuals more than doubles when they are from the minority, as compared to when they are from the dominant group. These results illuminate how individualized tensions can be transformed into a group conflict, dragging minorities into conflicts in a way that is completely unrelated to their behavior.
    Keywords: punishment, minority groups, inter-group conflict, discrimination, scapegoating, lab-in-field experiments
    JEL: C93 D74 D91 J15
    Date: 2021–07
  6. By: Valeria Babayan (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Israel Marques II (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Michael Mironyuk (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksei Turobov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: What are the determinants of individual-level trust in Internet-based voting in non-democracies? Modern digital and electronic transformations of the electoral process offer citizens new forms of voting, however it is not clear which citizens are prepared to trust these innovations. Existing work on trust in internet-based voting has mainly focused on Western democracies, where well-functioning institutions curb potential abuses. As a consequence, existing perspectives have drawn on work on technology adoption and focused on individual-level cost-benefit analyses and elite framing of these technologies. In non-democracies, however, there are few checks and balances on electoral manipulations that allow the authorities to shape outcomes extra-legally. In such settings, institutional trust in the authorities and beliefs about the ease with which internet-based voting can be abused take on new and greater salience. In this paper, we provide an exploratory analysis aimed at testing whether existing perspectives help explain trust in internet-based voting in electoral non-democracies, as well as whether concerns about abuse also play a role. To test these arguments, we make use of an online survey of over 16,250 respondents in the Russian Federation, a case regarded as archetypical in the literature on electoral non-democracies. Our findings provide important insights into public opinion surrounding novel electoral procedures, generally, and internet-based voting, more specifically, in non-democracies. These insights, in turn, have important implications for our understanding of attitudes towards electoral integrity in non-democracies and the potential for popular constraints on the ability of autocrats to modify electoral procedures to reproduce power
    Keywords: Internet voting, Institutional trust, Risk, Electoral Processes, Public opinion, Technology adoption, online voting, Russia, COVID
    JEL: D8 D72
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Hager, Anselm (Humboldt University); Hensel, Lukas (Peking University); Roth, Christopher (University of Cologne, ECON tribute, briq, CESifo, CAGE Warwick, CEPR, MPI Bonn); Stegmann, Andreas (University of Warwick, briq, Cage, CEPR,)
    Abstract: We conduct a natural field experiment with a major European party to test whether giving party supporters the opportunity to voice their opinions increases their engagement in the party’s electoral campaign. In our experiment, the party asked a random subset of supporters for their opinions on the importance of different topics. Giving supporters more opportunities to voice their opinions increases their engagement in the campaign as measured using behavioral data from the party’s smartphone application. Survey data reveals that our voice treatments also increase other margins of campaign effort as well as perceived voice. Our evidence highlights that parties can increase their supporters’ investment in the democratic process by implementing policies that increase their voice.
    Keywords: Political engagement ; Inclusion ; Voice ; Agency ; Natural Field Experiment ; Canvassing JEL Classification: D8 ; P16
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Orlova, Olena (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: We consider network games in which players simultaneously form partnerships and choose actions. Players are heterogeneous with respect to their action preferences. We characterize pairwise Nash equilibria for a large class of games, including coordination and anti-coordination games, varying the strength of action preferences and the size of the linking cost. We find that, despite the symmetry and simplicity of the setting, quite irregular network structures can arise in equilibrium, implying that heterogeneity in players' action preferences may already explain a large part of observed irregularity in endogenously formed networks.
    Keywords: network games, strategic network formation, preference heterogeneity, efficiency
    Date: 2021–12–22
  9. By: Anwesha Banerjee
    Abstract: This paper presents a model of private provision of a public good where individuals in a group have altruistic preferences and care about the private and public good consumption of the other members of the group. I show that increasing the level of altruism increases the Nash level of the public good, demonstrating that caring about others improves public good provision. I then compare the Nash level of the public good to the benchmark level of provision by a social planner who aggregates the preferences of the group. I ï¬ nd that if there are non-contributors to the public good in a Nash equilibrium, income inequality can cause over-provision of the public good as compared to the planner’s benchmark. Over-provision can occur because the poorest in the society do not contribute and the richer individuals contribute to the public good as a way to improve the welfare of the poor. These results indicate that public goods cannot substitute the role of government income transfers to the poor even when individuals are altruistic if the distribution of incomes is highly unequal.
    Keywords: Public goods, Altruism, Private transfers.
    JEL: C72 H41 D64
    Date: 2021–06

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