nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2022‒01‒31
nine papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Campaign Spending in Local Elections: the Effects of Public Funding By Bruno Carvalho
  2. Careful What You Say: The Effect of Manipulative Information on the 2013 Czech Presidential Run-off Election By Guzi, Martin; Mikula, Stepan
  3. Guns, pets, and strikes: an experiment on identity and political action By Boris Ginzburg; José-Alberto Guerra
  4. Majority principle and indeterminacy in German elections By Salvatore Barbaro; Nils D. Steiner
  5. A Commitment Theory of Populism By Massimo Morelli; Antonio Nicolò; Paolo Roberti
  6. Ensuring transparency and integrity in public decision making and electoral processes in the State of Mexico By Mariana Prats; Jacobo Pastor García Villarreal
  7. Do Political Actors Engage in Strategic Deception on Social Media? By Ricketts, Simon
  8. Business Associations and Institutional Development of Swedish Post-War Export Advertising By Funke, Michael
  9. When does the winner take more? The role of political alignment in transfers to Romanian municipalities By Puscas, Georgiana

  1. By: Bruno Carvalho
    Abstract: Little is known about the influence of public funding for electoral campaigning on campaigning decisions and electoral outcomes. This paper proposes an analytically tractable model to assess such effects and tests its results on local elections in Portugal. The case of Portugal is interesting in that public allowances are the largest source of funds for campaigning, but are capped and conditional on contemporaneous electoral results. This creates a risky lottery for candidates. We show that, when the dispersion of voter ideology is high, candidates that are ex-ante more popular spend more in campaigning. The empirical analysis relies on a novel dataset covering all candidates in 308 municipalities for 3 elections, based on the official declarations of candidates to the Portuguese Constitutional Court. Identification follows from the rules governing the allocation of public funds across candidates in the municipality. We find that the expected public funding is an important determinant ofcampaign spending levels and that campaign spending boosts local vote shares. The spending of the average runner-up yields 7.4 percentage points of his vote share. For the two biggest Portuguese parties the effect hovers around 9-10 percentage points. Our estimates imply a cost-per-vote between e7 and e17, depending on the candidate. When we focus on elections between incumbents and challengers, we find that, as prescribed by the model, incumbents spend more in municipalities where voter ideology is more disperse.
    Keywords: campaign spending, local elections, public funding, probabilistic voting
    Date: 2021–12
  2. By: Guzi, Martin (Masaryk University); Mikula, Stepan (Masaryk University)
    Abstract: We exploit a quasi-natural experiment that emerged during the Czech presidential run-off election to identify the impact of inaccurate and misleading information on electoral outcomes. A political campaign associated a vote for one of the candidates with a legally and politically unfounded risk relevant to people owning houses confiscated from ethnic Germans after the Second World War. Using municipalitylevel data in a difference-in-differences framework, our analysis suggests that the manipulative campaign affected the electoral outcomes and increased voter turnout in municipalities with a higher share of voters at risk of the unproven threat to housing ownership.
    Keywords: Sudetenland, voting, manipulative information, 2013 Czech presidential election
    JEL: D72 P16 P14
    Date: 2021–11
  3. By: Boris Ginzburg; José-Alberto Guerra
    Abstract: We study the implications of participation in political collective action on identity and on interpersonal interactions using a laboratory experiment. We offer subjects the possibility to sign an online petition, which was either related to animal rights or the right to bear firearms. Before and after the petition, we measure subjects' altruism and willingness to trust by asking them to play a dictator game and a trust game in pairs. The results show that there is considerably more altruism and more trust when both subjects had signed the petition than when one or both had not signed. The same behaviour is observed when we analyse high-cost political participation, namely, joining a street protest. This suggests that the experience of common participation in political collective action creates an identity that produces in-group favouritism. These results also suggest a reason why individuals choose to participate in political action despite private costs and a low probability of affecting the outcome: participation creates private benefits in subsequent interactions with fellow participants.
    Keywords: political identity, collective action, social preferences, laboratory experiment, petitions, street protests
    JEL: C91 D64 D79 D91
    Date: 2021–12–15
  4. By: Salvatore Barbaro (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz); Nils D. Steiner (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
    Abstract: Out of the many possible voting schemes, the notoriously-used plurality rule is far from being the best. Previous research from France and the US reveals how plurality winners fall short of majority support. Therefore, eminent scholars advocate the simple-majority rule. The latter, however, faces the threat of indeterminacy due to cycling patterns. To contribute to the scarce evidence on the empirical occurrence of these phenomena, we used survey data from the 2017 German election to simulate preference orderings on district candidates. We find that violations of the majority principle are frequent. Conversely, we do not uncover any indeterminacy.
    Keywords: Elections, Plurality voting, simple-majority rule, indeterminacy
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2022–01–13
  5. By: Massimo Morelli; Antonio Nicolò; Paolo Roberti
    Abstract: When voters’ trust in politicians collapses, they demand simple policies that they can easily monitor. Disenchanted citizens therefore prefer committed delegates to politicians who propose themselves as competent policy makers but without a specific policy commitment (trustees). In a two-party competition, the unique asymmetric equilibrium is such that voters with lower interest for the common good select a committed delegate, while those with higher interest for the common good appoint a trustee. In this equilibrium, we show that the committed delegate also chooses all the strategies typically associated with populism in the literature. Hence, this paper puts forward a commitment theory of populism.
    Keywords: populism, competence, commitment, information acquisition, interest groups, moral universalism
    JEL: D72 D78
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Mariana Prats (OECD); Jacobo Pastor García Villarreal (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper provides recommendations to foster integrity and transparency in decision making in the State of Mexico, by regulating access and promoting stakeholder engagement; and to enhance transparency and integrity in the funding of political parties and election campaigns. It addresses current challenges related to political finance such as cash contributions and clientelism, as well as the need to ensure adequate audit capacities and effective sanctions that advance accountability. Likewise, it analyses the state of play in terms of interactions between stakeholders, on the one hand, and public officials and legislators, on the other, providing recommendations to prevent policy capture, preserve integrity, and strengthen transparency.
    Keywords: Policy capture, Political finance
    JEL: D02 D72 D73
    Date: 2022–01–13
  7. By: Ricketts, Simon (Monash University)
    Abstract: We examine whether political actors engage in strategic deception on social media. We find evidence that certain groups of politicians engage in deception in response to an election. To infer deception, we construct a novel wealth inference model from text of political social media accounts. We use machine learning and natural language processing, which is accurate to within half an order of magnitude when compared to real wealth disclosures as required by law in the United States. Wealth exaggeration is not homogenous ; in an election year, the wealthiest political actors minimise their perceived wealth, while the poorest exaggerate their perceived wealth. We do not find evidence that there are differences in exaggeration due to sex, party or experience.
    Keywords: Strategic deception ; wealth-inference ; machine-learning ; natural language processing ; social media ; election JEL Classification: C55 ; D72
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Funke, Michael (Institute for Economic and Business History Research)
    Abstract: The study highlights the importance of business associations in institutional development in a political economy. Utilizing Streeck & Schmitter’s concept of two logics of collective action, in which interest group action is explained by internal relations (logic of membership) as well as external relations (logic of influence), the paper analyzes the Swedish Advertisers’ Association role in the institutional development of Swedish export advertising during 1955-1972. Using qualitative analysis of associational material to trace institutional development, the paper demonstrates that thanks to the logic of membership, expressed in bottom-up member engagement, the association’s leadership together with members established new institutional resources and services for export advertising during the second half of the 1950s. Among the initiatives were educational efforts, knowledge-exchange forums, national trademarks, and registries with information of foreign ad markets. As the competitiveness of Swedish exports was of national interest, the services attracted external actors, as the government, state agencies and other business associations. Here the logic of influence, conveyed in increasing contacts between the association’s leadership and external representatives, embedded its institutions in a wider network of stakeholders in export promotion. This process was facilitated by the post-war dominance of corporatism, which emphasized cooperation between collective actors. The contributions of the association grew in size and importance until the formation of the Swedish Export Council in 1972, that redrew the institutional landscape of export promotion by forming a more centralized form of cooperation between the government and the export business community.
    Keywords: Advertising; business association; business interest organization; corporatism; economic history; export promotion; marketing history; Sweden; post-war;
    JEL: M31 M38 N74
    Date: 2022–01–07
  9. By: Puscas, Georgiana (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper explores whether the political alignment between mayors and the central government brings additional financial benefits to municipalities in Romania, using a novel dataset over 2012-2018. Analysing close municipal elections, I apply a regression discontinuity design to identify the effect of political alignment on several categories of transfers. I find that politically aligned municipalities receive per capita about 19% more equalisation transfers, 46% more subventions and 30% more transfers for roads. The results indicate that transfers for decentralised costs at municipality level are nondiscretionary
    Keywords: transfers allocation ; political alignment ; electoral competition JEL Classification: D72 ; H77 ; H81 ; P16 ; C21
    Date: 2021

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