nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2022‒03‒07
seven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Effect of Social Media on Elections: Evidence from the United States By Thomas Fujiwara; Karsten Müller; Carlo Schwarz
  2. Clubs and Networks By Ding, S.; Dziubinski, M.; Goyal, S.
  3. The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from Multiparty Systems, 1993-2017 By Yasmine Bekkouche; Julia Cage; Edgard Dewitte
  4. Revisiting the links between economic inequality and political violence: The role of social mobilization By Patricia Justino
  5. When digital mass participation meets citizen deliberation: Combining mini-publics and maxi-publics in climate policy-making By Itten, Anatol; Mouter, Niek
  6. Human-centered mechanism design with Democratic AI By Raphael Koster; Jan Balaguer; Andrea Tacchetti; Ari Weinstein; Tina Zhu; Oliver Hauser; Duncan Williams; Lucy Campbell-Gillingham; Phoebe Thacker; Matthew Botvinick; Christopher Summerfield
  7. A dynamic analysis of international environmental agreements under partial cooperation By Luca Colombo; Paola Labrecciosa; Ngo Van Long

  1. By: Thomas Fujiwara (Princeton University and NBER); Karsten Müller (National University of Singapore); Carlo Schwarz (Università Bocconi)
    Abstract: We study how social media affects election outcomes in the United States. We use variation in the number of Twitter users across counties induced by early adopters at the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, a key event in Twitter’s rise to popularity. We show that this variation is unrelated to observable county characteristics and electoral outcomes before the launch of Twitter. Our results indicate that Twitter lowered the Republican vote share in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, but had limited effects on Congressional elections and previous presidential elections. Evidence from survey data, primary elections, and a text analysis of millions of tweets suggests that Twitter’s relatively liberal content may have persuaded voters with moderate views to vote against Donald Trump.
    Keywords: voting behavior, elections
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2021–11
  2. By: Ding, S.; Dziubinski, M.; Goyal, S.
    Abstract: A recurring theme in the study of society is the concentration of influence and power that is driven through unequal membership of groups and associations. In some instances these bodies constitute a small world while in others they are fragmented into distinct cliques. This paper presents a new model of clubs and networks to understand the sources of individual marginalization and the origins of different club networks. In our model, individuals seek to become members of clubs while clubs wish to have members. Club value is increasing in its size and in the strength of ties with other clubs. We show that a stable membership profile exhibits marginalization of individuals and that this is generally not welfare maximizing. Our second result shows that if returns from strength of ties are convex (concave) then stable memberships support fragmented networks with strong ties (small worlds held together by weak ties). We illustrate the value of these theoretical results through case studies of inter-locking directorates, boards of editors of journals, and defence and R&D alliances.
    Date: 2021–10–25
  3. By: Yasmine Bekkouche (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, ULB - Université libre de Bruxelles); Julia Cage (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Edgard Dewitte (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: What is the impact of campaign spending on votes? Does it vary across election types, political parties or electoral settings? Estimating these effects requires comprehensive data on spending across candidates, parties and elections, as well as identification strategies that handle the endogenous and strategic nature of campaign spending in multiparty systems. This paper provides novel contributions in both of these areas. We build a new comprehensive dataset of all French legislative and UK general elections over the 1993–2017 period. We propose new empirical specifications, including a new instrument that relies on the fact that candidates are differentially affected by regulation on the source of funding on which they depend the most. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently improves candidates' vote share, both at British and French elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on candidates' party. In particular, we show that spending by radical and extreme parties has much lower returns than spending by mainstream parties, and that this can be partly explained by the social stigma attached to extreme voting. Our findings help reconcile the conflicting results of the existing literature, and improve our understanding of why campaigns matter.
    Keywords: Elections,Campaign financing,Campaign expenditures,Campaign finance reform,Multiparty electoral data,Heterogeneous effects of campaign spending
    Date: 2022–02–01
  4. By: Patricia Justino
    Abstract: The main aim of this paper is to explore theoretically important mechanisms through which economic inequalities may affect the emergence of political violence given the forms of social mobilization they (may) generate. The paper identifies and explores two mechanisms under which social mobilization in unequal societies may result in either non-violent or violent collective action and, ultimately, in violent conflict. The first condition is the level of social cooperation between different social groups that are formed during the process of social mobilization.
    Keywords: Inequality, Political violence, Social mobilization, Collective action, cooperation
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Itten, Anatol; Mouter, Niek
    Abstract: Notwithstanding the rationale and the demand for public participation in climate policies, aggregated perspectives of maxi-publics are often belittled as uninformed, self-interested and short-term focused. The upcoming vogue of climate assemblies, citizen parliaments and other forms of mini-publics is to give citizens a central role in climate policy-making and in some cases to break political impasse. Yet climate mini-publics face challenges in political environments too, such as co-option, favoring expert-opinions and losing touch with the broader public. To remedy such pitfalls, recent papers have argued to combine synchronous deliberations of small groups of citizens with online participation procedures for the larger public. In this article, we report the results of a three-step combination model, where first a mini-public in the region of Súdwest-Fryslân (NL) were given a ‘carte blanche’ to draft the content and the parameters of several related policy alternatives. Second, their proposals were fed into a digital participation tool, the Participatory Value Evaluation (PVE) to consult the wider public. A total of 1,376 (approx. 2% of the inhabitants) expressed their preferences and explained why they favour a dominant role for the municipality and the residents but are reticent about giving the market too big a role. Third, a citizen forum translated the outcomes of the maxi-public into policy recommendations, which were unanimously approved by the municipal council. In this paper, we report our findings of combining mini-and maxi-publics and how actors involved evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the combination of these two participatory approaches.
    Date: 2022–01–04
  6. By: Raphael Koster; Jan Balaguer; Andrea Tacchetti; Ari Weinstein; Tina Zhu; Oliver Hauser; Duncan Williams; Lucy Campbell-Gillingham; Phoebe Thacker; Matthew Botvinick; Christopher Summerfield
    Abstract: Building artificial intelligence (AI) that aligns with human values is an unsolved problem. Here, we developed a human-in-the-loop research pipeline called Democratic AI, in which reinforcement learning is used to design a social mechanism that humans prefer by majority. A large group of humans played an online investment game that involved deciding whether to keep a monetary endowment or to share it with others for collective benefit. Shared revenue was returned to players under two different redistribution mechanisms, one designed by the AI and the other by humans. The AI discovered a mechanism that redressed initial wealth imbalance, sanctioned free riders, and successfully won the majority vote. By optimizing for human preferences, Democratic AI may be a promising method for value-aligned policy innovation.
    Date: 2022–01
  7. By: Luca Colombo; Paola Labrecciosa; Ngo Van Long
    Abstract: We study the dynamics of equilibrium membership of an international environmental agreement aimed at increasing the stock of a global public good such as climate change mitigation. In contrast with previous studies, we assume partial cooperation among signatories, and show that the coalition size can be large and increasing over time even when the initial coalition size is small. We highlight a novel trade-off between agreements that are narrow but deep and long-lived versus those that are broad and shallow but short-lived. We show that loose cooperative agreements, which are broad but shallow and short-lived, are both welfare superior and Pareto superior to tight cooperative agreements, which are narrow but deep and long-lived. We also show that conditions exist under which the equilibrium coalition size is efficient. Nous étudions la dynamique d'adhésion à l'équilibre à un accord environnemental international visant à accroître le stock d'un bien public mondial tel que l'atténuation du changement climatique. Contrairement aux études précédentes, nous supposons une coopération partielle entre les signataires et montrons que la taille de la coalition peut être importante et augmenter au fil du temps même lorsque la taille initiale de la coalition est petite. Nous mettons en évidence un nouveau compromis entre les accords qui sont étroits mais profonds et de longue durée et ceux qui sont larges et superficiels mais de courte durée. Nous montrons que les accords de coopération partielle, qui sont larges mais superficiels et de courte durée, sont à la fois supérieurs en termes de bien-être aux accords de coopération serrés, qui sont étroits mais profonds et de longue durée. Nous montrons également qu'il existe des conditions dans lesquelles la taille de la coalition d'équilibre est efficace.
    Keywords: differential games,climate change mitigation,stable coalitions,coefficient of cooperation,social welfare, jeux différentiels,atténuation du changement climatique,coalitions stables,coefficient de coopération,bien-être social
    JEL: C73 D60 H41 Q54
    Date: 2022–01–07

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