nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2022‒05‒23
five papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. When populists deliver on their promises: the electoral effects of a large cash transfer program in Poland By Michał Brzeziński; Jan Gromadzki; Katarzyna Sałach
  2. The effect of propaganda on elections: Evidence from the post-Reconstruction South By Winfree, Paul
  3. The Power of Youth: Political Impacts of the "Fridays for Future" Movement By Marc Fabel; Matthias Flückiger; Markus Ludwig; Helmut Rainer; Maria Waldinger; Sebastian Wichert
  4. Representation Failure By Matias Iaryczower; Sergio Montero; Galileu Kim
  5. Career Concerns and the Dynamics of Electoral Accountability By Matias Iaryczower; Adam Meirowitz; Gabriel Lopez-Moctezuma

  1. By: Michał Brzeziński; Jan Gromadzki; Katarzyna Sałach
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of the introduction of a large cash transfer program on support for the ruling populist party in Poland. We exploit the variation at the municipal level in the annual cash transfer amount received per capita, and use a difference-in-differences research design to study the electoral effects of the transfer. Our results show that a cash transfer amount of $100 per capita translated into an increase in the vote share for the ruling party of nearly two percentage points. We also find that these effects were largely due to the recruitment of previously non-voting individuals. We conclude that without the transfer program, all else being equal, the populist party would not have remained in power.
    Keywords: Elections, Voting Behavior, Populism, Unconditional Cash Transfer
    JEL: D72 H23 H53 I38 J18
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Winfree, Paul
    Abstract: Newspapers in the post-Reconstruction South disseminated propaganda accusing Black voters of excessive public corruption. This paper analyzes new data showing that propaganda influenced election outcomes by weakening biracial political coalitions that challenged the Democratic Party immediately before the adoption of new constitutions legally disenfranchising Black voters. These new constitutions reinforced Democratic control of Southern governments that lasted decades into the twentieth century. Specifically, I find evidence that insinuations of public corruption motivated voters to the polls and split the support for biracial coalitions that may have challenged control of the Democratic Party. I also find evidence that large changes in exposure to propaganda were needed to influence election outcomes when voters were routinely exposed to propaganda.
    Keywords: disenfranchisement,corruption,election outcomes,Reconstruction,Jim Crow,media bias
    JEL: D73 N11 N41 N91
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Marc Fabel; Matthias Flückiger; Markus Ludwig; Helmut Rainer; Maria Waldinger; Sebastian Wichert
    Abstract: We study the impact of the “Fridays for Future” climate protest movement in Germany on citizen political behavior and explore possible mechanisms. Over the course of 2019, large crowds of young protesters, most below voting age, skipped school to demonstrate for rapid and far-reaching measures to mitigate climate change. Based on cell phone-based mobility data and hand-collected information on almost 4,000 climate protests, we first construct a novel county ×rally-specific measure of protest participation, allowing us to map out how engagement in the climate movement evolved spatially and temporally. Then, using a variety of empirical strategies to address the issue of nonrandom protest participation, we show that the local strength of the climate movement led to more Green Party votes in state-level and national-level elections during 2019 and thereafter. We provide evidence suggesting that three mechanisms were simultaneously at play: reverse intergenerational transmission of pro-environmental attitudes from children to parents, stronger climate-related social media presence by Green Party politicians, and increased coverage of environmental issues in local media. Together our results suggest that environmental protests by those too young to vote provides some of the impetus needed to push society towards overcoming the climate trap.
    Keywords: climate protest movement, citizen political behavior
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Matias Iaryczower; Sergio Montero; Galileu Kim
    Abstract: Democratic representation is constrained by the alternatives available to voters. In this paper, we develop a methodology to gauge the extent to which the “supply side” of politics hinders voter welfare. Using rich data on thousands of candidates in three Brazilian legislative elections, we quantify the relative value voters place on candidates’ policy positions and non-ideological attributes, and we evaluate voters’ welfare given the set of candidates they face. Our estimates uncover substantial welfare losses to voters relative to three alternative benchmarks of ideal representation. On average, the typical voter suffers only a moderate loss due to policy incongruence but a large loss due to shortages in candidates’ non-ideological characteristics. To evaluate the welfare consequences of potential institutional reforms, we develop and estimate a model of equilibrium policy determination. Through counterfactual experiments, we show that institutional reforms aimed at improving the quality of representation may have sizable unintended consequences due to equilibrium policy adjustments.
    JEL: C13 C57 D7 D72
    Date: 2022–04
  5. By: Matias Iaryczower; Adam Meirowitz; Gabriel Lopez-Moctezuma
    Abstract: Quantifying the value that legislators give to reelection relative to policy is crucial to understanding electoral accountability. We estimate the preferences for office and policy of members of the US Senate, using a structural approach that exploits variation in polls, position-taking and advertising throughout the electoral cycle. We then combine these preference estimates with estimates of the electoral effectiveness of policy moderation and political advertising to quantify electoral accountability in competitive and uncompetitive elections. We find that senators differ markedly in the value they give to securing office relative to policy gains: while over a fourth of senators are highly ideological, a sizable number of senators are willing to make relatively large policy concessions to attain electoral gains. Nevertheless, electoral accountability is only moderate on average, due to the relatively low impact of changes in senators’ policy stance on voter support.
    JEL: C51 C57 D72
    Date: 2022–04

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