nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2022‒08‒08
four papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Voting to Persuade By Tsz-Ning Wong; Lily Ling Yang; Xin Zhao
  2. Out of communal land: Clientelism through delegation of agricultural tenancy contracts By Takashi Kurosaki; Saumik Paul; Firman Witoelar
  3. False Narratives and Political Mobilization By Kfir Eliaz; Simone Galperti; Ran Spiegler
  4. Populist civil society, the Wagner Group, and post-coup politics in Mali By Sebastian Elischer

  1. By: Tsz-Ning Wong; Lily Ling Yang; Xin Zhao
    Abstract: We consider a model of collective persuasion, in which members of an advisory committee receive private continuous signals and then vote on a policy change. A decision maker then decides whether to adopt the change upon observing each vote. Information transmission between the committee and the decision maker is possible if and only if there exists an infor- mative equilibrium with the unanimity rule. When the decision maker is more conservative, a higher level of consensus is needed to persuade her to abandon the status quo in equilib- rium. Our result thus provide a rationale for the use of the unanimity rule, despite its poor performance in information aggregation (Feddersen and Pesendorfer 1998). Furthermore, the continuous-signal model considered in this paper produces results that contrast the discrete-signal model considered in the literature (Battaglini 2017; Gradwohl and Feddersen 2018) and we discuss how the results depend on the coarseness of the signal structure.
    Keywords: Advisory committee, Persuasion, Voting
    JEL: D71 D72 D83
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Takashi Kurosaki; Saumik Paul; Firman Witoelar
    Abstract: Do local institutions influence the nature of political clientelistic exchange? We find a positive answer in the context of a village institution prevalent in Java since the Dutch colonial rule, where democratically elected village heads receive usufruct rights over a piece of communal village land (bengkok land) as a compensation for their service in lieu of salary. To formulate how limited-term private ownership of bengkok land promotes clientelism, we model a timely delegation of agricultural tenancy contracts to villagers-cum-voters as an incumbent re-election strategy. Based on a household survey fielded in 2018 across 130 villages in Java, Indonesia, we find that the chances of a bengkok plot being rented out increase by 6 percentage points as the time of the next election becomes closer by one year, and sharecropping is preferred to a fixed-rental contract as the election approaches. The empirical results are statistically significant and remain largely unchanged against a series of robustness checks. We also find suggestive evidence of short-term efficiency loss from clientelistic politics over bengkok land.
    Keywords: tanah bengkok, political budget cycle, clientelism, agricultural tenancy, electoral competition, Indonesia.
    JEL: D72 H77 H83 O17 O18
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Kfir Eliaz; Simone Galperti; Ran Spiegler
    Abstract: We present an equilibrium model of politics in which political platforms compete over public opinion. A platform consists of a policy, a coalition of social groups with diverse intrinsic attitudes to policies, and a narrative. We conceptualize narratives as subjective models that attribute a commonly valued outcome to (potentially spurious) postulated causes. When quantified against empirical observations, these models generate a shared belief among coalition members over the outcome as a function of its postulated causes. The intensity of this belief and the members' intrinsic attitudes to the policy determine the strength of the coalition's mobilization. Only platforms that generate maximal mobilization prevail in equilibrium. Our equilibrium characterization demonstrates how false narratives can be detrimental for the common good, and how political fragmentation leads to their proliferation. The false narratives that emerge in equilibrium attribute good outcomes to the exclusion of social groups from ruling coalitions.
    Date: 2022–06
  4. By: Sebastian Elischer
    Abstract: The military coup of August 2020 upended Mali’s fragile liberal democratic order. The junta-led transitionary government defies international pressure to fasten the return of democratically-elected rulers and constitutional rule. The ability of the junta to shape the course of Malian politics rests on two interconnected pillars. First, there is public resentment towards the post-1991 political class and France’s military involvement in the country. The forces representing that resentment view the junta as change makers and have formed influential political organisations that oppose there turn to the status quo ante. Second, there is the security co-operation with Russian mercenaries, which provides the transitionary government with an alternative security partner. The paper traces the origins, evolution, and the future strength of these pillars. It concludes by outlining future political scenarios and the future role of the military in Malian politics.
    Keywords: democracy, Mali, military coup, Russia, Wagner Group
    JEL: D74 F50 F55 P48
    Date: 2022–07–12

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