nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2022‒08‒29
six papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Class voting for radical-left parties in Western Europe: The libertarian vs. authoritarian class trade-off By Nils D. Steiner; Lucca Hoffeller; Yanick Gutheil; Tobias Wiesenfeldt
  2. Symmetric reduced form voting By Xu Lang; Debasis Mishra
  3. Policy Reforms and the Amount of Checks & Balances By Hans Gersbach; Oriol Tejada; Julia Wagner
  4. Help Me Help You? Populism and Distributive Politics in Ecuador By Adrian Nicholas Gachet
  5. Divided Government and Polarization: Regression-Discontinuity Evidence from US States By Luca Repetto; Maximiliano Sosa Andrés
  6. How Should We Think About Employers’ Associations? By Alex Bryson; Paul Willman

  1. By: Nils D. Steiner (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz); Lucca Hoffeller (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz); Yanick Gutheil (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz); Tobias Wiesenfeldt (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
    Abstract: Which classes vote for radical-left parties (RLPs) in Western Europe? Have these parties become the domain of highly educated socio-cultural professionals, or can they still attract support from the working class? Building on previous work on class voting in the two-dimensional policy space, this article show how class voting for RLPs is shaped these parties’ positions on the cultural dimension of political competition. Combining voter-level data from the European Social Survey (2002 to 2018) with information on RLPs’ positions for 12 Western European countries, we find evidence of a class trade-off: RLPs with more authoritarian positions receive relatively more support from production workers but relatively less support from socio-cultural professionals. These findings add to evidence that parties shape class voting. Ours is the first study to demonstrate that this is true for RLPs as well, showing how, in the early 21 st century, cultural positions matter for class voting.
    Date: 2022–11–08
  2. By: Xu Lang; Debasis Mishra
    Abstract: We study a model of voting with two alternatives in a symmetric environment. We characterize the interim allocation probabilities that can be implemented by a symmetric voting rule. We show that every such interim allocation probabilities can be implemented as a convex combination of two families of deterministic voting rules: qualified majority and qualified anti-majority. We also provide analogous results by requiring implementation by a unanimous voting rule. A consequence of our results is that if the prior is independent, every symmetric and ordinally Bayesian incentive compatible voting rule is reduced (interim) form equivalent to a symmetric and strategy-proof voting rule.
    Date: 2022–07
  3. By: Hans Gersbach (CER-ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich and CEPR Zuerichbergstrasse 18 8092 Zurich, Switzerland); Oriol Tejada (Faculty of Economics and Business Universitat de Barcelona Diagonal 690-696 08034 Barcelona, Spain); Julia Wagner (CER-ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich and CEPR Zuerichbergstrasse 18 8092 Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: We examine how democracies choose their amount of checks and balances (C&B). For this purpose, we consider a simple model of political competition with costly policy reforms. The cost of a marginal reform is determined endogenously at the constitutional phase—i.e. before policies are chosen—through the choice of (the amount of) C&B. We characterize the set of stable C&B for different constitutional rules which vary depending on (i) who has the power to propose changes to C&B and (ii) on the qualified majority used for approving such changes. Our main results show that stable C&B always exist, are never zero, lead to gridlock, and are higher if the proposal-maker is the party in government. We also find that higher majority requirements for constitutional changes and more polarized societies are conducive to larger sets of stable C&B.
    Keywords: elections; democracy; political polarization; reform costs; constitutions; checks and balances
    JEL: C72 D72 D78 H4
    Date: 2022–08
  4. By: Adrian Nicholas Gachet
    Abstract: Populist regimes manage to dismantle checks and balances on the executive with the help of popular support. What does a distributive politics model predicts under a populist regime? In this paper I use a particular setting: The (very) first election of former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa in 2006. This election is relevant since the political candidate was an unknown figure in politics and won with a new political party, no congressmen, and no local candidates. Due to this reason, the vote share of this election provides a reasonably good proxy of initial affinity for a populist politician. Between 2006 and 2010 several institutional reforms, that dismantled checks and balances on the executive, were implemented and supported via direct referendums. I estimate an empirical model using the vote share in 2006 and the number of bureaucrats at the municipal level in 2010. I also use the growth rate between 2001 and 2010 of the number of bureaucrats as an alternative outcome. To mitigate endogeneity, I construct a broad measure of intrastate conflict and use it as an instrument. To construct this measure, I use geographical distances to episodes of conflict in the period 1984-1988 between the government of that time and subversive groups. Moreover, I control for several pre-1984 characteristics. Municipalities closer to conflict episodes voted more for Correa and have more bureaucratic jobs. Results are driven by the municipalities with the strongest initial affinity (highest vote share in 2006), hence pointing to a patronage story.
    Keywords: populism; tactical redistribution; state; conflict; Ecuador
    JEL: P16 P48 D72
    Date: 2022–08
  5. By: Luca Repetto; Maximiliano Sosa Andrés
    Abstract: This paper studies how divided government – arising when control of the government branches is split between parties – affects the polarization of the legislature and policy implementation. Using data on electoral and legislative outcomes for US states and a regression-discontinuity design, we show that Republican state senators are substantially more polarized when they serve in a divided government than they are in a fully unified government. We find similar but smaller effects for Democrats. In addition, governors facing an opposing, united legislature veto more bills, and have more of these overridden. However, in terms of policy implementation, we find evidence of moderation: when a unified Republican government loses a chamber or the governor to the Democratic party, the implemented legislation becomes much more liberal. Correspondingly, when Democrats lose unified control, policies become more conservative. These results suggest that divided government creates incentives for legislators to polarize knowing they will need to compromise in order to obtain their preferred policy.
    Keywords: divided governments, polarization, policy liberalism, regression-discontinuity design, US state governments
    JEL: H10 H70 R50
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Alex Bryson (University college London); Paul Willman (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We maintain that employer associations are a specific form of employer collusion that is overt, formal and labour market focused which encompasses but is by no means confined to collective bargaining. We consider the conditions under which this form of collusion might emerge, and how it might develop. Since the context is the decline of employers’ associations in collective bargaining, we look at how collective bargaining involvement (and its disappearance) might relate to the growth or decline of other forms of collusion in areas such as product and financial markets, and political influence. Our central contention is that employers’ associations continue to perform an important role in helping employers set the terms of trade, albeit one that has adapted to the demise of sectoral bargaining.
    Keywords: employers’ associations; collusion; collective bargaining
    JEL: J50 J52
    Date: 2022–07–01

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