nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2022‒09‒26
six papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The political consequences of mass repatriation By Edoardo Cefalà
  2. On spatial majority voting with an even (vis-a-vis odd) number of voters: a note By Anindya Bhattacharya; Francesco Ciardiello
  3. Voter Turnout in Concurrent Votes By Foellmi, Reto
  4. Welfare ordering of voting weight allocations By Kazuya Kikuchi
  5. Vote Early and Vote Often? Detecting Electoral Fraud from the Timing of 19th Century Elections By Francesco Ferlenga; Brian G. Knight
  6. Public debt and the political economy of reforms By Pierre C. Boyer; Christoph Esslinger; Brian Roberson

  1. By: Edoardo Cefalà
    Abstract: What happens when the electorate of a country is suddenly increased by hundreds of thousands of new potential voters? How do parties adjust their strategies in response to such an event? To address these questions I exploit a quasi-experiment represented by the arrival in France of about 1 million repatriates from Algeria, the so-called pieds noirs, which happened in 1962. To study the causal impact of the pieds noirs on voting, I instrument their location choice based on the average temperature by department. I find that the arrival of the pieds noirs increased turnout and the vote share of far-right parties while it decreased the vote share of center-right parties in both legislative and presidential elections between 1962 and 1974. I then analyse how this shock affected the political strategies of the different French parties by looking at more than 10,000 political manifestos issued by candidates in the legislative elections during the same period. I show that far-right parties behaved as a political entrepreneur and started to discuss issues associated with the pieds noirs already in 1962. The other parties subsequently adapted their manifestos using the same words of the far-right. These findings shed light on how radical parties can affect mainstream ones by pushing new issues in their agenda.
    Keywords: mass repatriation; pieds noirs; vote share
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Anindya Bhattacharya; Francesco Ciardiello
    Abstract: In this note we consider situations of (multidimensional) spatial majority voting. We show that under some assumptions usual in this literature, with an even number of voters if the core of the voting situation is singleton (and in the interior of the policy space) then the element in the core is never a Condorcet winner. This is in sharp contrast with what happens with an odd number of voters: in that case, under identical assumptions, it is well known that if the core of the voting situation is non-empty then the single element in the core is the Condorcet winner as well.
    Date: 2022–08
  3. By: Foellmi, Reto
    Abstract: This paper studies voter turnout in concurrent votes. We develop a theoretical model that incorporates proposition salience and two types of voting costs. The first type is fixed costs of going to the polls that are to be paid only once per voting day. The second type is information costs that must be paid for each vote separately. Our model explains how the net benefit of concurrent votes, defined as salience minus information costs, enters a voter's utility function and thereby affects turnout. We test our model predictions using data on concurrent propositions in Switzerland from 1981-2016. Our results suggest that both the proposition with the highest net benefit and the sum of the net benefits of all concurrent propositions are important determinants of the individual turnout decision. We also find that the marginal impact on turnout rises with the net benefit of a proposition.
    Keywords: Concurrent votes, turnout, rational voter model, referendums
    JEL: D72 D90
    Date: 2022–08
  4. By: Kazuya Kikuchi
    Abstract: This paper studies the allocation of voting weights in a committee representing groups of different sizes. We introduce a partial ordering of weight allocations based on stochastic comparison of social welfare. We show that when the number of groups is sufficiently large, this ordering asymptotically coincides with the total ordering induced by the cosine proportionality between the weights and the group sizes. A corollary is that a class of expectation-form objective functions, including expected welfare, the mean majority deficit and the probability of inversions, are asymptotically monotone in the cosine proportionality.
    Date: 2022–08
  5. By: Francesco Ferlenga; Brian G. Knight
    Abstract: This paper develops a new approach to detecting electoral fraud. Our context involves repeaters, individuals voting in multiple states in the U.S. during 19th Century Congressional Elections. Given high travel times, and the associated difficulties of voting in multiple states on the same day, we exploit the staggered introduction of holding federal elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (1T1M). The key finding is that county-level turnout rates fell when the closest neighboring state coordinated on 1T1M. This result is consistent with 1T1M adoption making repeating more difficult. In terms of mechanisms, the pattern is stronger in states that had not yet adopted the secret ballot, consistent with the secret ballot itself reducing voter fraud. The pattern is also driven by smaller population counties, consistent with repeaters particularly inflating turnout rates in these places.
    JEL: D70 H7 P0
    Date: 2022–08
  6. By: Pierre C. Boyer (CREST, Ecole Polytechnique, Institut Polytechnique de Paris); Christoph Esslinger (Managing Director; Brian Roberson (Purdue University, Department of Economics, Krannert School of Management)
    Abstract: How do electoral incentives influence the choice to experiment with a policy that generates uncertain future benefits? To answer this question, we examine a two-period model of redistributive politics with uncertain policy outcomes involving a mixture of private and public benefits. In equilibrium, we find that the intertemporal tradeoff between current policy costs and future benefits creates an incentive for politicians to use public debt to smooth spending across periods. The higher the share of policy that are in the form of a public good, the higher the level of available debtrelated spending on targeted policies that is necessary.
    Keywords: Political Competition; Public Debt; Reforms; Redistributive Politics; Debt and Spending Limits.
    JEL: C72 D72 D78 H6
    Date: 2022–08–15

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