nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2022‒11‒07
six 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. Coordination and Incumbency Advantage in Multi-Party Systems - Evidence from French Elections By Kevin Dano; Francesco Ferlenga; Vincenzo Galasso; Caroline Le Pennec; Vincent Pons
  3. Obvious manipulations of tops-only voting rules By R. Pablo Arribillaga; Agustin G. Bonifacio
  4. Why are There More Women in the Upper House? By KASUYA Yuko; MIWA Hirofumi; ONO Yoshikuni
  5. The Bureaucracy Trap By Ascensión Andina-Díaz; Francesco Feri; Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez
  6. The Global Political Economy of a Green Transition By Giorgos Galanis; Giorgio Ricchiuti; Ben Tippet

  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: 2022–09
  2. By: Kevin Dano; Francesco Ferlenga; Vincenzo Galasso; Caroline Le Pennec; Vincent Pons
    Abstract: In theory, free and fair elections can improve the selection of politicians and incentivize them to exert effort. In practice, incumbency advantage and coordination issues may lead to the (re)election of bad politicians. We ask whether these two forces compound each other. Using a regression discontinuity design in French two-round local and parliamentary elections, we find that winning an election increases candidates' chances to win the next election by 25.1 percentage points. Close winners are more likely to run again and more likely to win, conditional on running, than close losers. Incumbents personalize their campaign communication more and face fewer ideologically close competitors, indicating that parties coordinate more effectively on the winning side than on the losing side. A complementary RDD reveals that marginally qualifying for the runoff also enables candidates to rally new voters, but does not affect the number of competitors on their side. We conclude that party coordination and voters rallying candidates who won or gained visibility in an election both contribute to their success in future races, even absent any actual difference in quality with candidates on the losing side.
    JEL: D72 K16
    Date: 2022–10
  3. By: R. Pablo Arribillaga; Agustin G. Bonifacio
    Abstract: In a voting problem with a finite set of alternatives to choose from, we study the manipulation of tops-only rules. Since all non-dictatorial (onto) voting rules are manipulable when there are more than two alternatives and all preferences are allowed, we look for rules in which manipulations are not obvious. First, we show that a rule does not have obvious manipulations if and only if when an agent vetoes an alternative it can do so with any preference that does not have such alternative in the top. Second, we focus on two classes of tops-only rules: (i) (generalized) median voter schemes, and (ii) voting by committees. For each class, we identify which rules do not have obvious manipulations on the universal domain of preferences.
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: KASUYA Yuko; MIWA Hirofumi; ONO Yoshikuni
    Abstract: In directly elected bicameral legislatures without a quota system, there is often a large disparity in the percentage of women's representation between the two chambers. Japan is no exception to this rule. The share of women members in the upper house (23.1%) is twice as high as that in the lower house (9.7%). Furthermore, the former has consistently outnumbered the latter for decades. The disparity between the two chambers may be the results of differences in electoral systems, but that cannot fully explain it. We explore the mechanisms behind this disparity through two survey experiments from the perspectives of both voters (demand side) and candidates (supply side). Our findings show that voters become more supportive of women candidates in upper house elections when they are informed that the upper house plays a subordinate role in decision-making. Moreover, women are found to be more willing to run for office when they are informed about the job security that accompanies an upper house position, whereas men are less willing to run when they are informed about the limited power of the upper house to appoint the prime minister. These results suggest that the institutional priming conditions people's attitudes toward women candidates and their willingness to run for office, resulting in a large disparity in the percentage of women representatives between the two chambers in the bicameral legislature.
    Date: 2022–09
  5. By: Ascensión Andina-Díaz (Departamento de Teoría e Historia Económica, Universidad de Málaga.); Francesco Feri (Department of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London.); Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez (Departamento de Teoría e Historia Económica, Universidad de Málaga.)
    Abstract: In a recent paper, Andina-D´?az et al. (2021) show that in a context of dynamic elections, rigid institutions induce political parties to push policies as far as the political system allows, whereas more flexible institutions can foster moderate alternation. We build on this paper to study the incentive of an elected government to reduce bureaucratic inefficiencies and increase institutional flexibility. We show that high levels of bureaucratic inefficiencies are very likely to persist over time, leading to a bureaucracy trap. Moreover, we find that regardless of the initial levels of bureaucratic inefficiencies, traditional long-life parties may have no incentive to undertake such a reform. This result provides a new argument to explain why bureaucratic inefficiencies persist in some countries over time
    Keywords: MGradual policy implementation; political alternation; institutional reform; bureaucratic trap.
    JEL: D02 D72
    Date: 2022–10
  6. By: Giorgos Galanis; Giorgio Ricchiuti; Ben Tippet
    Abstract: By building a simple discrete choice model, we study possible paths regarding country participation in international environmental agreements (IEAs) on climate change. Preferences for action are influenced by (i) the growth rate of emissions, (ii) participation of others in IEAs, and (iii) heterogeneous costs and preferences for action. We find a variety of outcomes depending on the relative strength of effects, where sustained high level of cooperation is just one possibility. More specifically, we find that a short run increase in climate action may be followed by a decline later, while non trivial dynamics that make the evolution less predictable are another possibility. Our results indicate that a reduction in global inequalities related to low carbon transition costs are a necessary condition for sustained high levels of cooperation.
    Keywords: Green Transition, Discrete Choice Model, Political Economy
    JEL: E7 F5 Q5 C62
    Date: 2022

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