nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒02‒06
five papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Ideological Consistency and Valence By Enriqueta Aragonès; Dimitrios Xefteris
  2. Dark Money and Politician Learning By Schnakenberg, Keith; Turner, Ian R
  3. Works Councils and Workers' Party Preferences in Germany By Jirjahn, Uwe; Le, Thi Xuan Thu
  4. Do Bishops Matter for Politics? Evidence From Italy By Gianandrea Lanzara; Sara Lazzaroni; Paolo Masella; Mara P. Squicciarini
  5. Dark Money and Voter Learning By Schnakenberg, Keith; Schumock, Collin; Turner, Ian R

  1. By: Enriqueta Aragonès; Dimitrios Xefteris
    Abstract: We study electoral competition between two win-motivated candidates, considering that voters care both about the valence and the ideological consistency of the competing candidates. When valence asymmetries are not too large we find a unique pure strategy Nash equilibrium in which (i) platform polarization (i.e. the distance between the candidates’ policy proposals) is solely determined by the strength of preferences for consistency, and (ii) the expected policy outcome may move to the right as the valence of the leftist candidate increases. When valence differences are large, a mixed equilibrium emerges: the high-valence left-wing candidate chooses a moderate right policy and the low-valence right-wing candidate responds, usually, with an extreme right position and, occasionally, with a moderate left one. Our analysis provides novel insights regarding candidates’ flip-flopping incentives, and parties’ motives to nominate low-quality candidates.
    Keywords: valence, ideology, consistency, flip-flopping, electoral competition, mixed equilibrium
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Schnakenberg, Keith; Turner, Ian R (Yale University)
    Abstract: We study the consequences of campaign finance disclosure laws in a model of informative campaign finance. Campaign spending can affect electoral outcomes and also signal policy information to politicians. Under mandatory disclosure donors may engage in spending that runs counter to their electoral interests in order to signal good news regarding their preferred policy. When donors can use dark money the electoral price to influence policy increases to account for the possibility that donors use public spending to signal, but secretly offset the electoral costs with dark money. Our results suggest that observable spending will tend to increase for moderate candidates and decrease for extreme candidates when dark money is allowed. We also illustrate how different social pressures affect patterns of campaign spending.
    Date: 2023–01–07
  3. By: Jirjahn, Uwe; Le, Thi Xuan Thu
    Abstract: Research on the consequences of works councils has been dominated by economic aspects. Our study provides evidence that works councils have nonfinancial consequences for civic society that go beyond the narrow boundaries of the workplace. Using panel data from a large sample of male workers, the study shows that works councils have an influence on workers' party preferences. The presence of a works council is negatively associated with preferences for extreme right-wing parties and positively associated with preferences for the Social Democratic Party and The Left. These results holds in panel data estimations including a large set of controls and accounting for unobserved individual-specific factors. Our findings fit the notion that workplace democracy increases workers' generalized solidarity and their awareness of social and political issues.
    Keywords: Workplace democracy, worker participation, political spillover, party identification
    JEL: D72 J51 J52 J58
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Gianandrea Lanzara; Sara Lazzaroni; Paolo Masella; Mara P. Squicciarini
    Abstract: This paper studies whether and how religious leaders affect politics. Focusing on Italian dioceses in the period from 1948 to 1992, we find that the identity of the bishop in office explains a significant amount of the variation in the vote share for the Christian Democracy party (DC). This result is robust to several exercises that use different samples and time windows. Zooming into the mechanism, we find that two characteristics of bishops matter: (i) his political culture, and (ii) his interaction with the population—the latter being measured using state-of-the-art text-analysis techniques.
    JEL: D72 Z12 D02
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Schnakenberg, Keith; Schumock, Collin; Turner, Ian R (Yale University)
    Abstract: We provide a model of dark money in elections. An ideologically extreme donor with private information about candidate ideology and quality can advertise on behalf of a candidate. Advertising reveals information about candidate quality to voters, who can learn from either donor-funded or neutral advertising. Voters update negatively about candidate ideology when ads are known to be donor-funded. Dark money suppresses source information and allows donors to advertise candidate quality while simultaneously concealing the ideological motivations behind ad funding. However, dark money leads voters to become skeptical of all advertising, which can disadvantage donors.
    Date: 2023–01–07

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