nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒02‒27
eleven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Choosing an Electoral Rule: Values and Self-Interest in the Lab By Damien Bol; André Blais; Maxime Coulombe; Jean François Laslier; Jean-Benoît Pilet
  2. When Women Take All: Direct Election and Female Leadership By Davide Cipullo
  3. Why are Mexican politicians being assassinated?: The role of oil theft and narcocracy and the electoral consequences of organized crime By Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero; Nayely Iturbe
  4. An Examination of Ranked Choice Voting in the United States, 2004-2022 By Adam Graham-Squire; David McCune
  5. Scapegoating of ethnic minorities: Experimental evidence By Tomáš Želinský; Gerard Roland; Jana Cahlíková; Julie Chytilová; Michal Bauer
  6. Is Populism reversible? Evidence from Italian local elections during the pandemic. By Massimo Bordignon; Federico Franzoni; Matteo Gamalerio
  7. Delegation and Recruitment in Organizations: The Slippery Slope to “Bad” Leadership By Selcen Çakır; Konstantinos Matakos; Janne Tukiainen
  8. Public good or public bad? Indigenous institutions and the demand for public goods By Elizalde, Aldo; Hidalgo, Eduardo; Salgado, Nayeli
  9. Consensus group decision making under model uncertainty with a view towards environmental policy making By Phoebe Koundouri; Georgios I. Papayiannis; Electra Petracou; Athanasios Yannacopoulos
  10. Informational Diversity and Affinity Bias in Team Growth Dynamics By Hoda Heidari; Solon Barocas; Jon Kleinberg; Karen Levy
  11. How group deliberation affects individual distributional preferences: An experimental study By João V. Ferreira; Erik Schokkaert; Benoît Tarroux

  1. By: Damien Bol; André Blais; Maxime Coulombe; Jean François Laslier; Jean-Benoît Pilet
    Abstract: We study the choice of multi-person bargaining protocols in the context of politics. In politics, citizens are increasingly involved in the design of democratic rules, for instance via referendums. If they support the rule that best serves their self-interest, the outcome inevitably advantages the largest group. In this paper, we challenge this pessimistic view with an original lab experiment, in which 252 subjects participated. In the first stage, these subjects experience elections under plurality and approval voting. In the second stage, they decide which rule they want to use for extra elections. We find that egalitarian values that subjects hold outside of the lab shape their choice of electoral rule in the second stage when a rule led to a fairer distribution of payoffs compared to the other one in the first stage. The implication is that people have consistent ‘value-driven preferences’ for decision rules.
    Keywords: lab experiment; choice of decision rules; electoral rules; voting
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Davide Cipullo
    Abstract: This paper investigates how direct election regimes (à la presidential democracy) affect the selection of women into political offices compared to indirect appointment (à la parliamentary). Exploiting the staggered phase-in across Italian municipalities of a reform to the local institutional regime, I find that the introduction of direct elections increased the fraction of female mayors substantially. The results are stronger in cities with a high pre-reform share of female politicians and driven by high-quality female officials replacing undereducated incumbents. Taken together, the results of this paper inform that direct election regimes ease the selection of competent politicians into office.
    Keywords: political selection, voting systems, gender gaps, female representation
    JEL: C24 D02 D72 J16
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero; Nayely Iturbe
    Abstract: When does organized crime resort to assassinating politicians? In narcocracies, criminal groups co-opt political elites through bribery in exchange for protection to traffic illegal drugs. When criminal groups compete, they may also resort to political violence to influence which candidate wins local elections in strategic areas and retaliate when state action threatens their survival.
    Keywords: Crime, Drug trafficking, Political violence, Voter turnout
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Adam Graham-Squire; David McCune
    Abstract: From the perspective of social choice theory, ranked-choice voting (RCV) is known to have many flaws. RCV can fail to elect a Condorcet winner and is susceptible to monotonicity paradoxes and the spoiler effect, for example. We use a database of 182 American ranked-choice elections for political office from the years 2004-2022 to investigate empirically how frequently RCV's deficiencies manifest in practice. Our general finding is that RCV's weaknesses are rarely observed in real-world elections, with the exception that ballot exhaustion frequently causes majoritarian failures.
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Tomáš Želinský (Technical University of Košice); Gerard Roland (University of California, Berkeley); Jana Cahlíková (Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance); Julie Chytilová (Charles University); Michal Bauer (Institute of Economic Studies, Charles University)
    Abstract: Scapegoating refers to a social phenomenon whereby members of an aggrieved majority group retaliate against innocent third parties, usually members of vulnerable minority groups. This column uses an experiment set up between May and September 2017 in Eastern Slovakia – where a large Roma minority regularly suffers from discrimination – to measure how an injustice that affects a member of one’s own group shapes the punishment of an unconnected bystander (or scapegoat). The experiment shows that members of a majority group will systematically shift punishment onto innocent members of an ethnic minority.
    Date: 2023–01
  6. By: Massimo Bordignon (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Federico Franzoni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Matteo Gamalerio
    Abstract: We study the effect of economic insecurity on electoral outcomes using data on municipal elections in Italy. We implement a difference-in-differences approach that exploits exogenous variation across municipalities in the share of inactive workers due to the economic lockdown introduced by the central government to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. We show that lockdown-induced economic insecurity positively affected the electoral performance of progressive and left-wing parties, while it negatively affected conservative and far-right parties. Conversely, we find no effect for the populist Five Star Movement, local independent parties (i.e., Civic Lists), and electoral turnout. We provide evidence that extraordinary economic measures introduced by the central government to compensate workers for the economic insecurity can explain this shift in partisanship toward the left and the increasing support for pro-EU parties, away from euro-skeptic and populist forces.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Elections, Voting behaviour, Populism, Economic Insecurity.
    JEL: D70 D72 D91
    Date: 2023–01
  7. By: Selcen Çakır (Department of Economics, Boğaziçi University); Konstantinos Matakos (Department of Political Economy, King's College London.); Janne Tukiainen (Department of Economics, University of Turku.)
    Abstract: We construct a dynamic model of two-sided sorting in labor markets with multi-dimensional agent and firm heterogeneity. We apply it to study optimal party structure and the decision of how (de)centralized candidate recruitment should be. Parties are non-unitary actors and compete at the local markets over recruitment of competent candidates and local organizers possess an informational advantage over the distribution of politicians' skill, which is positively related to electoral rent generation. Party leadership has a dual objective: they want simultaneously to maximize a) the organization's rents and b) their retention probability. Thus, when deciding how centralized recruiting should be, leaders face a trade-off: while delegating candidate selection to local party organizations might increase the party's electoral returns, it also limits a leader's ability to stack the organization with loyalists who are more likely to retain her when she faces a (stochastic) leadership challenge. We characterize an equilibrium delegation rule with two key properties: a) some high-skilled politicians may select into lower performing parties due to ideological alignment, and b) more extreme and incompetent leaders delegate less and as a result, survive longer at the helm of a shrinking party. Thus, our findings highlight the slippery slope to authoritarian and persistently "bad" leadership. Our model can be applied to other labor recruitment settings.
    Keywords: delegation, intraparty organization, recruitment, information, elections, heterogeneity, rent-seeking, two-sided matching
    JEL: C73 D72 D73 D83 J40 M51
    Date: 2022–12
  8. By: Elizalde, Aldo; Hidalgo, Eduardo; Salgado, Nayeli
    Abstract: This paper argues that the underprovision of public goods can be partly explained by lower demand from Indigenous groups with high preferences for Indigenous identity and a high capacity for coordination. Examining the post-Mexican Revolution period (1920s-1950s), when the state used the first road network for nation-building, our diff-in-diff analysis shows that pre-colonial political centralisation is associated with less road infrastructure. This is attributed to stronger capacity for collective action and stronger Indigenous identity preferences. Finally, we show that poor road infrastructure today is linked to lower economic performance.
    Keywords: Indigenous institutions, public good provision, collective action, Indigenous identity
    JEL: H41 H79 N7 O18
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Phoebe Koundouri; Georgios I. Papayiannis; Electra Petracou; Athanasios Yannacopoulos
    Abstract: In this paper we propose a consensus group decision making scheme under model uncertainty consisting of a two-stage procedure and based on the concept of Frechet barycenter. The first stage is a clustering procedure in the metric space of opinions leading to homogeneous groups, whereas the second stage consists of a proposal most likely to be accepted by all groups. An evolutionary learning scheme of proposal updates leading to consensus is also proposed. The schemes are illustrated in examples motivated from environmental economics.
    Keywords: consensus group decision making; model uncertainty; environmental decision making; Frechet barycenter;
    Date: 2023–02–06
  10. By: Hoda Heidari; Solon Barocas; Jon Kleinberg; Karen Levy
    Abstract: Prior work has provided strong evidence that, within organizational settings, teams that bring a diversity of information and perspectives to a task are more effective than teams that do not. If this form of informational diversity confers performance advantages, why do we often see largely homogeneous teams in practice? One canonical argument is that the benefits of informational diversity are in tension with affinity bias. To better understand the impact of this tension on the makeup of teams, we analyze a sequential model of team formation in which individuals care about their team's performance (captured in terms of accurately predicting some future outcome based on a set of features) but experience a cost as a result of interacting with teammates who use different approaches to the prediction task. Our analysis of this simple model reveals a set of subtle behaviors that team-growth dynamics can exhibit: (i) from certain initial team compositions, they can make progress toward better performance but then get stuck partway to optimally diverse teams; while (ii) from other initial compositions, they can also move away from this optimal balance as the majority group tries to crowd out the opinions of the minority. The initial composition of the team can determine whether the dynamics will move toward or away from performance optimality, painting a path-dependent picture of inefficiencies in team compositions. Our results formalize a fundamental limitation of utility-based motivations to drive informational diversity in organizations and hint at interventions that may improve informational diversity and performance simultaneously.
    Date: 2023–01
  11. By: João V. Ferreira (University of Southampton, UK); Erik Schokkaert (Department of Economics, KU Leuven, Belgium); Benoît Tarroux (University Lumière Lyon 2 and GATE Lyon-Saint-Etienne, France)
    Abstract: We study experimentally the impact of group deliberation on individual distributional preferences. We elicit subjects' distributional preferences before and after group deliberation and estimate the relative weight of persuasion, social identity, and social comparison on the effect of deliberation. We find that 10 minutes of non-binding written group deliberation has a large effect on individual (private) distributional preferences. First, post-deliberation distributional preferences are more egalitarian than pre-deliberation preferences. Second, group polarization decreases after group deliberation. Finally, we find that social identity is the main but not unique driver of this effect. Persuasion and social comparison also impact individual preferences, particularly for subjects who are not monetarily affected by the distributive outcome. Our results bring novel insights for the elicitation of distributional preferences and the design of deliberative institutions.
    Keywords: Group deliberation; Distributional preferences; Social identity; Persuasion; Social comparison
    Date: 2023

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