nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒05‒15
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber
McNeese State University

  1. Identity Politics By Nicola Gennaioli; Guido Tabellini
  2. Democratic Policy Decisions with Decentralized Promises Contingent on Vote Outcome By Ali Lazrak; Jianfeng Zhang
  3. Guns, pets, and strikes: an experiment on identity and political action By Ginzburg, Boris; Guerra, José-Alberto Guerra
  4. Election-Denying Republican Candidates Underperformed in the 2022 Midterms By Malzahn, Janet; Hall, Andrew B.
  5. Critical Mass in Collective Action By Ginzburg, Boris; Guerra, José-Alberto; Lekfuangfu, Warn N.
  6. Political Competitiveness, Regression Discontinuity and the Incumbency Effect By Jerome Archambault; Stanley L. Winer
  7. Voting with Interdependent Values: The Condorcet Winner By Alex Gershkov; Andreas Kleiner; Benny Moldovanu; Xianwen Shi
  8. Order Independence in Sequential, Issue-by-Issue Voting By Alex Gershkov; Benny Moldovanu; Xianwen Shi

  1. By: Nicola Gennaioli; Guido Tabellini
    Abstract: We offer a theory of changing dimensions of political polarization based on endogenous social identity. We formalize voter identity and stereotyped beliefs as in Bonomi et al. (2021), but add parties that compete on policy and also spread or conceal group stereotypes to persuade voters. Parties are historically connected to different social groups, whose members are more receptive to the ingroup party messages. An endogenous switch from class to cultural identity accounts for three major observed changes: i) growing conflict over cultural issues between voters and between parties, ii) dampening of political conflict over redistribution, despite rising inequality, and iii) a realignment of lower class voters from the left to the right. The incentive of parties to spread stereotypes is a key driver of identity-based polarization. Using survey data and congressional speeches we show that - consistent with our model - there is evidence of i) and ii) also in the voting realignment induced by the ”China Shock” (Autor et al. 2020).
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Ali Lazrak; Jianfeng Zhang
    Abstract: We study how decentralized utility transfer promises affect collective decision-making by voting. Committee members with varying levels of support and opposition for an efficient reform can make enforceable promises before voting. An equilibrium requires stability and minimal promises. Equilibrium promises exist and are indeterminate, but do share several key characteristics. Equilibria require transfer promises from high to low intensity members and result in enacting the reform. When reform supporters lack sufficient voting power, promises must reach across the aisle. Even if the coalition of reform supporters is decisive, promises must preclude the least enthusiastic supporters of the reform from being enticed to overturn the decision. In that case, equilibrium promises do not need to reach across the aisle. We also discuss a finite sequence of promises that achieve an equilibrium.
    Date: 2023–04
  3. By: Ginzburg, Boris; Guerra, José-Alberto Guerra
    Abstract: We study the role of collective action in creating shared identity and shaping subsequent social interactions. In a laboratory experiment, we offer subjects to sign an online petition, or ask whether they had participated in recent street protests. Afterwards, subjects interact in games that measure prosocial preferences. We find more altruism, trust, and trustworthiness within a pair of subjects who participated in collective action than in any other pair. Our structural estimation recovers individual prosocial preferences, showing that they increase as a result of joint participation. We then show that participating individuals receive private payoffs in subsequent interactions with fellow participants. Because of this, expecting higher participation by peers makes an individual more likely to participate. This mechanism suggests a reason why citizens participate in political collective action, and helps explain the role of coordination and signalling.
    Keywords: political identity, collective action, petitions, protests, social preferences, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 D72 D74
    Date: 2022–04–14
  4. By: Malzahn, Janet (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford U); Hall, Andrew B. (Stanford U)
    Abstract: We combine newly collected election data with records of public denials of the results of the 2020 election to estimate the degree to which election-denying Republican candidates for senator, governor, secretary of state, and attorney general over- or under-performed other Republicans in 2022. We find that the average vote share of election-denying Republicans in statewide races was approximately 2.3 percentage points lower than their co-partisans after accounting for state- level partisanship. Election-denying candidates received roughly 2 percentage-points more vote share than other Republican candidates in primaries, on average, although this estimate is quite uncertain. The general-election penalty is larger than the margin of victory in battleground states in recent close presidential elections, suggesting that nominating election-denying can- didates in 2024 could be a damaging electoral strategy for Republicans. At the same time, it is small enough to suggest that only a relatively small group of voters changed their vote in response to having an election-denying candidate on the ballot.
    Date: 2023–02
  5. By: Ginzburg, Boris; Guerra, José-Alberto; Lekfuangfu, Warn N.
    Abstract: Using a laboratory experiment, we study the incentives of individuals to contribute to a public good that is provided if and only if the fraction of contributors reaches a certain threshold. We jointly vary the size of the group, the cost of contributing, the required threshold, and the framing of contributions (giving to the common pool, or not taking from the common pool). We find that a higher threshold makes individuals more likely to contribute. The effect is strong enough that in a small group, making the required threshold higher increases the probability that the public good is provided. In larger groups, however, the effect disappears. At the same time, we do not find a consistent effect of framing on the probability of contributing or on the likelihood of success.
    Keywords: threshold public goods, critical mass, framing effect, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C92 D71 H41
    Date: 2023–04–20
  6. By: Jerome Archambault; Stanley L. Winer
    Abstract: In an RDD study of the incumbency effect, observations somewhat away from the threshold separating winners and losers in an election are necessarily employed. We consider how incorporating the vote volatility of elections into a preferred index of electoral competitiveness or closeness, in contrast to the often used unadjusted vote share margin, affects the estimated incumbency effect through this route for Liberal party candidates in Canadian general elections, with emphasis on the post-1950 period. Estimation is by local linear nonparametric regression with a data driven bandwidth. We also consider how allowance for the competitiveness and outcomes of prior electoral contests alters the estimated incumbency effect. Comparisons of our results with previous work on incumbency in Canadian elections by Kendall and Rekkas (2012) in this journal are presented, along with a reproduction of their model, for the cases we consider, based on combining our refined and extended electoral data with their (volatility unadjusted) index of electoral closeness and different estimation methodology.
    Keywords: incumbency effect, regression discontinuity, political competitiveness, vote volatility, heterogeneity, interaction, organizational quality, reproduction
    JEL: D72 C40
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Alex Gershkov; Andreas Kleiner; Benny Moldovanu; Xianwen Shi
    Abstract: We generalize the standard, private values voting model with single-peaked preferences and incomplete information by introducing interdependent preferences. Our main results show how standard mechanisms that are outcome-equivalent and implement the Con- dorcet winner under complete information or under private values yield starkly di¤erent outcomes if values are interdependent. We also propose a new notion of Condorcet winner under incomplete information and interdependent preferences, and discuss its implemen- tation. The new phenomena in this paper arise because di¤erent voting rules (including dynamic ones) induce di¤erent processes of information aggregation and learning.
    Keywords: Voting, interdependent values, Condorcet winner
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2023–04
  8. By: Alex Gershkov; Benny Moldovanu; Xianwen Shi
    Abstract: We study when the voting outcome is independent of the order of issues put up for vote in a spacial multi-dimensional voting model. Agents equipped with norm- based preferences that use a norm to measure the distance from their ideal policy vote sequentially and issue-by-issue via simple majority. If the underlying norm is generated by an inner-product – such as the Euclidean norm – then the voting outcome is order independent if and only if the issues are orthogonal. If the underlying norm is a general one, then the outcome is order independent if the basis defining the issues to be voted upon satisfies the following property: for any vector in the basis, any linear combination of the other vectors is Birkhoff-James orthogonal to it. We prove a partial converse in the case of two dimensions: if the underlying basis fails the above property then the voting order matters. Finally, despite existence results for the two-dimensional case and for the general lp case, we show that non-existence of bases with the above property is generic.
    Keywords: Sequential voting, order independence, norm-based preferences
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2023–04

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