nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒06‒26
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Blowback: The effect of sanctions on democratic elections By Crozet, Matthieu; Hinz, Julian
  2. COWPEA (Candidates Optimally Weighted in Proportional Election using Approval voting) By Toby Pereira
  3. To Russia with love? The impact of sanctions on regime support By Gold, Robert; Hinz, Julian; Valsecchi, Michele
  4. Wind Power Approval, Decentralization, and NIMBYism: Evidence from the Swedish Greens By Lundin, Erik
  5. Political cycles of media repression By Schulze, Günther G.; Zakharov, Nikita
  6. Getting ahead of the game: Experiential learning for groundwater governance in Ethiopia By ElDidi, Hagar; Zhang, Wei; Gelaw, Fekadu; De Petris, Caterina; Blackmore, Ivy; Teka, Natnael; Yimam, Seid; Mekonnen, Dawit Kelemework; Ringler, Claudia; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
  7. Political representation and the evolution of group differences within parties: Evidence from 110 years of parliamentary speech By Jeremias Nieminen; Salla Simola; Janne Tukiainen
  8. Social Interactions with Endogenous Group Formation By Shuyang Sheng; Xiaoting Sun

  1. By: Crozet, Matthieu; Hinz, Julian
    Abstract: Sanctions are meant to coerce political adversaries through economic measures. However, evidence for their effectiveness is scarce. In this paper we assess the impact of sanctions on a democracy - France - by studying the electoral consequences of the sanctions and countersanctions imposed between Russia and Western countries. Contrary to most of the existing literature we find clear evidence for exposure to the sanctions to cause an increase in the vote share for pro-Russian (and far-right) candidates during the French 2017 presidential election. Locally, the impact on voting is substantial. Back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that about 16, 300 votes for the main far-right candidate can be directly attributed to the sanctions' impact. This is the total number of votes cast in a medium-sized French city. It is however not nearly enough to have affected the outcome of the election at the national level.
    Keywords: Sanctions, Elections, Embargo, Russia, France
    JEL: F13 F51 D72 D74
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Toby Pereira
    Abstract: This paper describes a new method of proportional representation that uses approval voting, known as COWPEA (Candidates Optimally Weighted in Proportional Election using Approval voting). COWPEA optimally elects an unlimited number of candidates with potentially different weights to a body, rather than giving a fixed number equal weight. A version that elects a fixed a number of candidates with equal weight does exist, but it is non-deterministic, and is known as COWPEA Lottery. This is the only proportional method known to pass monotonicity, Independence of Irrelevant Ballots, and the Universally Liked Candidate criterion. There are also ways to convert COWPEA and COWPEA Lottery to a score or graded voting method.
    Date: 2023–04
  3. By: Gold, Robert; Hinz, Julian; Valsecchi, Michele
    Abstract: Do economic sanctions affect internal support of sanctioned countries' governments? To answer this question, we focus on the sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 and identify their effect on voting behavior in both presidential and parliamentary elections. On the economic side, the sanctions significantly hurt Russia's foreign trade - with regional-level variation. We use trade losses caused by the sanctions as measure for regional sanction exposure. For identification, we rely on a structural gravity model that allows us to compare observed trade flows to counterfactual flows in the absence of sanctions. Difference-in-differences estimations reveal that regime support significantly increases in response to the sanctions, at the expense of voting support of Communist parties. For the average Russian district, sanction exposure increases the vote share gained by president Putin and his party by 13 percent. Event studies and placebo estimations confirm the validity of our results.
    Keywords: Economic sanctions, voting behavior, gravity estimation, rally-around-the-flag
    JEL: F12 F14 F15
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Lundin, Erik (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Green parties are commonly seen as strong proponents of wind power. This paper presents an alternative view, examining data from the highly decentralized institutional setup in Sweden where approval of wind power applications is delegated to local governments. I demonstrate that the approval rate of land based wind power drops by 11 percentage points (from 49 % to 38 %) in municipalities where the Greens are in the ruling coalition, conditional on the share of Green seats in the local council. The association is identified using a twoway fixed-effects logit model with panel data on electoral outcomes from six election terms (2000-2020) in 290 municipalities, combined with detailed data on every application for wind power in Sweden. No statistically significant effect is found for any other of the main parties. A likely mechanism is that even if the Greens have relatively stronger preferences for climate policy than other parties, they are also relatively more concerned about local environmental disamenities caused by wind power. Since decision making is decentralized, local environmental concerns dominate preferences for climate policy, which should be especially pertinent in small municipalities. In line with this argument, I also show that the effect is inversely correlated with municipality population size.
    Keywords: Wind power; Decentralization; Negative externalities; Electricity market; Energy transition; Climate policy; Elections; Nimbyism; Green Party
    JEL: D62 D72 H73 P18 Q48
    Date: 2023–05–29
  5. By: Schulze, Günther G.; Zakharov, Nikita
    Abstract: We analyze media repression in Putin's Russia (2004-2019), a smart dictatorship that mimics democratic institutions, notably relatively free elections, and a relatively free press. Drawing on a unique granular dataset on journalist harassment and the pre-determined, staggered timing of local elections, we find evidence of strong political cycles of media repression. This media repression ahead of elections leads to a more favorable tonality of the news coverage of incumbents. Free press and free elections are temporally decoupled, thus disallowing them to work as effective accountability mechanisms. This secures dictator's power while upholding an image of competence and democratic rule.
    Keywords: Authoritarian government, smart dictatorships, media repression, political election cycles, media tonality
    JEL: D72 H10 P43
    Date: 2023
  6. By: ElDidi, Hagar; Zhang, Wei; Gelaw, Fekadu; De Petris, Caterina; Blackmore, Ivy; Teka, Natnael; Yimam, Seid; Mekonnen, Dawit Kelemework; Ringler, Claudia; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
    Abstract: The goal of this study is to assess the potential of game-based experiential learning in raising awareness and stimulating discussions about groundwater resource systems, the social dilemma in groundwater management, and the need for institutional arrangements (rules) governing this shared resource, as well as whether such awareness and community discussions lead to actual change in groundwater governance in Ethiopia. Groundwater management is highly complex, with many users sharing the same resource often without realizing their interconnectedness. Behavioral experiments (games) that simulate real-life common-pool resource use have shown promise as an experiential learning tool for improving resource governance. This study pilots an experiential learning intervention in Ethiopia using a groundwater gameto help raise awareness of groundwater over-extraction and improve understanding of the importance of collective action in governance. The Meki River catchment in rural Ethiopia is a unique context where small-scale irrigation is expanding, but overextraction and competition over groundwater have not yet reached alarming levels. The groundwater game, adapted from Meinzen-Dick et al. (2016 and 2018), was played in 15 villages, accompanied by community-wide debriefing discussions in each village after the game to reflect on the process and lessons learned, and to stimulate discussions around groundwater governance. We carried out participant surveys to capture individual mental models regarding groundwater use and management, as well as any immediate learning effects. Focus group discussions were held in each village prior to the intervention to establish a baseline and again six months after the intervention to assess possible lasting effects. The findings indicate cognitive, normative and relational learning, including increased understanding of groundwater dynamics (such as the joint effect of diverse water uses and users), the importance of collective action in resource management, and the benefits of communication. We find gendered differences in decision-making about resource extraction in the game and evolvement of group-level resource management across no-communication, communication, and rule-making rounds of the game. We discuss community-wide learning and institutions-building, and considerations for future intervention designs. We recommend embedding experiential learning, facilitated by local extension officers or other community engagement practitioners, in intervention packages that include both technical assistance on water-conserving technologies and management approaches and support in building communities’ institutional capacity.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; governance; groundwater; irrigation; resources; experiential learning; resource management; collective action; decision making; gender; communication; extension; games; common-pool resource; Meki River
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Jeremias Nieminen (Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku.); Salla Simola (Storytel); Janne Tukiainen (Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku.)
    Abstract: We study the long-term evolution of party demographics and the associated changes in parliamentary speech patterns of various within-party groups in Finland during 1907-2018. We find significant speech differences by gender and university education status, while other MP characteristics - age, white-collar job, first-term MP status, or urbanicity - do not predict speech patterns. We find that when female seat share began to rise in the late 1950s, there is a concurrent increase in speech differences by gender. As the representation of women increased, there was also a shift in speech topics female MPs specialized in. Additionally, we observe a sharp increase in speech differences by education when the seat share of university-educated increased in the 1960s. These results suggest that descriptive representation of these groups may play a role in changing speech patterns, and thus, in their substantive representation.
    Keywords: intra-party politics, parliamentary speech, descriptive representation, substantive representation
    JEL: D72 N44 J16 P00
    Date: 2023–06
  8. By: Shuyang Sheng; Xiaoting Sun
    Abstract: This paper explores the identification and estimation of social interaction models with endogenous group formation. We characterize group formation using a two-sided many-to-one matching model, where individuals select groups based on their preferences, while groups rank individuals according to their qualifications, accepting the most qualified until reaching capacities. The selection into groups leads to a bias in standard estimates of peer effects, which is difficult to correct for due to equilibrium effects. We employ the limiting approximation of a market as the market size grows large to simplify the selection bias. Assuming exchangeable unobservables, we can express the selection bias of an individual as a group-invariant nonparametric function of her preference and qualification indices. In addition to the selection correction, we show that the excluded variables in group formation can serve as instruments to tackle the reflection problem. We propose semiparametric distribution-free estimators that are root-n consistent and asymptotically normal.
    Date: 2023–06

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