nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒07‒10
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. MMP-Elections: Equal Influence and Controlled Assembly Size By Stensholt, Eivind
  2. Are Immigrants More Left Wing than Natives? By Moriconi, Simone; Peri, Giovanni; Turati, Riccardo
  3. Social unacceptability for simple voting procedures By Ahmad Awde; Mostapha Diss; Eric Kamwa; Julien Yves Rolland; Abdelmonaim Tlidi
  4. Managing Government Hierarchy: Electoral Turnover and Intra-Governmental Cooperation By Li, Christopher M.; Sasso, Greg; Turner, Ian R
  5. Representing the future in aging societies: Policy implications of the voting age reform in Germany By Asatryan, Zareh
  6. When Fairness Is Not Enough: The Disproportionate Contributions of the Poor in a Collective Action Problem By Malthouse, Eugene; Pilgrim, Charlie; Hills, Thomas; Sgroi, Daniel
  7. Too Different To Get Along: Inequality and Global Public Goods By Margherita Bellanca; Alessandro Spiganti
  8. From targeted private benefits to public goods: land, distributive politics and changing political conditions in Colombia By Benson, Allison L.

  1. By: Stensholt, Eivind (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: In an MMP election (Mixed Member Proportional) of a legislature, a QP-ballot supports party Q in a single-seat constituency and a list of candidates from P. With ꙍ(j) constituency seats won and list support in z(Pj) ballots, party Pj wins α(j) list seats, so that ꙍ(j)+α(j) becomes proportional to z(Pj). The pivotal party, Pj*, has the highest of all ratios ꙍ(j)/z(Pj). Proportionality implies, for all Pj passing some threshold, that [ꙍ(j)+α(j)]/z(Pj) ≥ ꙍ(j*)/z(Pj*). In the smallest proportional assembly, all ≥ are equalities and α(j*)=0. The pivotal party’s list support, z(Pj*), is naturally volatile. An election with α(j*)=0 tells that z(Pj*) list votes were wasted, and many voters learn it. Thus, between Bundestag elections 2017 and 2021, z(Pj*) dropped significantly. The smallest possible size of a proportional assembly rose from 709 to 794 seats, while the legal norm is 598. But an ad-hoc law of 2020 abandoned the proportionality rule, shrinking the assembly from 794 to 736 seats. ꙍ(j) measures and records the success of party Pj in the single-seat tallies; it also records how much α(j) is reduced by Pj’s constituency success. The paper compares this”traditional accounting” and“faithful accounting”: The latter records a QiPj-ballot, with Qi as constituency winner, with a tiny seat fraction that reduces α(j). Traditional accounting treats party Pj as a basic entity. Faithful accounting replaces it by the set Λ(Pj) of voters with list vote for Pj. This is a paradigm shift: Traditional accounting works even if constituency votes and list votes are collected in separate ballot boxes. But in faithful accounting, each ballot’s combination of Qi and Pj is essential. Main results: The change from traditional to faithful accounting brings the assembly size under control. A large inequality in voters influence is substantially reduced.
    Keywords: Mixed member proportional; equal influence; assembly size; split ballots; faithful accounting
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2023–05–31
  2. By: Moriconi, Simone (IÉSEG School of Management); Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis); Turati, Riccardo (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We analyze whether second-generation immigrants have different political preferences relative to children of citizens. Using data on individual voting behavior in 22 European countries between 2001 and 2017, we characterize each vote on a left-right scale based on the ideological and policy positions of the party. First, we describe and characterize the size of the "left-wing bias" in the vote of second-generation immigrants after controlling for a large set of individual characteristics and origin and destination country fixed effects. We find a significant left-wing bias of second-generation immigrants, similar in magnitude to the left-wing bias of those with a secondary, relative to a primary, education. We then show that this left-wing bias is associated with stronger preferences for inequality-reducing government intervention, internationalism and multiculturalism. We find only weak evidence that second-generation immigrants are biased away from populist political agendas and no evidence that they have stronger preferences for pro-immigrant policies. Finally, we show that growing up with a father who is struggling to integrate into the labor market is a strong predictor of this left-wing bias.
    Keywords: immigration, elections, Europe
    JEL: D72 J61 P16 Z1
    Date: 2023–05
  3. By: Ahmad Awde (FEMTO-ST - Franche-Comté Électronique Mécanique, Thermique et Optique - Sciences et Technologies (UMR 6174) - UTBM - Université de Technologie de Belfort-Montbeliard - ENSMM - Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et des Microtechniques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté [COMUE]); Mostapha Diss (CRESE - Centre de REcherches sur les Stratégies Economiques (UR 3190) - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté [COMUE]); Eric Kamwa (LC2S - Laboratoire caribéen de sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UA - Université des Antilles); Julien Yves Rolland (LMB - Laboratoire de Mathématiques de Besançon (UMR 6623) - UB - Université de Bourgogne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté [COMUE]); Abdelmonaim Tlidi (MAE2D - Laboratory MAE2D, University of Abdelmalek Essaadi)
    Abstract: A candidate is said to be socially acceptable if the number of voters who rank her among the most preferred half of the candidates is at least as large as the number of voters who rank her among the least preferred half (Mahajne and Volij, 2018). For every voting profile, there always exists at least one socially acceptable candidate. This candidate may not be elected by some well-known voting rules, which may even lead in some cases to the election of a socially unacceptable candidate, the latter being a candidate such that the number of voters who rank her among the most preferred half of the candidates is strictly less than the number of voters who rank her among the least preferred half. In this paper, our contribution is twofold. First, since the existence of a socially unacceptable candidate is not always guaranteed, we determine the probabilities of the existence of such a candidate. Then, we evaluate how often the Plurality rule, the Negative Plurality rule, the Borda rule and their two-round versions can elect a socially unacceptable candidate. We perform our calculations under both the Impartial Culture and the Impartial Anonymous Culture,
    Keywords: Voting, Social Unacceptability, Scoring Rules, Probability
    Date: 2023–05–05
  4. By: Li, Christopher M.; Sasso, Greg (Bocconi University); Turner, Ian R (Yale University)
    Abstract: Theories of political accountability often consider voter-politician interactions in isolation from politician-bureaucrat interactions. We study a model of electoral accountability with a governing hierarchy: voter-politician-bureaucrat. The politician and bureaucrat both produce government output valued by the voter. The voter controls the politician via election and the politician provides incentives to bureaucrats. We show that when times are conducive to high quality governance---budgets are large and players are farsighted---incorporating the politician-bureaucrat relationship leads to weaker accountability standards. However, when times are tough and budgets are small or players are myopic voters may benefit from adopting more demanding standards.
    Date: 2023–05–13
  5. By: Asatryan, Zareh
    Abstract: Aging societies face a fundamental challenge: How to represent future oriented policies in the politics of today? Voting age reforms and, more generally, policies that encourage the participation of the youth in politics are discussed as one solution. In this report, we study whether voting age reforms are radical enough to save us from gerontocracy. We show that there are certain policy fields that have strong age gradients. Although these are very far from being linear and often go in unexpected directions compared to a view that sees voters as simple self-interested actors.
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Malthouse, Eugene (University of Warwick); Pilgrim, Charlie (University College London); Hills, Thomas (University of Warwick); Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Many of our most pressing challenges, from combating climate change to dealing with pandemics, are collective action problems: situations in which individual and collective interests conflict with each other. In such situations people face a dilemma about making individually costly but collectively beneficial contributions to the common good. Understanding which factors influence people's willingness to make these contributions is vital for the design of policies and institutions that support the attainment of collective goals. In this study we investigate how inequalities, and different causes of inequalities, impact individual-level behaviour and group-level outcomes. First, we find that what people judged to be fair was not enough to solve the collective action problem: if they acted according to what they thought was fair, they would collectively fail. Second, the level of wealth (rich vs. poor) altered what was judged to be a fair contribution to the public good more than the cause of wealth (merit vs. luck vs. uncertain). Contributions during the game reflected these fairness judgements, with poorer individuals consistently contributing a higher proportion of their wealth than richer participants, which further increased inequality – particularly in successful groups. Finally, the cause of one's wealth was largely irrelevant, mattering most only when it was uncertain, as opposed to resulting from merit or luck. We discuss implications for policymakers and international climate change negotiations.
    Keywords: public goods, collective action, cooperation, meritocracy
    JEL: C92 D91 D63
    Date: 2023–05
  7. By: Margherita Bellanca (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics); Alessandro Spiganti (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice; RFF-CMCCEuropean Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, Italy)
    Abstract: We study how inequality affects the feasibility of an international agreement on the provision of an environmental public good in a two-country two-level political economy model. At the international level, two negotiators try to agree on the respective country’s provision of the public good under different international equity rules, knowing that this agreement will need to be accepted by the median voter in each country. At the national level, agents’ preferences for the public good depend on their relative income position, which implies that negotiators must also take into account the level of inequality within their country. We show that the feasibility of the agreement and the distribution of the gains from cooperation depends on the equity rule imposed, on the levels of within-country inequality, and on the level of cross-country inequality.
    Keywords: Equity Rules, Environmental Public Goods, Median Voter, Public Support, Relative Income Hypothesis
    JEL: H23 Q52 D72 H77
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Benson, Allison L.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how changes in political conditions affect distributive politics. We study the case of Colombia, focusing on the strategic allocation of land in relation to the electoral cycle. Relying on over 55.000 municipality-year observations on land allocations, exogenous timing of elections and sociodemographic controls, we show that there is a political land cycle (PLC), and that this cycle is dependent on the local political conditions in place. We analyze the changes in the PLC derived from the implementation of a deep political reform that increased political competition and the fiscal and administrative capacity of the state, doing so heterogeneously across municipalities. We show that the PLC decreased by half after the reform, with this reduction being stronger in municipalities in which political competition and fiscal and administrative capacity increased the most. The heterogeneous reduction in the PLC does not appear to stem from an aggregate weakening of distributive politics, but rather, from a re-composition of the distributive politics portfolio: away from the allocation of private targeted benefits like land, and towards the strategic allocation of public goods. We discuss the incentive and capacity effects explaining this re-composition likely affecting the relative costs and benefits of different types of distributive politics resources. The results evidence the importance of understanding not only the territorial dimension of distributive politics, but also how the specific traits of resources determine distributive politics strategies and their resilience to contextual changes.
    Keywords: Colombia; distributive politics; electoral cycles; land reform; political reforms; targeted benefits
    JEL: D72 D73 H41 H42 L33 Q15
    Date: 2021–10–01

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