nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒07‒17
sixteen papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Candidate Incentive Distributions: How voting methods shape electoral incentives By Marcus Ogren
  2. An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Ballot Truncation on Ranked-Choice Electoral Outcomes By Mallory Dickerson; Erin Martin; David McCune
  3. On Two Voting systems that combine approval and preferences: Fallback Voting and Preference Approval Voting By Eric Kamwa
  4. "Good Politicians": Experimental Evidence on Motivations for Political Candidacy and Government Performance By Gulzar, Saad; Khan, Muhammed Yasir
  5. Narratives on migration and political polarization: How the emphasis in narratives can drive us apart By Eugenio Levi; Michael Bayerlein; Gianluca Grimalda; Tommaso Reggiani
  6. Information aggregation with delegation of votes By Amrita Dhillon; Grammateia Kotsialou; Dilip Ravindran; Dimitrios Xefteris
  7. Comment on "Historical Lynchings and the Contemporary Voting Behavior of Blacks" By Haddad, Joanne; Kattan, Lamis; Wochner, Timo
  8. Paradoxical Oddities in Two Multiwinner Elections from Scotland By Adam Graham-Squire; David McCune
  9. An Empirical Study of Obstacle Preemption in the Supreme Court By Gregory M. Dickinson
  10. The Populist Voter: A Machine Learning Approach for the Individual Characteristics By K. Peren Arin; Efstathios Polyzos; Marcel Thum
  11. Black Empowerment and White Mobilization: The Effects of the Voting Rights Act By Bernini, Andrea; Facchini, Giovanni; Tabellini, Marco; Testa, Cecilia
  12. The Political Consequences of Vaccines: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Eligibility Rules By ; Felipe Gonzalez
  13. Flight to Safety: COVID-Induced Changes in the Intensity of Status Quo Preference and Voting Behavior: A Comment on Bisbee and Honig By Malmberg, Alice; Scates, Daniel
  14. Elections and Policies. Evidence from the Covid Pandemic By Daryna Grechyna
  15. Layered networks, equilibrium dynamics, and stable coalitions By Fu, Jing; Page, Frank; Zigrand, Jean-Pierre
  16. Trust in the fight against political corruption: A survey experiment among citizens and experts By Benjamin Monnery; Alexandre Chirat

  1. By: Marcus Ogren
    Abstract: We evaluate the tendency for different voting methods to promote political compromise and reduce tensions in a society by using computer simulations to determine which voters candidates are incentivized to appeal to. We find that Instant Runoff Voting incentivizes candidates to appeal to a wider range of voters than single-winner Plurality Voting, but that it still leaves candidates far more strongly incentivized to appeal to their base than to voters in opposing factions. In contrast, we find that other voting methods, including STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) Voting and Condorcet methods, incentivize candidates to appeal to currently-opposed voters as much to their base, and that these differences between voting methods become more pronounced the more candidates are in the race.
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Mallory Dickerson; Erin Martin; David McCune
    Abstract: In ranked-choice elections voters cast preference ballots which provide a voter's ranking of the candidates. The method of ranked-choice voting (RCV) chooses a winner by using voter preferences to simulate a series of runoff elections. Some jurisdictions which use RCV limit the number of candidates that voters can rank on the ballot, imposing what we term a truncation level, which is the number of candidates that voters are allowed to rank. Given fixed voter preferences, the winner of the election can change if we impose different truncation levels. We use a database of 1171 real-world ranked-choice elections to empirically analyze the potential effects of imposing different truncation levels in ranked-choice elections. Our general finding is that if the truncation level is at least three then restricting the number of candidates which can be ranked on the ballot rarely affects the election winner.
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Eric Kamwa (LC2S - Laboratoire caribéen de sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UA - Université des Antilles)
    Abstract: Preference Approval Voting (PAV) and Fallback Voting (FV) are two voting rules that combine approval and preferences. They were first introduced by Brams and Sanver (2009). Under PAV, voters rank the candidates and indicate which ones they approve of; with FV, they rank only those candidates they approve of. In this paper, we supplement the work of Brams and Sanver (2009) by exploring some other normative properties of FV and PAV. We show among other that FV and PAV satisfy and fail the same criteria; they possess two properties that AV does not: Pareto optimality and the fact of always electing the absolute Condorcet winner when he exists. For threecandidate elections and a very large electorate, we compare FV and PAV to other voting rules by evaluating the probabilities of satisfying the Condorcet majority criteria. We find that PAV performs better than the Borda rule. We also find that in terms of agreement, FV and PAV are closer to scoring rules than to Approval voting. Our analysis is performed under the Impartial Anonymous Culture assumption.
    Keywords: Approval Voting, Rankings, Condorcet, Properties, Impartial and Anonymous Culture
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Gulzar, Saad (Princeton University); Khan, Muhammed Yasir (University of Pittsburgh)
    Abstract: How can we motivate good politicians – those that will carry out policy that is responsive to citizens' preferences – to enter politics? In a field experiment in Pakistan, we vary how political office is portrayed to ordinary citizens. We find that emphasizing prosocial motives for holding political office instead of personal returns – such as the ability to help others versus enhancing one's own respect and status – raises the likelihood that individuals run for office and that voters elect them. It also better aligns subsequent policies with citizens’ preferences. We further find that social versus personal messaging only matters when randomly delivered in a public setting, suggesting that the extrinsic calculus is particularly important in candidacy decisions. Taken together, the results demonstrate that how politics is perceived in democracies shapes political entry as well as policy outcomes.
    Keywords: political selection, policy-making, state capacity
    JEL: O12 D72 H75
    Date: 2023–05
  5. By: Eugenio Levi (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Piazza dell’Universita 1, 00139 Bolzano, Italy; Masaryk University, Czechia); Michael Bayerlein (German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Ludwigkirchplatz 3-4, 10719 Berlin, Germany); Gianluca Grimalda (Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Kiellinie 66, 24105 Kiel, Germany); Tommaso Reggiani (Cardiff University, Colum Road CF103EU, Cardiff, UK; Masaryk University, Czechia; IZA, Germany)
    Abstract: Nowadays, immigration is a polarizing topic in politics. In this paper, we investigate how much this political polarization is driven by the depiction narratives made of immigrants vis-a-vis the natives. Furthermore, we look at whether polarization is rooted in private preferences over narratives or in how they are endorsed in public settings and social media. Our empirical strategy consists of a survey experiment in the 2021 German elections and a field experiment on Twitter in which we manipulate the “pinned tweets” of experimental users. To build our narratives, we manipulate either the policy position — hostile toward or accepting migration — or an emphasis on the out-group, on the in-group, or on economic reciprocity. We find that political polarization is driven both by the policy position and emphasis in narratives. On Twitter, the out-group emphasis drives supporters of different parties apart, and the corresponding hostile narrative becomes the only one going viral. In the survey, right-wing participants prefer the reciprocity emphasis more, but we still find evidence of more polarization when allowing the participants to go public.
    Keywords: immigration, narratives, political polarization, economic reciprocity, experiments, Twitter
    JEL: D72 D91 C93
    Date: 2023–06
  6. By: Amrita Dhillon; Grammateia Kotsialou; Dilip Ravindran; Dimitrios Xefteris
    Abstract: Liquid democracy is a system that combines aspects of direct democracy and representative democracy by allowing voters to either vote directly themselves, or delegate their votes to others. In this paper we study the information aggregation properties of liquid democracy in a setting with heterogeneously informed truth-seeking voters -- who want the election outcome to match an underlying state of the world -- and partisan voters. We establish that liquid democracy admits equilibria which improve welfare and information aggregation over direct and representative democracy when voters' preferences and information precisions are publicly or privately known. Liquid democracy also admits equilibria which do worse than the other two systems. We discuss features of efficient and inefficient equilibria and provide conditions under which voters can more easily coordinate on the efficient equilibria in liquid democracy than the other two systems.
    Date: 2023–06
  7. By: Haddad, Joanne; Kattan, Lamis; Wochner, Timo
    Abstract: Williams (2022) ties the political participation of Blacks to historical lynchings that occurred in the United States. Her findings document lower Black voter registration rates in southern counties with greater number of historical lynchings. We show that this effect is driven by four outlier counties with relatively high Black lynching rates. Excluding these counties and correcting the errors in voter registration rates rule out the effect size reported by Williams (2022), which now becomes close to zero and statistically insignificant. We also show that the main results are highly sensitive to the way lynching and voter registration rates are measured.
    JEL: D72 J15 N31 N32 N41 N42 Z13
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Adam Graham-Squire; David McCune
    Abstract: Ranked-choice voting anomalies such as monotonicity paradoxes have been extensively studied through creating hypothetical examples and generating elections under various models of voter behavior. However, very few real-world examples of such voting paradoxes have been found and analyzed. We investigate two single-transferable vote elections from Scotland that demonstrate upward monotonicity, downward monotonicity, no-show, and committee size paradoxes. These paradoxes are rarely observed in real-world elections, and this article is the first case study of such paradoxes in multiwinner elections.
    Date: 2023–05
  9. By: Gregory M. Dickinson
    Abstract: The Supreme Court's federal preemption decisions are notoriously unpredictable. Traditional left-right voting alignments break down in the face of competing ideological pulls. The breakdown of predictable voting blocs leaves the business interests most affected by federal preemption uncertain of the scope of potential liability to injured third parties and unsure even of whether state or federal law will be applied to future claims. This empirical analysis of the Court's decisions over the last fifteen years sheds light on the Court's unique voting alignments in obstacle preemption cases. A surprising anti-obstacle preemption coalition is forming as Justice Thomas gradually positions himself alongside the Court's liberals to form a five-justice voting bloc opposing obstacle preemption.
    Date: 2023–06
  10. By: K. Peren Arin; Efstathios Polyzos; Marcel Thum
    Abstract: Populist parties recently have shaken Western democracies, yet there is no consensus regarding the characteristics of populist voters. By using large-scale surveys from four European countries (France, Germany, Spain, and the U.K.), we investigate individual determinants of populist voting. Our methodological approach controls for model uncertainty by considering the responses to 100 questions that span social, economic, political, environmental, and psychological dimensions. We also include individual misperceptions across several domains. Our results show that left-wing populist voters are not religious, have lower misperceptions regarding foreign-national prisoners, distrust the police, are open to immigrants from poorer countries, and oppose dismantling the welfare state. The right-wing populist voters oppose incoming, racially diverse immigrants, distrust national and international institutions, and have high misperceptions regarding immigrant crimes and the share of social benefits in the GDP. Contrary to the previous literature, attitudes toward globalization, personality traits, labor-market status, and social media use are not consensus variables for either group.
    Keywords: populism, random forest, Bayesian model averaging
    JEL: C11 D72 P48
    Date: 2023
  11. By: Bernini, Andrea (University of Oxford); Facchini, Giovanni (University of Nottingham); Tabellini, Marco (Harvard Business School); Testa, Cecilia (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: The 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) paved the road to Black empowerment. How did southern whites respond? Leveraging newly digitized data on county-level voter registration rates by race between 1956 and 1980, and exploiting pre-determined variation in exposure to the federal intervention, we document that the VRA increases both Black and white political participation. Consistent with the VRA triggering countermobilization, the surge in white registrations is concentrated where Black political empowerment is more tangible and salient due to the election of African Americans in county commissions. Additional analysis suggests that the VRA has long-lasting negative effects on whites' racial attitudes.
    Keywords: civil rights, race, voting behavior, enfranchisement
    JEL: D72 J15 H70 N92
    Date: 2023–06
  12. By: (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Instituto de Economıa); Felipe Gonzalez (Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.)
    Abstract: Vaccines are responsible for large increases in human welfare and yet we know little about the political impacts of publicly-managed vaccination campaigns. We fill this gap by studying the case of Chile, which offers a rare combination of a high-stakes election, voluntary voting, and a vaccination process halfway implemented by election day. Crucially, the roll-out of vaccines relied on exogenous eligibility rules which we combine with a pre-analysis plan for causal identification. We find that higher vaccination rates boost political participation and empower challengers irrespective of their party affiliation. Survey evidence suggests that vaccines could have increased preferences for challengers by lowering decision-related anxiety.
    Keywords: vaccines, politics, election, challengers
    Date: 2023–06–21
  13. By: Malmberg, Alice; Scates, Daniel
    Abstract: Bisbee and Honig (2022) examine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on voting for Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic Party primary using a difference-in-differences design, finding evidence that exposure to COVID-19 resulted in a 7-15 percentage point increase in voting for Biden. The study also uses a regression design with district-level fixed effects to estimate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on voting for anti-establishment candidates during the US 2020 House primaries. It finds evidence that an increase in COVID cases was associated with a decline in voting for anti-establishment candidates in general, and for those endorsed by the Tea Party. We re-run the code for all tests in this paper, successfully reproducing its results in a preliminary replication. We then use the De Chaisemartin and D'Haultfoeuille difference-in-differences estimator to replicate their main results, finding that though the coefficient remains negative, the results are not statistically significant. We also replicate their tests regarding US House primary candidates using a different measure of anti-establishment candidates. Here, we find that the interaction term between anti-establishment candidates and COVID-19 remain statistically significant, with the same sign. Finally, we employ an expanded dataset that includes Congressional primary candidates that were omitted in the initial dataset, as well as a re-coded extremism variable that also includes candidates endorsed by Donald Trump. These updated findings corroborate the paper's initial results. However, due to a restrictive number of observations that interfered with our application of the De Chaisemartin and D'Haultfoeuille estimator, we believe that the expanded U.S. House primary results constitute the more robust half of our replication.
    Date: 2023
  14. By: Daryna Grechyna (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of public policies before the scheduled political elections based on the government responses to the Covid pandemic. The results of an event study in a sample of countries that experienced political elections during the first year of the pandemic suggest that “lockdown style” policies were more stringent the further away countries were from election dates. The gradual relaxation of “lockdown style” restrictions ahead of the elections was driven by policies in low income, less democratic countries, and countries with relatively low social trust. Covid-related “economic support” policies were not significantly affected by the scheduled political elections. Placebo tests based on a random sample of countries that did not experience political elections in the first year of the pandemic confirm the validity of the results.
    Keywords: political cycles; event study; Covid pandemic.
    JEL: D72 C23 O57
    Date: 2023–07–04
  15. By: Fu, Jing; Page, Frank; Zigrand, Jean-Pierre
    Abstract: An important aspect of network dynamics that has been missing from our understanding of network dynamics in various applied settings is the influence of strategic behavior in determining equilibrium network dynamics. Our main objective hear to say what we can regarding the emergence of stable club networks - and therefore, stable coalition structures - based on the stability properties of strategically determined equilibrium network formation dynamics. Because club networks are layered networks, our work here can be thought of as a first work on the dynamics of layered networks. In addition to constructing a discounted stochastic game model (i.e., a DSG model) of club network formation, we show that (1) our DSG of network formation possesses a stationary Markov perfect equilibrium in players' membership action strategies and (2) we identify the assumptions on primitives which ensure that the induced equilibrium Markov process of layered club network formation satisfies the Tweedie Stability Conditions (2001) and that (3) as a consequence, the equilibrium Markov network formation processes generates a unique decomposition of the set of state-network pairs into a transient set together with finitely many basins of attraction. Moreover, we show that if there is a basin containing a vio set (a visited infinitely often set) of club networks sufficiently close together, then the coalition structures across club networks in the vio set will be the same (i.e., closeness across networks in a vio set leads to invariance in coalition structure across networks in a vio set).
    Keywords: club networks; stable coalition structures; networks as partial functions; Harris recurrent sets; basins of attraction; discounted stochastic games; stationary Markov perfect equilibria; equilibrium
    JEL: C70
    Date: 2022–03–25
  16. By: Benjamin Monnery (EconomiX, Universite Paris Nanterre); Alexandre Chirat (EconomiX, Universite Paris Nanterre)
    Abstract: In Western democracies, recent decades have seen a transformation of the relationship between citizens and their representatives towards greater accountability, transparency, and anti-corruption efforts. However, such developments are sometimes suspected of paradoxically fueling populism and diminishing political trust. We investigate the extent to which a new public institution tasked with monitoring the integrity of elected officials is likely to attract popular support and restore citizens' trust in democracy. We focus on France and its main anti-corruption agency, the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP), set up in 2013. We run a survey among 3, 000 representative citizens and 33 experts, and augment it with an experimental treatment where we randomly provide simple, concise information on the HATVP's activity and track record. Our results first show a large divergence between the opinions of the average citizen and the more optimistic views of experts about the state and dynamics of political integrity in France. Second, we find that citizens have heterogeneous beliefs and that those most distrustful of politicians are not only more likely to vote for populist candidates or abstain, but are also the least informed about the anticorruption agency. Third, our information provision experiment has meaningful, positive impacts on citizens' perceptions of the HATVP, political transparency, and representative democracy. We show that some of the greatest impacts are found among initially distrustful and poorly informed citizens, underscoring the potential for communication and information to change the political perceptions and attitudes of disillusioned citizens.
    Keywords: corruption, integrity, political trust, populism, survey experiment
    JEL: C99 D72 M48 P37
    Date: 2023–04

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