nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒08‒14
nine papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Blowback: The Effect of Sanctions on Democratic Elections By Matthieu Crozet; Julian Hinz
  2. Pack-Crack-Pack: Gerrymandering with Differential Turnout By Laurent Bouton; Garance Genicot; Micael Castanheira; Allison L. Stashko
  3. Even in the best of both worlds, you can't have it all: How German voters navigate the trilemma of mixed-member proportionality By Pascal Langenbach; Tobias Rommel
  4. Political Preferences and the Spatial Distribution of Infrastructure: Evidence from California's High-Speed Rail By Pablo D. Fajgelbaum; Cecile Gaubert; Nicole Gorton; Eduardo Morales; Edouard Schaal
  5. Core Stability and Strategy-Proofness in Hedonic Coalition Formation Problems with Friend-Oriented Preferences By Bettina Klaus; Flip Klijn; Seçkin Özbilen
  6. Black Empowerment and White Mobilization: The Effects of the Voting Rights Act By Andrea Bernini; Giovanni Facchini; Marco Tabellini; Cecilia Testa
  7. Are the Upwardly-Mobile More Left-Wing? By Clark, Andrew E.; Cotofan, Maria
  8. Natural disasters and voter gratitude: What is the role of prevention policies? By Carla Morvan; Sonia Paty
  9. The political economy of populism: An agenda-theoretic approach with special reference to Germany By Heise, Arne

  1. By: Matthieu Crozet (RITM - Réseaux Innovation Territoires et Mondialisation - Université Paris-Saclay); Julian Hinz
    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
    Date: 2023–07–04
  2. By: Laurent Bouton; Garance Genicot; Micael Castanheira; Allison L. Stashko
    Abstract: This paper studies the manipulation of electoral maps by political parties, known as gerrymandering. At the core of our analysis is the recognition that districts must have the same population size but only voters matter for electoral incentives. Using a novel model of gerrymandering that allows for heterogeneity in turnout rates, we show that parties adopt different gerrymandering strategies depending on the turnout rates of their supporters relative to those of their opponents. The broad pattern is to "pack-crack-pack" along the turnout dimension. That is, parties benefit from packing both supporters with a low turnout rate and opponents with a high turnout rate in some districts, while creating districts that mix supporters and opponents with intermediate turnout rates. This framework allows us to derive a number of empirical implications about the link between partisan support, turnout rates, and electoral maps. Using a novel empirical strategy that relies on the comparison of maps proposed by Democrats and Republicans during the 2020 redistricting cycle in the US, we then bring such empirical implications to the data and find support for them.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Pascal Langenbach (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Tobias Rommel (Technical University of Munich)
    Abstract: The fragmentation of the party system has confronted the German mixed-member proportional electoral system with a trilemma. It can only ensure two out of three goals: proportionality, guaranteed representation of district winners, and a fixed and predictable size of the Bundestag. This paper studies how citizens position themselves in this trilemma. Using original survey data, we find that all goals are popular and no combination of goals commands majority support. This suggests that electoral reform is politically difficult not only because of the self-interest of parties but also because of widely perceived trade-offs. At the same time, our findings indicate that voters can be a constructive force for reform. More knowledgeable voters can form coherent and meaningful preferences over electoral rules. Voters are also receptive to the logical constraints of the system: informing respondents about the trilemma trade-offs in an experimental setting makes them more accepting of reform proposals.
    Date: 2023–07–17
  4. By: Pablo D. Fajgelbaum; Cecile Gaubert; Nicole Gorton; Eduardo Morales; Edouard Schaal
    Abstract: How do political preferences shape transportation policy? We study this question in the context of California's High-Speed Rail (CHSR). Combining geographic data on votes in a referendum on the CHSR with a model of its expected economic benefits, we estimate the weight of economic and non-economic considerations in voters' preferences. Then, comparing the proposed distribution of CHSR stations with alternative placements, we use a revealed-preference approach to estimate policymakers' preferences for redistribution and popular approval. While voters did respond to expected real-income benefits, non-economic factors were a more important driver of the spatial distribution of voters' preferences for the CHSR. While the voter-approved CHSR would have led to modest income gains, proposals with net income losses also would have been approved due to political preferences. For the planner, we identify strong preferences for popular approval. A politically-blind planner would have placed the stations closer to dense metro areas in California.
    JEL: D72 O18 R10 R42
    Date: 2023–07
  5. By: Bettina Klaus; Flip Klijn; Seçkin Özbilen
    Abstract: We study hedonic coalition formation problems with friend-oriented preferences; that is, each agent has preferences over his coalitions based on a partition of the set of agents, except himself, into "friends" and "enemies" such that (E) adding an enemy makes him strictly worse off and (F) adding a friend together with a set of enemies makes him strictly better off. Friend-oriented preferences induce a so-called friendship graph where vertices are agents and directed edges point to friends. We show that the partition associated with the strongly connected components (SCC) of the friendship graph is in the strict core. We then prove that the SCC mechanism, which assigns the SCC partition to each hedonic coalition formation problem with friend-oriented preferences, satisfies a strong group incentive compatibility property: group strategy-proofness. Our main result is that on any "rich" subdomain of friend-oriented preferences, the SCC mechanism is the only mechanism that satisfies core stability and strategy-proofness.
    Keywords: hedonic coalition formation, (strict) core stability, (group) strategy-proofness, strongly connected components
    JEL: C71 C78 D71
    Date: 2023–07
  6. By: Andrea Bernini; Giovanni Facchini; Marco Tabellini; Cecilia Testa
    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 counter-mobilization, 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.
    JEL: D72 H70 J15 N92
    Date: 2023–07
  7. By: Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics); Cotofan, Maria (King's College London)
    Abstract: It is well-known that the wealthier are more likely to have Right-leaning political preferences. We here in addition consider the role of the individual's starting position, and in particular their upward social mobility relative to their parents. In 18 waves of UK panel data, both own and parental social status are independently positively associated with Rightleaning voting and political preferences: given their own social status, the upwardly-mobile are therefore more Left-wing. We investigate a number of potential mediators: these results do not reflect the relationship between well-being and own and parents' social status, but are rather linked to the individual's beliefs about how fair society is.
    Keywords: social mobility, voting, redistribution, satisfaction, fairness
    JEL: A14 C25 D31 D63 J28 J62
    Date: 2023–07
  8. By: Carla Morvan (Université Lyon 2, CNRS, Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne, GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne UMR 5824, F-69130, Ecully, FRANCE); Sonia Paty (Université Lyon 2, CNRS, Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne, GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne UMR 5824, F-69130, Ecully, FRANCE)
    Abstract: Natural disasters and related prevention policies can affect voter decisions. In this study, we analyze how the occurrence of natural disasters changes voters’ behavior at municipal elections and how prevention policies can mitigate the impact of such catastrophic events on budget accounts and might potentially be rewarded by citizens in upcoming elections. We exploit original data on French municipalities where incumbents sought reelection between 2008 and 2020. To estimate the probability of re-election at the municipal level in the event of a natural disaster we apply a Heckman model based strategy to avoid selection bias. We find that the occurrence of natural disasters significantly decreases the chances of reelection of incumbent mayors. However, although we show that natural hazard prevention plans significantly mitigate the impact of catastrophic events on budget accounts, citizens do not reward such prevention policies in upcoming elections. We confirm the hypothesis of myopia: voters reward incumbents for delivering investment spending or decreasing debt but not for investing in spending on disaster preparedness.
    Keywords: Elections, natural disasters, prevention policies, natural experiment
    JEL: D72 Q54
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Heise, Arne
    Abstract: Populism in modern Western democracies is on the rise. The existing literature concentrates on explanations based on the growing socio-economic and socio-cultural polarisation of modern societies driven by globalisation and individualisation on the one hand and the unresponsiveness of unrepresentative governments and non-majoritarian bodies on the other hand. Although such explanations certainly contribute partly to our understanding of the phenomenon called 'populism' - particularly the (right or left-wing) extremist dimension of it -, it does not sufficiently explain the seemingly non-ideological 'populism of the middle class' which, at least in Germany, accounts for the bigger, yet less visible part of populism. The objective of the paper is to focus on systematic weaknesses of collective decision-making in liberal-representative democracies in explaining populism (particularly of the middle class) as a growing critique of the institutions of liberal democracy.
    Keywords: Populism, liberal democracy, political economy, minority rule, elites
    JEL: D70 D72 H40 P10 P5
    Date: 2023

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