nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒09‒11
four papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Are Campaign Promises Effective? By Ganslmeier, Michael
  2. The Central Influencer Theorem: Spatial Voting Contests with Endogenous Coalition Formation By Subhasish M. Chowdhury; Sang-Hyun Kim
  3. Who mobilises non-voters? Right-wing populism and unequal turnout By Armin Schäfer
  4. The Decline of Manufacturing Employment and the Rise of the Far-Right in Austria By Bekhtiar, Karim

  1. By: Ganslmeier, Michael
    Abstract: In democracies, political parties promise to expand social benefits to attract voters in the lead-up to elections. However, we know relatively little whether such campaign promises effectively sway benefiting voters. Using a regression-discontinuity design, we estimate the causal effects of an electoral pledge made by the German conservative party to expand pension benefits ahead of the parliamentary election in 2013. The results show that the promise increased alignment with the pledge-making party by 12.2% among eligible beneficiaries. These gains originate from the re- alignment of individuals who traditionally support left-wing platforms, while it had no mobilizing effect on inactive voters. In addition, we find that the pledge effect is larger among individuals with lower economic and social security. Finally, the policy-induced alignment gain is transitory as it disappears once the pledge is fulfilled. Overall, our paper shows that electoral pledges related to social benefits are rather temporarily persuasive than permanently mobilizing.
    Keywords: campaign promises, electoral pledges, social benefits, policy feedbacks, prospective voting
    JEL: D72 D91 H55 I38
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Subhasish M. Chowdhury (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DT, UK); Sang-Hyun Kim (School of Economics, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, South Korea)
    Abstract: We introduce a spatial voting contest without the ‘one person, one vote’ restriction. Players exert costly effort to influence the policy and the outcome is obtained through an adjustment function. Players are heterogeneous in terms of the position in the policy line, disutility function, and the effort cost. In equilibrium, two groups endogenously emerge: players in one group try to implement more leftist policy, while those in the other group try more rightist one. Since the larger group suffers a more severe free-riding problem, the equilibrium policy converges to the center only when the larger group has a cost advantage. We demonstrate how the location of the center (i.e., the steady-state point) can be either median, or a mean of all points, or a mean of the extreme points, depending on the convexities of the utility and cost functions. This reflects some well-known results as special cases. We extend the model to an infinite horizon setting and show that the median outcome can be reached only under certain conditions.
    Keywords: Spatial Competition; Contest; Lobbying; Median Voter Theorem
    JEL: C72 D72 D74 D78
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Armin Schäfer (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the election performance of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and voter turnout in the German federal elections. It analyses data from a variety of sources, including data from the 299 constituencies, data from 979 neighbourhoods in 30 cities, and two individual-level datasets, including panel data and the post-election cross-section of the German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES). The paper finds that the AfD was successful in mobilising former non-voters in the 2017 federal election, but there was no further mobilisation in the 2021 election. The conclusion is that populist parties are unlikely to succeed in increasing voter turnout in the long run.
    Date: 2023–09–01
  4. By: Bekhtiar, Karim (Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna, Austria)
    Abstract: In recent decades right-wing populist parties have experienced increased electoral success in many western democracies. This rise of the far-right, which is strongly built on the support of the working class, coincides with a sharp decline of the manufacturing sector. This paper analyzes the contribution of this manufacturing decline to the rise of the Austrian far-right. Overall the decline in manufacturing employment has strongly contributed to this rightward shift in the political landscape, with the manufacturing decline explaining roughly 43% of the observed increase in far-right vote-shares between 1995 and 2017. This effect is entirely driven by increases in natives unemployment rates, which increased considerably due to the manufacturing decline. Regarding the influences of the forces underlying the manufacturing decline, namely international trade and automation technologies, suggests that both forces contributed in roughly equal parts to this development.
    Keywords: Manufacturing, Trade, Robots, Voting, Populism
    JEL: D72 F14 J21 J23 O14 R23
    Date: 2023–08

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