nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒10‒02
seven papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Learning from the Origins By Alexander Yarkin
  2. The Changing Polarization of Party Ideologies: The Role of Sorting By Satyajit Chatterjee; Burcu Eyigungor
  3. Immigration and Nationalism in the Long Run By Valentin Lang; Stephan A. Schneider
  4. Is There a Dividend of Democracy? Experimental Evidence from Cooperation Games By Thomas Markussen; Jean-Robert Tyran
  5. Do Mutual Funds Greenwash? Evidence from Fund Name Changes By Alexander Cochardt; Stephan Heller; Vitaly Orlov
  6. The Pervasive Influence of Ideology at the Federal Circuit Courts By Alma Cohen
  7. How to Boost Countries’ Climate Ambitions: Turning Gains from Emissions Trading into Gains for Climate By Christoph Böhringer; Carsten Helm; Laura Schürer

  1. By: Alexander Yarkin
    Abstract: How do political preferences and voting behaviors respond to information coming from abroad? Focusing on the international migration network, I document that opinion changes at the origins spill over to 1st- and 2nd-generation immigrants abroad. Local diasporas, social media, and family ties to the origins facilitate the transmission, while social integration at destination weakens it. Using the variation in the magnitude, timing, and type of origin-country exposure to the European Refugee Crisis of 2015, I show that salient events trigger learning from the origins. Welcoming asylum policies at the origins decrease opposition to non-Europeans and far-right voting abroad. Transitory refugee flows through the origins send abroad the backlash. Data from Google Trends and Facebook suggests elevated attention to events at the origins and communication with like-minded groups as mechanisms. Similar spillovers following the passage of same-sex marriage laws show the phenomenon generalizes beyond refugee attitudes.
    Keywords: immigration, social networks, spillovers, political attitudes, integration
    JEL: O15 Z13 D72 D83 P00 J61 F22
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Satyajit Chatterjee; Burcu Eyigungor
    Abstract: U.S. congressional roll-call voting records show that as polarization of the two parties along the economic dimension changes, polarization along the social/cultural dimension tends to change in the opposite direction. A model of party competition within a two-dimensional ideology space is developed in which party platforms are determined by voters who compose the party. It is shown that if distribution of voter preferences is radially symmetric, polarization of party ideologies along the two dimensions are inversely related, as observed. The model gives a remarkably good quantitative account of the historically observed movements in polarization along the two dimensions.
    Keywords: Polarization; Primaries; partisanship; partisan politics; Political Economy; partisan sorting
    Date: 2023–02–28
  3. By: Valentin Lang; Stephan A. Schneider
    Abstract: During recent waves of immigration, support for nationalist parties has increased in many countries, but the political backlash against immigration differs strongly across regions. We identify an underlying cause for these differences by studying how local experience with immigration shapes nationalist sentiment and electoral reactions to current immigration in the long run. Our analysis draws on a natural experiment in post-war Germany, where a short-term demarcation of occupation zones led to a discontinuous and quasi-exogenous distribution of forced migrants. Across this border, the population share of migrants differed by 12 percentage points. Applying a spatial regression discontinuity design, we combine historical migration records with panel data at the municipality level for the 1925-2021 period. The results reveal a substantially weaker backlash against contemporary immigration in regions where more migrants settled in the late 1940s. This historical experience reduces the nationalist backlash by about 20 percent. High levels of immigration activate this effect over a period of at least 70 years. To study the mechanisms, we conduct a geocoded survey with a randomized experiment and open-ended questions in the study region. We find that both family history and local collective memory of successful immigrant integration contribute to these effects. The results of the randomized experiment are consistent with the natural experiment, revealing how experience with immigration can curb nationalism.
    Keywords: migration, nationalism, persistence, voting behavior
    JEL: D72 O15
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Thomas Markussen; Jean-Robert Tyran
    Abstract: Do democratically chosen rules lead to more cooperation and, hence, higher efficiency, than imposed rules? To discuss when such a “dividend of democracy” obtains, we review experimental studies in which material incentives remain stacked against cooperation (i.e., free-riding incentives prevail) despite adoption of cooperation-improving policies. While many studies find positive dividends of democracy across a broad range of cooperation settings, we also report on studies that find no dividend. We conclude that the existence of a dividend of democracy cannot be considered a stylized fact. We discuss three channels through which democracy can produce such a dividend: selection, signaling, and motivation. The evidence points to the role of “culture” in conditioning the operation of these channels. Accepting a policy in a vote seems to increase the legitimacy of a cooperation-inducing policy in some cultures but not in others.
    Keywords: voting collective decision making, public goods
    JEL: C90 D70 D90 H40
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Alexander Cochardt (University of St. Gallen); Stephan Heller (University of St. Gallen); Vitaly Orlov (University of St. Gallen; Swiss Finance Institute)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether mutual funds that introduce sustainability-related buzzwords in their names actually shift their focus to sustainable investing following the name change. Relatively less successful funds tend to engage in such rebrandings to regain investor flows. Following the name change, funds improve their portfolio sustainability scores by imposing negative screens on poor-sustainability-performing firms. However, we find no evidence that such funds exert any commitment to improve firms’ sustainability practices through voting on environmental, social or governance proposals. The commitment to sustainability is even less present when their votes are more likely to be pivotal, consistent with greenwashing.
    Keywords: Mutual Funds, ESG, Greenwashing, Voting
    JEL: G11 G41
    Date: 2023–08
  6. By: Alma Cohen
    Abstract: This paper seeks to contribute to the long-standing debate on the extent to which the ideology of federal circuit court judges, as proxied by the party of the president nominating them, can help to predict case outcomes. To this end, I combine and analyze a novel dataset containing about 670, 000 circuit court cases from 1985 to 2020. I show that the political affiliation of judges is associated with outcomes, and thus can help to predict them, throughout the vast universe of circuit court cases – and not only in the ideologically contested cases on which prior empirical research has focused. In particular, I find an association between political affiliation and outcomes in each of six categories of cases in which the two litigating parties could be perceived by judges to have unequal power. In each of these six case categories, which together add up to more than 550, 000 cases, the more Democratic judges a panel has, the higher the odds of the panel siding with the seemingly weaker party. Furthermore, I identify evidence of polarization over time in circuit court decisions. Consistent with such growing polarization, in the important subset of published cases, the identified patterns are more pronounced in the last two decades of the examined period than earlier. Going beyond the very large sample of cases with parties of seemingly of unequal power, I identify how political affiliation can help to predict outcomes in most of the cases outside this sample. In particular, I show that panels with more Democratic judges are less likely than panels with less Democratic judges to defer to the lower-court decision in civil cases between private parties that seem to be of equal power. Altogether, my analysis shows that political affiliation can help to predict outcomes in over 90% of circuit court cases. Overall, my results highlight the pervasiveness with which – and the array of ways through which – the political affiliation of judges can help to predict the outcome of circuit court cases.
    JEL: D72 J15 J16 K0
    Date: 2023–07
  7. By: Christoph Böhringer; Carsten Helm; Laura Schürer
    Abstract: The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement fall short of the abatement needed to reach the 2°C target. Emissions trading could be a “costless” means to reduce the ambition gap if countries used their gains from trade for additional abatement. However, this requires cooperative behavior. We show that with emissions trading, countries’ non-cooperative choices of emissions reduction contributions can lead to even more abatement, provided that these contributions may not be lower than initial NDCs. Intuitively, countries with high climate damages raise their contributions if they can meet them partly through abatement in countries with low abatement costs.
    Keywords: Paris Agreement, emissions trading, NDCs, game theory
    JEL: H23 Q54 Q56 Q58 C72
    Date: 2023

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