nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒10‒30
eight papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Climate Change and Political Participation: Evidence from India By Amrit Amirapu; Irma Clots-Figueras; Juan Pablo Rud
  2. Voting Age, Information Experiments, and Political Engagement: Evidence from a General Election By Keefer, Philip; Vlaicu, Razvan
  3. The political economy of finance and regulatory capture: Evidence from the US Congress By Silano, Filippo
  4. Can political gridlock undermine checks and balances? A lab experiment By Alvaro Forteza; Irene Mussio; Juan S Pereyra
  5. Voting for income redistribution in a dynamic-income experiment By Tongzhe Li; Bradley J. Ruffle
  6. Population Aging and the Rise of Populist Attitudes in Europe By Despina Gavresi; Andreas Irmen; Anastasia Litina
  7. Why Do Voters Support Procyclical Fiscal Policies? Experimental Evidence from Latin America By Ardanaz, Martín; Hübscher, Evelyne; Keefer, Philip; Sattler, Thomas
  8. Raise your Voice! Activism and Peer Effects in Online Social Networks By Alejandra Agustina Martínez

  1. By: Amrit Amirapu (University of Kent); Irma Clots-Figueras (University of Kent/IZA); Juan Pablo Rud (University of London/IZA/Institute of Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We study the effects of temperature shocks on electoral outcomes in Indian elections. Taking advantage of localized, high-frequency data on temperatures, we find that exposure to extreme temperatures the year before an election increases voter turnout, changes the composition of the candidate pool, and leads to different electoral outcomes (e.g. winning candidates are more likely to have an agricultural background). The effects are driven by reductions in agricultural productivity and are strongest in rural areas. We also show that temperature shocks increase the value voters place on agricultural issues and on policies which mitigate the effects of extreme temperatures, such as irrigation.
    Date: 2023–10
  2. By: Keefer, Philip; Vlaicu, Razvan
    Abstract: We exploit new experimental and quasi-experimental data to investigate voters' intrinsic motivation to engage politically. Does having the right to vote increase engagement or, given significant incentives to free ride, do eligible voters remain rationally unengaged? Does knowledge that ones group is pivotal reduce free riding? And are the politically engaged influenced by election-relevant policy information in the run-up to a major election? To address these questions, we fielded an original survey of 5, 400 Mexican high school seniors just prior to the historic 2018 general election. Age-based regression discontinuity results show that the just-eligible score higher on measures of low-cost political engagement compared to the just-ineligible. A first survey experiment reveals that information that the youth vote will be pivotal increases the eligible respondents' interest in the presidential debate and in the election result. In the second experiment, information about current policy outcomes affects future policy priorities in ways consistent with the incentives of eligible respondents to collect relevant information on salient policy issues.
    Keywords: Political engagement;Free riding;Pivotal voters;Policy information
    JEL: D73 H83
    Date: 2022–12
  3. By: Silano, Filippo
    Abstract: The 2007-08 Global Financial Crisis is a watershed phenomenon that reshaped global capitalism. Stemming from the argument that the Crisis was caused by deregulation, this article assesses to what extent the financial industry influenced the legislative process underlying these reforms. The hypothesis is that, during the deregulation process, the financial industry captured lawmakers' voting behaviour. Drawing on a logistic regression model, this study estimates to what extent 106th -109th Congress roll call votes on financial liberalisation were biased by industry-led campaign contributions and lobbying activities. The main finding shows that members of the US Congress recipient of funding from the financial sector were more prone to support deregulation. Providing systematic empirical evidence of capture, the results support the literature labelling the Crisis as the result of industry-induced deregulation.
    Keywords: political economy, financial crisis, deregulation, capture, campaign finance, lobbying, US Congress, voting behaviour, logistic regression
    JEL: G01 G18 K22 K23 P16
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Alvaro Forteza; Irene Mussio; Juan S Pereyra
    Abstract: If checks and balances are aimed at protecting citizens from the government's abuse of power, why do they sometimes weaken them? We address this question in a laboratory experiment in which subjects choose between two decision rules: with and without checks and balances. Voters may prefer an unchecked executive if that enables a reform that, otherwise, is blocked by the legislature. Consistent with our predictions, we find that subjects are more likely to weaken checks and balances when there is political gridlock. However, subjects weaken the controls not only when the reform is beneficial but also when it is harmful.
    Date: 2023–09
  5. By: Tongzhe Li; Bradley J. Ruffle
    Abstract: We design a laboratory experiment to investigate how income redistribution preferences respond to income mobility, income source, own income level and ideological beliefs. Own income is by far the strongest determinant of voting behavior for redistribution. High- (low-) income earners vote for low (high) rates of redistribution regardless of how their income was determined and of their previous-stage income. An intriguing element in our experimental design is that middle-income individuals have no such self-interest in the voting outcome, since their income remains unchanged regardless of the redistribution rate. We find these participants’ voting displays an affinity with low-income earners, which points to individuals’ predisposition to favoring high levels of redistribution. However, their relatively high support for redistribution is situational: it disappears when they have high incomes.
    Keywords: : income redistribution; taxes; voting; social mobility; experimental economics
    JEL: C91 D01
    Date: 2023–10
  6. By: Despina Gavresi (DEM, Université du Luxembourg); Andreas Irmen (DEM, Université du Luxembourg); Anastasia Litina (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, GR)
    Abstract: In the light of the rise in populism in Europe, this paper empirically explores the interplay between population aging and populist attitudes. We test this hypothesis by conducting a multilevel analysis of individuals living in European countries over the period 2002-2019. Our measure of population aging is the country’s old-age dependency ratio, thus we focus on population or societal aging as opposed to individual aging. Populist attitudes are derived from individual-level data that provide information about voting for populist parties, political trust and attitudes towards immigration available in nine consecutive rounds of the European Social Survey. Our findings suggest that societal aging is associated with a fall in trust in national and European institutions and a rise in attitudes against immigrants. There are two potential mechanisms driving our results. First, a shift in the median voter age. Older people tend to be more conservative, voting more for right-wing populist parties and this is reflected on the median vote and attitude as well. The second mechanism appeals to the impact that the presence of the “old” group in the society has on the society and the economy as a whole, it is thus more of an “externality” effect. Living in an aging society, young people are aware of the fact that they have to cater for a large share of old people and this gives rise to different incentives and attitudes compared to individuals living in “young” societies
    Keywords: Population Aging, Populist Vote, Immigrant Attitudes, Trust.
    JEL: D72 J10 P16 Z13
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Ardanaz, Martín; Hübscher, Evelyne; Keefer, Philip; Sattler, Thomas
    Abstract: Governments often pursue procyclical fiscal policies, even though they reduce voter welfare. Is this because voters actually prefer procyclical policies? The analysis in this paper exploits the first individual-level evidence from an original survey of 12, 000 respondents in 8 countries across Latin America. Prior research links support for procyclical policy to imperfect voter information but does not explore voter knowledge of the composition of public spending increases and cuts in response to positive and negative shocks. We present experimental evidence that less informed individuals are more supportive of procyclical policy. Previous work also explores how trust in politicians influences fiscal policy preferences. We find that those who distrust politicians support acyclical fiscal policies: they are skeptical that they will benefit from higher government spending after positive shocks and be spared the costs of spending cuts after negative shocks. Finally, the evidence supports untested assumptions about voter patience and risk aversion. Patient respondents care more about the future costs of procyclical policy and risk-averse respondents about its higher volatility; support for acyclical policy is correspondingly higher among both groups.
    Keywords: asymmetric information;Trust;patience;risk aversion;procyclical fiscal policy
    JEL: D72 D82 E02 E62
    Date: 2023–04
  8. By: Alejandra Agustina Martínez (University of Leicester)
    Abstract: Do peers influence individuals’ involvement in political activism? To provide a quantitative answer, I study Argentina’s abortion rights debate through Twitter, the social media platform. Pro-choice and pro-life activists coexisted online, and the evidence suggests peer groups were not too polarized. I develop a model of strategic interactions in a network allowing for heterogeneous peer effects. Next, I estimate peer effects and test whether online activism exhibits strategic substitutability or complementarity. I create a novel panel dataset where links and actions are observable by combining tweets’ and users’ information. I provide a reduced-form analysis by proposing a network-based instrumental variable. The results indicate strategic complementarity in online activism from both aligned and opposing peers. Notably, the evidence suggests homophily in the formation of Twitter’s network, but it does not support the hypothesis of an echo-chamber effect.
    Keywords: Political activism; Peer effects; Social networks; Social media
    JEL: D74 D85 P00 Z13
    Date: 2023–09

This nep-cdm issue is ©2023 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.