nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒11‒20
ten papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. Individual and Collective Information Acquisition: An Experimental Study By Pëllumb Reshidi; Alessandro Lizzeri; Leeat Yariv; Jimmy Chan; Wing Suen
  2. Monotonicity Failure in Ranked Choice Voting -- Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for 3-Candidate Elections By Rylie Weaver
  3. Unveiling or Concealing Aspirations: How candidate gender influences voter response to political ambition By ENDO Yuya; ONO Yoshikuni
  4. Bound by Borders: Voter Mobilization through Social Networks By Gary W. Cox; Jon H. Fiva; Max-Emil M. King
  5. Majority rule as a unique voting method in elections with multiple candidates By Mateusz Krukowski
  6. Immigration and Nationalism in the Long Run By Valentin Lang; Stephan A. Schneider
  7. Accommodation of Right-Wing Populist Rhetoric: Evidence From Parliamentary Speeches in Germany By Emilio Esguerra; Felix Hagemeister; Julian Heid; Tim Leffler
  8. Are the upwardly mobile more left-wing? By Andrew E. Clark; Maria Cotofan
  9. Norms of Corruption in Politicians’ Malfeasance By Gustavo J. Bobonis; Anke Kessler; Xin Zhao
  10. Public Infrastructure and Regional Resilience: Evidence from the 1918 Spanish Flu in Germany By Mona Foertsch; Felix Roesel

  1. By: Pëllumb Reshidi (Duke University); Alessandro Lizzeri (Princeton University); Leeat Yariv (Princeton University); Jimmy Chan (National Taiwan University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong); Wing Suen (University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: Many committees—juries, political task forces, etc.—spend time gathering costly information before reaching a decision. We report results from lab experiments focused on such information collection processes. We consider decisions governed by individuals and groups and compare how voting rules affect outcomes. We also contrast static information collection, as in classical hypothesis testing, with dynamic collection, as in sequential hypothesis testing. Several insights emerge. Static information collection is excessive, and sequential information collection is non-stationary, producing declining decision accuracies over time. Furthermore, groups using majority rule yield especially hasty and inaccurate decisions. Nonetheless, sequential information collection is welfare enhancing relative to static collection, particularly when unanimous rules are used.
    Keywords: Collective Choice, Experiments, Information Acquisition
    JEL: C91 C92 D72 D83 D87
    Date: 2022–10
  2. By: Rylie Weaver
    Abstract: Ranked choice voting is vulnerable to monotonicity failure - a voting failure where a candidate is cost an election due to losing voter preference or granted an election due to gaining voter preference. Despite increasing use of ranked choice voting at the time of writing of this paper, the frequency of monotonicity failure is still a very open question. This paper builds on previous work to develop conditions which can be used to test if it's possible that monotonicity failure has happened in a 3-candidate ranked choice voting election.
    Date: 2023–09
  3. By: ENDO Yuya; ONO Yoshikuni
    Abstract: Do male and female candidates equally benefit from disclosing their political ambitions during electoral campaigns? Generally, candidates for elective office are politically ambitious individuals vying for positions of power. There is a pervasive stereotype of women that sees them as ideally modest and reserved, which is potentially contradictory to the seemingly masculine nature of political office. Voters swayed by this stereotype may not reward female candidates for openly expressing their political ambitions to the same extent they would male candidates. To investigate this issue, we conducted a vignette experiment where both the candidate’s gender and their stated motivation for seeking office were randomly manipulated. Our findings reveal that respondents favored candidates—regardless of gender—who were transparent about their political ambition. Nevertheless, male candidates who openly displayed ambition were perceived as more favorable among voters, whereas female candidates did not receive a comparable boost to their image. These results indicate that the electoral benefits garnered from revealing political ambitions are not equally distributed between men and women.
    Date: 2023–10
  4. By: Gary W. Cox; Jon H. Fiva; Max-Emil M. King
    Abstract: A vast and growing quantitative literature considers how social networks shape political mobilization but the degree to which turnout decisions are strategic remains ambiguous. Unlike previous studies, we establish personal links between voters and candidates and exploit discontinuous incentives to mobilize across district boundaries to estimate causal effects. Considering three types of network—families, co-workers, and immigrant communities—we show that a group member’s candidacy acts as a mobilizational impulse that propagates through the group’s network. In family networks, some of this impulse is non-strategic, surviving past district boundaries. However, the bulk of family mobilization is bound by the candidate’s district boundary, as is the entirety of the mobilizational effects in the other networks.
    Keywords: political participation, social networks, electoral geography
    JEL: D72 D85 C33
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Mateusz Krukowski
    Abstract: May's classical theorem states that in a single-winner choose-one voting system with just two candidates, majority rule is the only social choice function satisfying anonimity, neutrality and positive responsiveness axiom. Anonimity and neutrality are usually regarded as very natural constraints on the social choice function. Positive responsiveness, on the other hand, is sometimes deemed too strong of an axiom, which stimulates further search for less stringent conditions. One viable substitute is Gerhard J. Woeginger's "reducibility to subsocieties". We demonstrate that the condition generalizes to more than two candidates and, consequently, characterizes majority rule for elections with multiple candidates.
    Date: 2023–08
  6. By: Valentin Lang (Universität Mannheim, Germany); Stephan A. Schneider (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: During recent immigration waves, nationalist parties increased their vote shares in many countries, but the political backlash against immigration in some regions was much stronger than in others. We examine whether past experience with migrant inflows shapes voters' reactions to current immigration waves. Our study is based on a natural experiment from Germany, where a short-term and demonstrably arbitrary drawing of occupation zones entailed a discontinuous distribution of forced migrants after World War II. Combining historical migration and election records in a 1949-2021 panel at the municipality level, we exploit these differences in a spatial fuzzy regression discontinuity design. Our results show a substantially weaker nationalist backlash against current immigration in regions that received more forced migrants in the past. Current immigration levels activate and mute this effect of exposure to immigration in the past over a period of at least 70 years.
    Keywords: Migration, Nationalism, Persistence, Voting Behavior
    JEL: D72 O15
    Date: 2022–08
  7. By: Emilio Esguerra (LMU Munich); Felix Hagemeister (Süddeutsche Zeitung Digitale Medien); Julian Heid (LMU Munich); Tim Leffler (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: We provide novel evidence on how right-wing (populist) rhetoric spreads. Using several thousand speeches from the German parliament, we show that exposure to politicians from the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) leads mainstream politicians to adopt a more distinctively right-wing populist language. We measure similarity to right-wing populist rhetoric via cosine similarity to both parliamentary speeches by the AfD and extremist speeches at far-right rallies, as well as using a populist dictionary method. To induce individual-level variation in exposure to AfD politicians, we exploit a quasi-exogenous allocation rule for committee members in the German parliament. Comparing a politician with the highest to one with the lowest relative AfD exposure increases the cosine similarity to right-wing populist speech by 0.1 of a standard deviation. Our results seem specific to right-wing populism and suggest strategic motives related to local electoral competition behind rhetorical changes among individual politicians.
    Keywords: right-wing populism; AfD; Germany; NLP;
    Date: 2023–10–23
  8. By: Andrew E. Clark; Maria Cotofan
    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 Right-leaning 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, Technological change, Wellbeing
    Date: 2023–07–21
  9. By: Gustavo J. Bobonis; Anke Kessler; Xin Zhao
    Abstract: To what extent can audits serve to limit patronage and corrupt networks effectively and sustainably in clientelist societies with a prevailing norm of corruption? We develop a political agency model in which office holders are motivated to reduce rent seeking behavior through re-election incentives operating via elections and audits (formal institutions), but also through reputational concerns that are influenced by the prevailing norm on corruption in their peer group (informal institutions). We show that, while the formal institutions of audits and elections have the desired direct effect of reducing corruption, they also affect informal rules of conduct, which can have unintended effects. We then apply this theoretical framework to evidence from Puerto Rico’s anti-corruption municipal audits program over the period 1987-2014, and argue that the interaction of elections, audits, and norms can help explain a peculiar pattern in the data. Using a quasi-experimental design based on the exogenous timing of audits relative to elections, we find that mayors respond positively to audits in their own community, but negatively to audits - and the corresponding reduction in corruption - in neighboring municipalities. Our estimates suggest a large negative spillover effect: communities where two-thirds of adjacent jurisdictions undergo a (timely) audit experience a 30 percent increase in reported corruption levels.
    Keywords: corruption; rent-seeking; public sector accounting and audits; social norms; institutional arrangements
    JEL: D72 H83 K42 O17
    Date: 2023–10–31
  10. By: Mona Foertsch; Felix Roesel
    Abstract: Can public infrastructure help regions to mitigate large shocks? We examine how hospital infrastructure contributes to regional resilience in the event of serious health emergencies. During the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, four out of every 1, 000 Germans died. We find lower influenza mortality rates and no political reaction in cities and rural areas with adequate hospital infrastructure. In contrast, rural areas without adequate infrastructure absorb shocks poorly, and voters punish the governing parties in the next elections. We conclude that public infrastructure can mitigate large external shocks, especially in rural regions.
    Keywords: public infrastructure, resilience, health shocks, Spanish flu, Germany
    JEL: D72 O18 I10
    Date: 2023

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