nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2009‒03‒28
four papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Sincere, strategic, and heuristic voting under four election rules: An experimental study By André Blais; Jean-François Laslier; Nicolas Sauger; Karine Van Der Straeten
  2. Voters Hold the Key: Lock-in, Mobility and the Portability of Property Tax Exemptions By Ron Cheung; Chris Cunningham
  3. The Construction of the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) By Boris Branisa; Stephan Klasen; Maria Ziegler
  4. Sources of Support for Pension Reform: A Cross-National Perspective By Michelle Dion; Andrew Roberts

  1. By: André Blais (Université de Montréal -); Jean-François Laslier (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X); Nicolas Sauger (CEVIPOF - Centre de Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po - CNRS : UMR7048 - Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris); Karine Van Der Straeten (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: Nous rendons compte d'une série d'expériences de laboratoire à propos des comportements de vote. Dans une situation où les sujets ont des préférences unimodales nous observons que le vote à un tour et le vote à deux tours génèrent des effets significatifs de dépendance du chemin, alors que le vote par approbation élit toujours le vainqueur de Condorcet et que le vote unique transférable (système de Hare) ne l'élit jamais. A partir de l'analyse des données individuelles nous concluons que les électeurs se comportent de manière stratégique tant que les calculs stratégiques ne sont pas trop complexes, auquel cas ils se repose sur des heuristiques simples.
    Keywords: Elections, comportement de vote.
    Date: 2008–09
  2. By: Ron Cheung (Department of Economics, Florida State University); Chris Cunningham (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
    Abstract: We examine support for a recent and novel Florida referendum to allow home owners with existing assessment caps to “port” their exemption to a new residence. Employing a rich dataset of all Florida real property, census-block data and precinct level voting results, we find that support for the law change was greater in high-mobility and high exemption precincts. Support was also greater in cities with more out-of-state migration or containing more second homes. Within cities, a precinct’s mobility relative to the rest of the city was more predictive suggesting that voters were savvy to the tax-share implications of the amendment.
    Keywords: tax limitations, property tax, assessment cap, referendum, voting, lock-in, mobility
    JEL: R5 H7 H5
    Date: 2009–03
  3. By: Boris Branisa (Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen / Germany); Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen / Germany); Maria Ziegler (Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen / Germany)
    Abstract: In this paper we construct the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) using variables of the OECD Gender, Institutions and Development database. Instead of measuring gender inequalities in education, health, economic or political participation, the SIGI allows a new perspective on gender issues. It is a composite measure of social institutions which are mirrored by societal practices and legal norms that produce inequalities between women and men in non-OECD countries. Empirical results confirm that the SIGI provides additional information to that of other wellknown gender-related indices.
    Keywords: SIGI, Composite index, Gender inequality, Social institutions, OECD-GID database
    Date: 2009–03–17
  4. By: Michelle Dion; Andrew Roberts
    Abstract: Many accounts of pension politics assign primary importance to societal forces. In the well-known formulation, pensions are the “third rail” of politics: politicians cannot cut benefits without suffering electoral retribution. In addition, some see the preferences of business as a key determinant of pension policy. This study takes aim at this problem by exploring what factors lead citizens and firms to support public pension systems and various reform efforts. To answer these questions, we analyze a survey of individuals and firms in 20 countries from five continents regarding attitudes toward pensions conducted by the Oxford Institute of Aging and the HSBC Bank. We examine separately variation in individual and then firm preferences regarding the role of government in pension provision and pension reform options. Then, we compare the preferences of firms to those of individuals to identify the potential space available for policy reform. The main results from the analyses are three. First, there are large cross-national differences in preferences of both individuals and firms. Second, these cross-national differences are not well explained by conventional theories. Third, there is some but not overwhelming support for micro-level theories about the reasons for differences between firms and individuals.
    Date: 2008–12

This nep-pol issue is ©2009 by Eugene Beaulieu. 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.