nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2009‒10‒17
eight papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Are Women Pawns in the Political Game? Evidence from Elections to the Spanish Senate By Berta Esteve-Volart; Manuel F. Bagües
  2. Family Ties and Political Participation By Alberto F. Alesina; Paola Giuliano
  3. Institutional Determinants of Military Spending By Germà Bel; Ferran Elias-Moreno
  4. Deregulierung in der öffentlichen Debatte in Deutschland By Sebastian Dullien; Christiane von Hardenberg
  5. Rectifying the Anti-politics of Citizen Participation By Katsuhiko Masaki
  6. Alternatives vs. Outcomes: A Note on the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem By Weber, Tjark
  7. Leadership in Public Good Provision: a Timing Game Perspective By Kempf, H.; Rota Graziosi, G.
  8. Why Do Politicians Implement Central Bank Independence Reforms? By Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov; Hellström, Jörgen; Landström, Mats

  1. By: Berta Esteve-Volart; Manuel F. Bagües
    Abstract: This paper investigates the potential existence of a gender bias in political parties-nomination strategies. For this purpose we use data from elections to the Spanish Senate, where candidates are listed in the ballot in alphabetical order, and order in the ballot a¤ects votes. The evidence in this paper suggests that, in the absence of political competition, parties do not nominate the best available female candidates. Instead, parties select female candidates based on their last name, taking into account how their presence in the list a¤ects male candidates-possibilities of success and gender statistics. Finally, to avoid political parties exploiting order in the ballot to favor particular candidates we propose to adopt ballot ordering rotation.
    Date: 2009–09
  2. By: Alberto F. Alesina; Paola Giuliano
    Abstract: We establish an inverse relationship between family ties and political participation, such that the more individuals rely on the family as a provider of services, insurance, transfer of resources, the lower is one’s civic engagment and political participation. We also show that strong family ties appear to be a substitute for generalized trust, rather than a complement to it. These three constructs-civic engagement, political participation, and trust- are part of what is known as social capital; therefore, in this paper, we contribute to the investigation of the origin and evolution of social capital. We establish these results using within-country evidence and looking at the behavior of immigrants from various countries in 32 different destination places.
    JEL: P16 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2009–10
  3. By: Germà Bel (Department of Economics, Technical University of Lisbon); Ferran Elias-Moreno (Department of Economics, Columbia University)
    Abstract: Drawing on a database for 1988-2006 containing information on 157 countries, we investigate the effects on military spending of government form, electoral rules, concentration of parliamentary parties, and ideology. From an OLS regression on pooled data, our results show that presidential democracies spend more than parliamentary systems on defense, whereas the presence of a plurality voting system will reduce the defense burden. Our findings suggest that, in contrast to theoretical predictions in the literature, institutions do not have the same impact on the provision of all public goods. We present as well evidence regarding the effect of ideology on defense spending.
    Keywords: Military Spending; Politics; Institutions
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Sebastian Dullien (Fachhochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, Berlin); Christiane von Hardenberg
    Abstract: The study examines public statements by German politicians and economic policy advisors on questions of deregulation. The period covered stretches from the former chancellor Gerhard Schröder's speech on the Agenda 2010 reform package in early 2003 until the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007. Based on the citations found, an index is created with which one can measure the degree of support for cutting back the government's influence on the economy. According to this index, economic policy advisors have been pushing much harder for deregulation than the large majority of German politicians. Among politicians, those of the FDP have been most in favor of cutting back the government's influence, followed by the CDU/CSU politicians. Interestingly, some of the CDU/CSU politicians have been less in favor of deregulation than prominent Social Democrats.
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Katsuhiko Masaki
    Abstract: Can ‘participatory’ approaches to development constitute a viable strategy for promoting citizenship? This paper addresses this question by scrutinising the equivocal reaction of a peasant community in Nepal to the unfolding of one such project, which supposedly reflected their empowerment as equal citizens. Drawing on the notion of ‘symbolic citizenship’ that values people’s ‘right to narrate’ viewpoints that occur to them naturally, this study proposes a more promising approach that allows people to divulge dilemmas arising from real-world complexities, and then determine the terms of their empowerment, in defiance of the prevailing liberal democratic framework.
    Keywords: people, empowerment, liberal, democratic framework, citizens, citizenship, participation, empowerment, democracy, Nepal
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Weber, Tjark
    Abstract: The Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem is a well-known theorem from the field of social choice theory. It states that every voting scheme with at least 3 possible outcomes is dictatorial or manipulable. Later work on the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem frequently does not distinguish between alternatives and outcomes, thereby leading to a less general statement that requires the voting scheme to be onto. We show how the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem can be derived from the seemingly less general formulation.
    Keywords: Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem; infeasible alternatives
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2009–10–12
  7. By: Kempf, H.; Rota Graziosi, G.
    Abstract: We address in this paper the issue of leadership when two governments provide public goods to their constituencies with cross border externalities as both public goods are valued by consumers in both countries. We study a timing game between two different countries: before providing public goods, the two policymakers non-cooperatively decide their preferred sequence of moves. We establish conditions under which a first- or second-mover advantage emerges for each country, highlighting the role of spillovers and the complementarity or substitutability of public goods. As a result we are able to prove that there is no leader when, for both countries, public goods are substitutable. When public goods are complements for both countries, each of them may emerge as the leader in the game. Hence a coordination issue arises. We use the notion of risk-dominance to select the leading government. Lastly, in the mixed case, the government for whom public goods are substitutable becomes the leader.
    Keywords: Endogenous timing ; First/second-mover advantage ; Public good ; Stackelberg equilibria ; Risk dominance.
    JEL: E31 E42 E58 E62
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov (The Ratio Institute); Hellström, Jörgen (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Landström, Mats (Department of Economics, University of Gävle)
    Abstract: This paper is a first empirical attempt to investigate why politicians around the world have chosen to give up power to independent central banks, thereby reducing their ability to fine-tune the economy. A new data-set covering 132 countries, of which 89 countries had implemented such reforms, was collected. Politicians in non-OECD countries were more likely to delegate power to independent central banks if their country has been characterized by a high variability in historical inflation and if they faced a high probability of being replaced. No such effects were found for OECD-countries.
    Keywords: inflation; institutional reforms; monetary policy; time-inconsistency
    JEL: E52 E58 P48
    Date: 2009–10–07

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