nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2012‒09‒03
nine papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Does Immigration Into Their Neighborhoods Incline Voters Toward the Extreme Right? The Case of the Freedom Party of Austria By Halla, Martin; Wagner, Alexander F; Zweimüller, Josef
  2. The Dark Side of the Vote: Biased Voters, Social Information, and Information Aggregation Through Majority Voting By Morton, Rebecca; Piovesan, Marco; Tyran, Jean-Robert
  3. The Internet, News Consumption, and Political Attitudes By Liang, Che-Yuan; Nordin, Mattias
  4. Channeling the final Say in Politics By Hans Gersbach; Oriol Tejada
  5. Communication Policy Reform, Interest Groups, and Legislative Capture By Bruce Owen
  6. Distribuzione alimentare moderna e potere: una valutazione economico-politica* By Pulina, Pietro; Madau, Fabio A.; Furesi, Roberto
  7. Revisiting the Relationship between Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution By Nekby, Lena; Pettersson-Lidbom, Per
  8. Competition, Cooperation, and Collective Choice By Markussen, Thomas; Reuben, Ernesto; Tyran, Jean-Robert
  9. Determinants of Peace : A Cross-Country Analysis By Kodila-Tedika, Oasis

  1. By: Halla, Martin; Wagner, Alexander F; Zweimüller, Josef
    Abstract: This paper explores one potentially important channel through which immigration may drive support for extreme-right-wing parties: the presence of immigrants in the voters' neighborhoods. We study the case of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Under the leadership of Jörg Haider, this party increased its share of votes from less than 5 percent in the early 1980s to 27 percent by the year 1999. Using past regional settlement patterns as a source of exogenous variation, we find a significantly positive effect on FPÖ votes of the residential proximity of immigrants and citizens, explaining roughly a quarter of the cross-community variance in those votes. It is the proximity of low- and medium-skilled immigrants that drives this result; high-skilled immigrants have no (or even a negative) effect on FPÖ votes.
    Keywords: immigration; political economy; voting
    JEL: J61 P16
    Date: 2012–08
  2. By: Morton, Rebecca; Piovesan, Marco; Tyran, Jean-Robert
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when some voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a “dark side”, i.e. result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. We develop a model to predict how two types of social information shape efficiency in the presence of biased voters and we test these predictions using a novel experimental design. In line with predictions, we find that information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters is biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. In the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective. While voters with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to be de-biased by such information, most voters do not seem to interpret such information rationally.
    Keywords: biased voters; information aggregation; majority voting
    JEL: C92 D02 D03 D7
    Date: 2012–08
  3. By: Liang, Che-Yuan (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies); Nordin, Mattias (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of the rise of the Internet as an additional mass medium on news consumption patterns and political attitudes. We use Swedish survey data from 2002 to 2007, the period during which online news media emerged. We find that broadband access is associated with online media consumption which, to some extent, crowds out offline consumption. Furthermore, these altered news consumption patterns have no or small effects on political attitudes.
    Keywords: news; the Internet; political attitudes
    JEL: D72 D83
    Date: 2012–07–17
  4. By: Hans Gersbach (ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Oriol Tejada (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: We examine how the final say in a sequence of proposals for local public project provision, financing, and redistribution can be channeled towards socially desirable outcomes, thereby breaking the dictatorial power of the last agenda-setter. Individuals are heterogeneous with some citizens benefiting from the public project (winners) and the rest losing (losers) relative to per-capita costs. Our main insight is that a simple ban on subsidies for the proposal-makers can achieve the purpose whenever the first proposal-maker is a winner and the second proposal-maker is a loser. Such a ban induces project winners to make efficient public project proposals that are however coupled with socially undesirable subsidy schemes. The best possible amendment for project losers is then to match the project proposal and to eliminate all subsidies. We further show that two-round proposal-making constitutes the minimal form of political competition yielding first-best outcomes and that restrictions on tax schemes are socially desirable.
    Keywords: Voters & Elections; Game Theory ; Social Choice & Welfare
    JEL: Q38 F12 H20 H70
    Date: 2012–08
  5. By: Bruce Owen (Stanford University)
    Abstract: There are varied models of regulatory agency behavior. Economists have recently emphasized the incentive-incompatibility of agencies “captured” by regulated entities and a legislature concerned with welfare maximization. This conflict is characterized as a principal-agent problem to which the legislature responds in various ways, including the imposition of administrative procedure laws, oversight committees, and other attempts to control the regulatory bureaucracies. I argue that the principal-agent incentive compatibility model of regulatory capture is naïve. Regulatory agencies are, in general, eager to please or at least appease their congressional oversight and budget committees. It is the committees themselves, and especially their chairs, who capture and are captured by regulated entities, with the objective of funding expensive election campaigns in return for access to a seat at the regulatory policy negotiating table. The existence of the regulatory state and the details of regulatory policy reflect this systemic bias in the political system, which Lawrence Lessig has recently tagged “Type 2” (lawful) corruption.
    Keywords: regulation, administrative agency, administrative law, capture theory, political economy, agency behavior, communications policy, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    JEL: K23 L38
    Date: 2012–01
  6. By: Pulina, Pietro; Madau, Fabio A.; Furesi, Roberto
    Abstract: Big Food Retail and Power: an economic-political estimation. Increasing market power of big retail into the agro-food supply chain depends on economic, institutional, cultural and policy factors. It is a multi-faceted issue that moves us to take into account not only the economic aspects but the social, policy, psychological and behavioural ones, too. This complexity can be handled trough different approaches: among them, the so called economic-political framework considers economic and behavioural factors together. This approach cannot leave aside from empirical estimation of market power presence. This paper is devoted to carry on a first-pass estimation of big retail market power in two Italian supply chains: olive oil and fresh vegetables. The econometric model proposed by Lloyd et al. (2009) allows us to estimate price transmission in the observed supply chains. Findings suggest that market power exists in the olive oil sector whereas the model does not significantly fit the data in the fresh vegetable sector.
    Keywords: Big Food Retail, power, price transmission, olive oil, fresh vegetables, Agribusiness, Political Economy, C32, Q13,
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Nekby, Lena (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Pettersson-Lidbom, Per (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we return to the question raised in Dahlberg et al. (2012) concerning a causal relationship between ethnic diversity and preferences for redistribution. A re-analysis of their study indicates that results are based on an endogenous instrument and severe sample attrition bias. Correcting for either of these two problems reveals that there is no relationship between ethnic diversity and preferences for redistribution. More generally, we provide results that put into question the conventional description of the Swedish refugee placement policy.
    Keywords: ethnic diversity; income redistribution; re-analyzes
    JEL: D64 I30 J15 J18
    Date: 2012–08–23
  8. By: Markussen, Thomas; Reuben, Ernesto; Tyran, Jean-Robert
    Abstract: The ability of groups to implement efficiency-enhancing institutions is emerging as a central theme of research in economics. This paper explores voting on a scheme of intergroup competition which facilitates cooperation in a social dilemma situation. Experimental results show that the competitive scheme fosters cooperation. Competition is popular but the electoral outcome depends strongly on specific voting rules of institutional choice. If the majority decides, competition is almost always adopted. If likely losers from competition have veto power, it is often not, and substantial gains in efficiency are foregone.
    Keywords: public goods; competition; tournament; cooperation; voting
    JEL: D72 H41 J33
    Date: 2012–08
  9. By: Kodila-Tedika, Oasis
    Abstract: In this study, we try to discover the variables susceptible to affect the peace. To arrive there, we made resort to the analysis in cross-sectional. We find that the institutional variables are auspicious to the peace, especially the political stability. The macroeconomic variables are, on the whole, of the positive and statistically meaningful determinants to the peace, in spite of the fact that some are not robust. The war remains damaging to the peace and this in a robust manner. It is more or less the same report for the inequalities. The effects of the size of nation, the religion and the diversity are not as clear. The human capital seems favorable.
    Keywords: peace; institution; war; religion; diversité; determinants of peace
    JEL: D73 D63 Z12 H56 P48
    Date: 2012–08–21

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