nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2012‒11‒03
three papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Bounded Rationality and Voting Decisions Exploring a 160-Year Period By David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
  2. Occupation-specific immigration quotas in political equilibrium By Karin Mayr
  3. Fighting corruption when existing corruption-control levels count : what do wealth-effects tell us in Africa? By Simplice A , Asongu

  1. By: David Stadelmann (University of Fribourg, Department of Economics, CREMA—Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts); Benno Torgler (School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht, EBS Business School, CREMA—Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts)
    Abstract: Using a natural voting experiment in Switzerland that encompasses a 160-year period (1848–2009), we investigate whether a higher level of complexity leads to increased reliance on expert knowledge. We find that when more referenda are held on the same day, constituents are more likely to refer to parliamentary recommendations in making their decisions. This finding holds true even when we narrow our focus to referenda with a relatively lower voter turnout on days on which more than one referendum was held. We also show that when constituents face a higher level of complexity, they listen to parliament rather than interest groups.
    Keywords: Bounded Rationality, Voting, Referenda Attention, Rules of Thumb
    JEL: D03 D72 D83 H70
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Karin Mayr
    Abstract: Immigration policies are generally protectionist, yet positive immigration quotas often exist for workers in specic occupations where the native labor supply is scarce. This paper determines occupation-specic immigration quotas in a political economy framework with endogenous prices and compares them to the social optimum. It shows that positive quotas for specic occupations can be the political outcome, even when total welfare eects of immigration are negative. Two of the main ndings are that the (unique) voting outcome on immigration quotas is i) positive, if workers are immobile across occupations, and ii) negative (positive) for occupations where the native labor supply is suciently large (small), if workers are mobile across occupations.
    JEL: F22 D72 J31
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Simplice A , Asongu
    Abstract: Why are some nations more effective at battling corruption than others? Are there different determinants in the fight against corruption across developing nations? How do wealth effects play-out when existing corruption-control levels matter in the corruption battle? To investigate these concerns we examine the determinants of corruption-control throughout the conditional distribution of the fight against corruption. The following broad findings are established. (1) Population growth is a (an) tool (impediment) in (to) the fight against corruption in Low (Middle) income countries. (2) Democracy increases (decreases) corruption-control in Middle (Low) income countries. As a policy implication, blanket corruption-control strategies are unlikely to succeed equally across countries with different income-levels and political wills in the fight against corruption. Thus to be effective, corruption policies should be contingent on the prevailing levels of corruption-control and income-bracket.
    Keywords: Corruption; Democracy; Government quality; Quantile regression; Africa
    JEL: H10 C10 O55 O10 K10
    Date: 2012–10–24

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