nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2016‒02‒12
five papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. Comparison of Voting Procedures using Models of Electoral Competition with Endogenous Candidacy By Damien Bo; Arnaud Dellis; Mandar Oak
  2. The Political Economy of Inclusive Rural Growth By Carter, Michael; Morrow, John
  3. Competing For Loyalty: The Dynamics of Rallying Support By Iaryczower, Matias; Oliveros, Santiago
  4. Unanimous Rules in the Laboratory By Bouton, Laurent; Llorente-Saguer, Aniol; Malherbe, Frédéric
  5. Democracy and growth in pre-industrial countries By BRESSER-PEREIRA, Luiz Carlos

  1. By: Damien Bo (King's College, London); Arnaud Dellis (University of Quebec in Montreal); Mandar Oak (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: We survey the literature that compares the theoretical properties of different voting procedures using models of electoral competition with endogenous candidacy. In particular, we focus on the predictions made by these models regarding the number of candidates running for election and their polarization. We organize the different models into three families based on different assumptions regarding candidate motivation and the timing of candidate entry. We argue that endogenous candidacy models offer both theoretical and empirical advantages over the standard Hotelling-Downs model in the comparison of the properties of alternative voting procedures. On the theoretical front, these models can provide a more satisfactory microfoundation for the emergence and/or stability of a specific configuration of parties or candidates under different voting procedures. On the empirical front these models offer a better account of the stylized facts about elections, particularly when it comes to explaining the cases where Duverger's propositions apply and the cases where they do not. We also point to shortcomings of these models and propose some directions for future research.
    Keywords: Voting rules; Candidates; Polarization; Duverger's law; Duverger's hypothesis
    JEL: C72 D72 H11
    Date: 2016–02
  2. By: Carter, Michael; Morrow, John
    Abstract: Commentators on the ‘East Asian Miracle’ of inclusive rural growth have often pointed toward shared growth policies. But why were these policies not chosen elsewhere? This paper shows that economies with a stronger middle class may sustain higher productivity through public good provision. We model voters who invest in either subsistence or technologies in which public goods complement private capital. Investment and technology choices vary with wealth and the level of public goods enforced by political lobbies. We show that increased productive possibilities, such as those of an emerging middle class, can further power reforms when money matters in politics.
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Iaryczower, Matias; Oliveros, Santiago
    Abstract: We consider a class of dynamic collective action problems in which either a single principal or two competing principals vie for the support of members of a group. We focus on the dynamic problem that emerges when agents negotiate and commit their support to principals sequentially. A danger for the agents in this context is that a principal may be able to succeed by exploiting competition among members of the group. Would agents benefit from introducing competition between opposing principals? We show that when principals’ policies provide value to the agents, competition actually reduces agents’ welfare.
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Bouton, Laurent; Llorente-Saguer, Aniol; Malherbe, Frédéric
    Abstract: We study the information aggregation properties of unanimous voting rules in the laboratory. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that majority rule with veto power dominates unanimity rule. We also find that the strategic voting model is a fairly good predictor of observed subject behavior. There are, however, cases where organizing the data seems to require a mix of strategic and sincere voting. This pattern of behavior would imply that the way majority rule with veto power is framed may significantly affect the outcome of the vote. Our data strongly supports such an hypothesis.
    Keywords: constructive abstention; framing; information aggregation; laboratory experiments; unanimity rule; veto power
    JEL: C92 D70
    Date: 2016–01
  5. By: BRESSER-PEREIRA, Luiz Carlos
    Abstract: This paper distinguishes three types of countries (rich, middle-income, and pre-industrial) and focus on the latter, which, in contrast to the other two, didn’t complete their industrial and capitalist revolutions. Can pre-industrial countries be governed well and embody the principles of consolidated democracies? Today these countries are under pressure from the imperial West to eschew institutions and developmental strategies that, in the past, allowed rich and middle-income countries to industrialize. At the same time, they are pressured by these same Western parties (and by its own people) to be democratic, even though their societies are not mature enough to fulfill that. In fact, no country completed its industrial and capitalist revolution within the framework of even a minimal democracy, suggesting that such demands are unfair. Added to this, pre-industrial countries are extremely difficult to govern because they usually don’t have a strong nation and capable states. This double pressure to renounce development strategies that have worked for the West while being required to become a democracy represents a major obstacle to their development.
    Date: 2015–01–28

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