nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2016‒06‒14
twelve papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  2. Coattail effects and electoral coordination By Ignacio Lago; Marina Costa Lobo; Santiago Lago-Peñas
  3. Pathbreakers? Women’s Electoral Success and Future Political Participation By Sonia Bhalotra; Irma Clots-Figueras; Lakshmi Iyer
  4. Too big to fault? Effects of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Norwegian exports to China and foreign policy By Ivar Kolstad
  5. The Political Economy of Energy Innovation By Shouro Dasgupta, Shouro; De Cian, Enrica; Verdolini, Elena
  6. Political Economics of Fiscal Consolidations and External Sovereign Accidents By Carolina Achury; Christos Koulovatianos; John Tsoukalas
  7. Electoral Systems Used around the World By Siamak F. Shahandashti
  8. Rent seeking and the economics of corruption By Toke S Aidt
  9. Democratic Legitimation of Trade Policy Tomorrow - TTIP, Democracy and Market in the Swiss Constitution By Daniel Rais
  10. Is globalisation really fuelling populism? By Gros, Daniel
  11. Political Economy of Redistribution By Diermeier, Daniel; Egorov, Georgy; Sonin, Konstantin
  12. Reading Between the Lines: Prediction of Political Violence Using Newspaper Text By Hannes Mueller; Christopher Rauh

  1. By: Arzu KAZAZ (Selcuk University); Süleyman KARAÇOR (Selcuk University); METE KAZAZ (Selcuk University)
    Abstract: Increasing their effectiveness and audience with each passing day, works of advertisement are today an indispensable way for political parties to express themselves, leave a positive impression on the electorate, and reach potential voters. Without doubt, political party advertisements differ in certain aspects from commercials in which an ordinary product or service is promoted. In this sense, trying a product by whose advertisement we are affected could be relevant, whereas voting for a political party only because we like its advertisement is not a very common case. Multiple variables of voting behavior have been the topic of various scientific studies. The aim of the present study in the basic sense is to examine several indicators used by political advertising on the basis of imposing an idea, belief, or point of view and to present what kind of effects the indicators used in political advertising intend to leave on the voters. Semiotic analysis is used as the method of the study, and the sample examined consists of the advertisement films of the Republican People's Party (CHP) with the theme ‘WE are here, WE will do’ used for the General elections of November 1, 2015.
    Keywords: Television, Political Advertisement, CHP, Semiotics.
  2. By: Ignacio Lago; Marina Costa Lobo; Santiago Lago-Peñas
    Abstract: In this paper we challenge the conventional wisdom about the political consequences of electoral systems. We show that the psychological effects of an electoral system manifest themselves in founding elections in those countries in which there are coattail effects running from the more important to the less important offices. The artificial deflationary pressures induced by coattail effects make the psychological effects of electoral systems in elections for less important offices increase coordination failures after the founding election. The empirical evidence comes from district-level data in legislative, regional and European elections in five countries.
    Keywords: Coattail effects, disproportionality, electoral systems, psychological effects, wasted votes.
    JEL: D71 D72
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: Sonia Bhalotra (University of Essex); Irma Clots-Figueras (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Lakshmi Iyer (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: We investigate whether the event of a woman being competitively elected as a state legislator encourages the subsequent political participation of women, using a regression discontinuity design on constituency level data from India. We find that female incumbents are more likely than male incumbents to recontest and that there is a decline in the entry of new women candidates. This decline is most pronounced in states with entrenched gender bias and in male-headed parties, suggesting an intensification of barriers against women in these areas. Similar results for(mostly male) Muslim candidates indicate the presence of institutionalized demand-side barriers rather than gender-specific preferences and constraints.
    Keywords: Political participation, women, candidates, gender bias, backlash, minority representation, regression discontinuity, India
    JEL: J16 J71 P16
  4. By: Ivar Kolstad
    Abstract: Abstract In October 2010, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel peace prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The Chinese government responded by freezing political and economic relations with Norway, introducing sanctions against imports of fish and other products, and limiting diplomatic interaction. Using a synthetic control approach, this paper estimates the effect of Chinese sanctions following the peace prize on Norwegian exports to China, and on Norwegian foreign policy. Allowing for potential interference (effects of the sanctions on control units), we find that the sanctions reduced direct exports of fish to China by between 125 and 176 million USD in the period 2011–13, and direct total exports from Norway to China by between 780 and 1300 million USD. By 2014, however, exports had rebounded to normal levels. One possible explanation for this normalization could be Norwegian government efforts to distance itself from the peace prize committee, and a weakening of the Norwegian foreign policy position on human rights. This paper shows that immediately following the peace prize, Norwegian agreement with Chinese voting in the United Nations on human rights resolutions increased. The results suggest that the Chinese government can effectively use economic sanctions to affect the foreign policy positions of democratic governments, with potentially chilling effects for international progress on human rights. China has become too big to fault. Keywords: Sanctions, trade, foreign policy, international political economy, China, Norway JEL codes: F14, F51, F53, P33
    Keywords: Nobel peace prize Liu Xiaobo foreign policy exports United Nations fish trade sanctions foreign policy international political economy
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Shouro Dasgupta, Shouro; De Cian, Enrica; Verdolini, Elena
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the effects of environmental policy, institutions, political orientation, and lobbying on energy innovation and finds that they significantly affect the incentives to innovate and create cleaner energy efficient technologies. We conclude that political economy factors may act as barriers even in the presence of stringent environmental policy, implying that, to move towards a greener economy, countries should combine environmental policy with a general strengthening of institutional quality, consider the influence of government’s political orientation on environmental policies, and the implications of the size of energy intensive sectors in the economy.
    Keywords: Energy Innovation, Environmental Policy, Patents, Political Economy, Political Economy, C23, D02, O30, Q58,
    Date: 2016–04–30
  6. By: Carolina Achury; Christos Koulovatianos; John Tsoukalas
    Abstract: As the recent chain of EU sovereign crises has demonstrated, after an unexpected massive rise to the debt GDP ratio, several EU countries manage to proceed with scal consolida- tion quickly and e¤ectively, while other countries, notably Greece, proceed slowly, fuelling Graccidentand Grexitscenarios, even after generous rescue packages, involving debt haircuts and monitoring from o¢ cial bodies. Here we recursively formulate a game among rent-seeking groups and propose that high debt-GDP ratios lead to predictable miscoordina- tion among rent-seeking groups, unsustainable debt dynamics, and open the path to political accidents that foretell Graccidentscenarios. Our analysis and application helps in under- standing the politico-economic sustainability of sovereign rescues, emphasizing the need for scal targets and possible debt haircuts. We provide a calibrated example that quanti es the threshold debt-GDP ratio at 137%, remarkably close to the target set for private sector involvement in the case of Greece.
    Keywords: sovereign debt, rent seeking, international lending, tragedy of the commons, EU crisis, Grexit, Graccident
    JEL: H63 F34 F36 G01 E44 E43 D72
    Date: 2016–05
  7. By: Siamak F. Shahandashti
    Abstract: We give an overview of the diverse electoral systems used in local, national, or super-national elections around the world. We discuss existing methods for selecting single and multiple winners and give real-world examples for some more elaborate systems. Eventually, we elaborate on some of the better known strengths and weaknesses of various methods from both the theoretical and practical points of view.
    Date: 2016–05
  8. By: Toke S Aidt
    Abstract: The paper studies the influence of Gordon Tullock (1967) and the rent-seeking literature more generally on the study of corruption. The theoretical corruption literature with its emphasis on principal-agent relationships within government and rent creation by corruption politicians has largely, but not entirely, overlooked that contestable rents encourage unproductive use of real resources in seeking these rents. As a consequence, the literature underestimates the value of corruption control and the cost of corruption itself.
    Keywords: Rent seeking, Corruption
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2016–03–21
  9. By: Daniel Rais
    Abstract: Abstract Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are increasingly more concerned with regulatory convergence, rather than trade liberalisation through elimination of tariffs. This appears to result more often in so-called dynamic trade agreements, which still evolve after adoption. Further economic integration in democracies, however, depends on the support of the constituency. This article takes a closer look at the democratic legitimation of global economic integration in a case study on Switzerland. It finds that the current principles and institutions of democracy in Switzerland are unlikely to fully accommodate the new regulatory challenges of dynamic FTAs.
    Date: 2015–11–09
  10. By: Gros, Daniel
    Abstract: On both sides of the Atlantic, populism on the left and the right is on the rise. Its most visible standard-bearer in the United States is Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee. In Europe, there are many strands – from Spain’s leftist Podemos party to France’s right-wing National Front – but all share the same opposition to centrist parties and to the establishment in general. What accounts for voters’ growing revolt against the status quo?
    Date: 2016–05
  11. By: Diermeier, Daniel; Egorov, Georgy; Sonin, Konstantin
    Abstract: It is often argued that additional constraints on redistribution such as granting veto power to more players in the society makes property better protected from expropriation. We use a legislative bargaining-type model to demonstrate that this intuition may be ‡flawed. Increasing the number of veto players or raising the supermajority requirement for redistribution may reduce protection on the equilibrium path. The reason is the existence of two distinct mechanisms of property rights protection. One is formal constraints that allow individuals or groups to block any redistribution that is not in their favor. The other occurs in equilibrium where players without such powers protect each other from redistribution. Players without formal veto power anticipate that the expropriation of other similar players will ultimately hurt them and thus combine their infl‡uence to prevent redistributions. In a stable allocation, the society exhibits a “"class" ”structure with class members having equal wealth, and strategically protecting each other from redistribution.
    Keywords: institutions; legislative bargaining; political economy; Property rights
    JEL: D72 D74 P48
    Date: 2016–05
  12. By: Hannes Mueller; Christopher Rauh
    Abstract: This article provides a new methodology to predict conflict by using newspaper text. Through machine learning, vast quantities of newspaper text are reduced to interpretable topic shares. We use changes in topic shares to predict conflict one and two years before it occurs. In our predictions we distinguish between predicting the likelihood of conflict across countries and the timing of conflict within each country. Most factors identified by the literature, though performing well at predicting the location of conflict, add little to the prediction of timing. We show that news topics indeed can predict the timing of conflict onset. We also use the estimated topic shares to document how reporting changes before conflict breaks out.
    Keywords: Conflict, Forecasting, Machine Learning, Panel Data, Topic Models, Latent Dirichlet Allocation.
    Date: 2016–05–04

This nep-pol issue is ©2016 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.