nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2018‒04‒30
nine papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States By Mayda, Anna Maria; Peri, Giovanni; Steingress, Walter
  2. Can Media Drive the Electorate? The Impact of Media Coverage on Party Affiliation and Voting Intentions By Dewenter, Ralf; Linder, Melissa; Thomas, Tobias
  3. Public Opinion, Elections, and Environmental Fiscal Policy By Chortareas, Georgios; Logothetis, Vassilis; Papandreou, Andreas
  4. Information Gatekeeping and Media Bias By Eraslan, Hulya; Ozerturk, Saltuk
  5. A Theory of Armed Clientelism By Jorge Gallego
  6. On Altruistic and Electoral Income Redistribution: Theory and Data By Dario Debowicz; Alejandro Saporiti; Yizhi Wang
  7. Approval Voting and Shapley Ranking By Pierre Dehez; Victor Ginsburgh
  8. The Chamberlin-Courant Rule and the k-Scoring Rules: Agreement and Condorcet Committee Consistency By Mostapha Diss; Eric Kamwa; Abdelmonaim Tlidi
  9. Social status, preferences for redistribution and optimal taxation: A survey By Gallice, Andrea

  1. By: Mayda, Anna Maria; Peri, Giovanni; Steingress, Walter
    Abstract: In this paper we study the impact of immigration to the United States on the vote for the Republican Party by analyzing county-level data on election outcomes between 1990 and 2010. Our main contribution is to separate the effect of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants, by exploiting the different geography and timing of the inflows of these two groups of immigrants. We find that an increase in the first type of immigrants decreases the share of the Republican vote, while an inflow of the second type increases it. These effects are mainly due to the local impact of immigrants on votes of U.S. citizens and they seem independent of the country of origin of immigrants. We also find that the pro-Republican impact of low-skilled immigrants is stronger in low-skilled and non-urban counties. This is consistent with citizens' political preferences shifting towards the Republican Party in places where low-skilled immigrants are more likely to be perceived as competition in the labor market and for public resources.
    Keywords: Economic and Fiscal Channels; Electoral Effects; Immigration; Republican Party
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: Dewenter, Ralf (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg); Linder, Melissa (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg); Thomas, Tobias (EcoAustria – Institute for Economic Research, Austria, and Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE),)
    Abstract: As the rise of populist and right-wing political movements is connected to extensive media coverage, the question arises whether media report more on political parties because of their success or if their success is caused by media reports. To tackle this question, we investigate how media coverage affects short- and long-term political preferences, namely party affiliation and voting intention. For our empirical analysis, we merge 14 years of human-coded data obtained from leading media in Germany with results of the comprehensive German Politbarometer survey from February 1998 through December 2012. To account for endogeneity, we employ instrumental variable estimations. In addition, we control for a multitude of (internal) personal characteristics, such as age, and gender, as well as for (external) macroeconomic variables, such as business climate, unemployment, and inflation. The results show that media coverage of a political party has a positive and significant effect on the short-term voting intention for this party. When media outlets cover a political party more positively, the electorate has a greater tendency to vote for it. However, for long-term party affiliation, the effect vanishes. This is consistent with the economic theory. Long-term preferences are stable and, thus, contemporary events, such as media coverage, hardly affect supposedly stable preferences. However, in the long-term, party affiliation might also be affected.
    Keywords: political preferences; voting intention; media impact
    JEL: C40 D72
    Date: 2018–04–26
  3. By: Chortareas, Georgios (King's College London and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens); Logothetis, Vassilis (Cardiff Business School); Papandreou, Andreas (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
    Abstract: We investigate how public opinion along with the electoral process affect the strength of environmental fiscal policies in the European Union (EU). Our analysis accounts for a set of economic, institutional, and political factors that can affect environmental taxes and expenditures. We pursue a dynamic panel data analysis covering 27 EU countries using public opinion data. We produce evidence showing that public concern for the environment, as gauged by opinion surveys, positively affects environmental protection expenditures, while elections negatively affect environmental tax revenues and environmental protection expenditures shrink in the aftermath of elections. We do not find evidence of partisan effects. The effect of public opinion and elections on environment-related fiscal decisions depends on the degree of integration with the global economy as well as several institutional factors including the level of corruption and the soundness of the rule of law. We also document that the results are impervious to a wide set of robustness tests.
    Keywords: Environmental Protection, Taxes and Expenditures, Public Opinion, European Union, Panel Data
    JEL: D72 Q58 C23
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Eraslan, Hulya (Rice University); Ozerturk, Saltuk (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: We develop a model to study the political economy implications of information gatekeeping, i.e., a policy of granting access only to friendly media outlets and denying access to critical ones. While an incumbent prefers positive bias, granting access improves her re-election probability only if coverage is sufficiently credible in the eyes of the public. Information gatekeeping can induce a quid pro quo relationship: media provides coverage with positive bias in exchange of future access, thereby affecting electoral outcomes in favor of incompetent incumbents. The degree of access media enjoy increases with competence of incumbents over those issues under public focus.
    JEL: D72 D83 L82
    Date: 2017–12
  5. By: Jorge Gallego
    Abstract: Armed clientelism is a particular form of patronage in which politicians and non-state armed groups establish a symbiotic relationship where the former provides economic resources, judicial protection, or other benefits, while the latter provides political support and votes. In this paper a theory of armed clientelism is presented, which shows that when politicians establish illegal alliances with armed groups and mafias, they face a political tradeoff: illegal alliances augment the probability of being elected, but generate the risk of being removed from office. The model predicts that in a context in which a mafia controls a district or a town, armed clientelism is more likely when social diversity among the constituency is high, the judicial system is inefficient, party identification of citizens to clientelistic parties is low, and candidates are highly budget-constrained. It also shows that armed clientelism is more likely when the illegal group and the machine are ideologically aligned.
    Date: 2018–03–01
  6. By: Dario Debowicz; Alejandro Saporiti; Yizhi Wang
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Pierre Dehez; Victor Ginsburgh
    Abstract: Approval voting allows voters to list any number of candidates. Their scores are obtained by summing the votes cast in their favor. Fractional voting instead follows the One-person-onevote principle by endowing voters with a single vote that they may freely distribute among candidates. In this paper, we show that to be fair, such a ranking requires a uniform distribution. It corresponds to Shapley ranking that was introduced to rank wines as the Shapley value of a cooperative game with transferable utility. We analyze the properties of these "ranking games" and provide an axiomatic foundation to Shapley ranking. We also analyze Shapley ranking as a social welfare function and compare it to approval ranking.
    Date: 2018–04
  8. By: Mostapha Diss (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Eric Kamwa (LC2S - Laboratoire Caribéen de Sciences Sociales - UAG - Université des Antilles et de la Guyane); Abdelmonaim Tlidi (ENSA Marrakech - École nationale des sciences appliquées de Marrakech)
    Abstract: For committee or multiwinner elections, the Chamberlin-Courant rule (CCR), which combines the Borda rule and the proportional representation, aims to pick the most representative committee (Chamberlin and Courant, 1983). Chamberlin and Courant (1983) have shown that if the size of the committee to be elected is k = 1 among m ≥ 3 candidates, the CCR is equivalent to the Borda rule; Kamwa and Merlin (2014) claimed that if k = m − 1, the CCR is equivalent to the k-Plurality rule. In this paper, we explore what happens for 1
    Keywords: Committee,Representativeness,Borda,Condorcet,Chamberlin-Courant,k-Scoring rule
    Date: 2018–04–03
  9. By: Gallice, Andrea
    Abstract: The author reviews recent studies of how social status concerns influence individual preferences for redistribution and impact the design of optimal tax policies. He focuses on two aspects: the relevant dimension over which relative concerns are defined and the different formalizations of the notion of social status that the authors provide.
    Keywords: social status,redistribution,externalities,optimal taxation
    JEL: D31 D62 H21 H23
    Date: 2018

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