nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2019‒08‒19
seven papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu
University of Calgary

  1. We Were the Robots: Automation and Voting Behavior in Western Europe By Anelli, Massimo; Colantone, Italo; Stanig, Piero
  2. Fiscal Performance of Minority Governments: New Empirical Evidence for OECD Countries By Niklas Potrafke
  3. Increasing Resistance to Globalization: The Role of Trade in Tasks By Hartmut Egger; Christian Fischer
  4. Buying Supermajorities in the Lab By Fehrler, Sebastian; Schneider, Maik T.
  5. Susceptibility to Manipulation by Sincere Truncation : the Case of Scoring Rules and Scoring Runoff Systems By Eric Kamwa; Issofa Moyouwou
  6. Changing perspectives in political economy By Mayntz, Renate
  7. Managing, Inducing, and Preventing Regime Shifts: A Review of the Literature By Ngo Van Long

  1. By: Anelli, Massimo (Bocconi University); Colantone, Italo (Bocconi University); Stanig, Piero (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of robot adoption on electoral outcomes in 14 Western European countries, between 1993 and 2016. We employ both official election results at the district level and individual-level voting data, combined with party ideology scores from the Manifesto Project. We measure exposure to automation both at the regional level, based on the ex-ante industry specialization of each region, and at the individual level, based on individual characteristics and pre-sample employment patterns in the region of residence. We instrument robot adoption in each country using the pace of robot adoption in other countries. Higher exposure to robot adoption is found to increase support for nationalist and radicalright parties. Unveiling some potential transmission channels, higher robot exposure at the individual level leads to poorer perceived economic conditions andwell-being, lower satisfaction with the government and democracy, and a reduction in perceived political self-efficacy.
    Keywords: automation, nationalism, radical right
    JEL: D72 J23 J24 O33
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: Niklas Potrafke
    Abstract: I use new data on central and general governments for 23 OECD countries over the period 1960-2015 (unbalanced panel) to examine fiscal performance under minority governments. The results do not suggest that minority governments had higher fiscal deficits and public expenditure than majority governments – corroborating many previous studies. An innovation of my study is to examine fiscal policies of minority governments that enjoy organized support of opposition parties. The results do not show that minority governments that enjoy organized support of opposition parties increased public expenditure to a larger extent than majority governments. If anything, fiscal deficits were somewhat higher under single-party minority governments with organized support of opposition parties than under majority governments especially. Minority and majority governments had quite similar fiscal performance in OECD countries.
    Keywords: Minority governments, organized support of opposition parties, budget deficits, public expenditure, general and central government, OECD countries, panel data models
    JEL: D72 H00 C23 P16
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Hartmut Egger; Christian Fischer
    Abstract: Based on empirical evidence from cross-country survey data, we argue that the surge of trade in tasks over the last decades can explain increasing resistance to globalization in industrialized countries. In a traditional trade model of a small open economy, we demonstrate that public education provides protection against losses from trade in goods and services if trade increases the relative price of skill-intensive goods. Furthermore, increasing public schooling expenditure may help securing support for trade reform by a majority of voters. However, if education provides task-specific skills and trade in tasks makes some of these skills obsolete in the open economy, raising public schooling expenditure is of limited help to secure support for trade reform by a majority of voters, even if the reform is welfare-improving. Therefore, our analysis indicates that, in contrast to past episodes of globalization, public education does not shield workers from losses from trade in tasks and that drastic changes of the education system are needed in order to counter the increase of protectionist sentiments. To preserve majority support for trade reform, policy makers should adjust public education to provide broader, less-specialized skills. Although broader skills are less productive in a closed economy, acquiring them pays off as they increase the likelihood that a proposal for welfare-improving trade reform can be successful in a referendum.
    Keywords: resistance to globalization, trade in tasks, public education, majority voting
    JEL: F11 F50 D72 I28
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Fehrler, Sebastian (University of Konstanz); Schneider, Maik T. (University of Bath)
    Abstract: Many decisions taken in legislatures or committees are subject to lobbying efforts. A seminal contribution to the literature on vote-buying is the legislative lobbying model pioneered by Groseclose and Snyder (1996), which predicts that lobbies will optimally form supermajorities in many cases. Providing the first empirical assessment of this prominent model, we test its central predictions in the laboratory. While the model assumes sequential moves, we relax this assumption in additional treatments with simultaneous moves. We find that lobbies buy supermajorities as predicted by the theory. Our results also provide supporting evidence for most comparative statics predictions of the legislative lobbying model with respect to lobbies’ willingness to pay and legislators’ preferences. Most of these results carry over to the simultaneous-move set-up but the predictive power of the model declines.
    Keywords: legislative lobbying, vote-buying, Colonel Blotto, multi-battleeld contests, experimental political economy
    JEL: C92 D72
    Date: 2019–07
  5. By: Eric Kamwa (LC2S - Laboratoire caribéen de sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UA - Université des Antilles); Issofa Moyouwou (MASS - Université de Yaoundé I [Yaoundé], Université de Yaoundé I [Yaoundé])
    Abstract: A voting rule is said to be vulnerable to the truncation paradox if some voter may favor the election of a more preferable outcome by listing only part of his sincere ranking on the competing candidates than listing his entire preference ranking on all the competing candidates (Brams, 1982, Fishburn and Brams, 1983). For three-candidate elections and for large electorates, this paper provides under the Impartial Anonymous Culture assumption (IAC), an evaluation of the likelihood of the truncation paradox the whole family of the scoring rules and runoff scoring rules.
    Date: 2019–07–16
  6. By: Mayntz, Renate
    Abstract: The history of a research field called political economy dates back to the eighteenth century, giving rise to a variety of disciplinary approaches, and experienced a renaissance as a multidisciplinary field after the Second World War, combining economic, political science, and sociological approaches. The divergence between economic globalization and the nationally restricted scope of economic policy directs interest to the relationship between politics and the economy. A quantitative analysis of the articles published in two dedicated political economy journals shows major trends of the developing research field. The relationship between politics and economy is interpreted rather widely, and research is largely focused on Western capitalist nations. In conclusion, two avenues for further research in the field are briefly discussed.
    Keywords: capitalism,history of political economy,relationship politics/economy,Western capitalist nations,Geschichte der politischen Ökonomie,Kapitalismus,Verhältnis Politik/Ökonomie,westliche kapitalistische Nationen
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Ngo Van Long
    Abstract: How do economic agents manage expected shifts in regimes? How do they try to influence or prevent the arrival of such shifts? This paper provides a selective survey of the analysis of regime shifts from an economic view point, with particular emphasis on the use of the tech-niques of optimal control theory and differential games. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 gives an overview of the concepts of regime shifts, thresholds, and tipping points. Section 3 shows how unknown tipping points affect the optimal current policy of decision makers, with or without ambiguity aversion. Section 4.s focus is on political regime shifts in a two-class economy: how the elite may try to prevent revolution by using policy instruments such as repression, redistribution, and gradual democratization. Section 5 reviews models of dynamic games in resource exploitation involving regime shifts and thresholds. Section 6 reviews some studies of regime shifts in industrial organization theory, with focus on R&D races, including efforts to sabotage rivals in order to prevent entry. Section 7 reviews games of regime shifts when players can manage a Big Push. Section 8 discusses some directions for future research.
    Keywords: regime shifts, thresholds, tipping points, political repression, democratization
    JEL: C00 C70
    Date: 2019

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