nep-pol New Economics Papers
on Positive Political Economics
Issue of 2024‒05‒20
nine papers chosen by
Eugene Beaulieu, University of Calgary

  1. Generalizing Instant Runoff Voting to Allow Indifferences By Th\'eo Delemazure; Dominik Peters
  2. Social Movements and Public Opinion in the United States By Amory Gethin; Vincent Pons
  3. Global warming cools voters down: How climate concerns affect policy preferences By Maria Cotofan; Karlygash Kuralbayeva; Konstantinos Matakos
  4. Hosting Media Bias: Evidence From the Universe of French Broadcasts, 2002-2020 By Julia Cagé; Moritz Hengel; Nicolas Hervé; Camille Urvoy
  5. Digitalization and Indonesia’s Changing Policy Community (Japanese) By AIZAWA Nobuhiro
  6. Paying off populism: EU regional policy decreases populist support By Gold, Robert; Lehr, Jakob
  7. COVID-19 and Political Preferences Through Stages of the Pandemic: The Case of the Czech Republic By Alena Bicakova; Stepan Jurajda
  8. Pitfalls of Information Spillovers in Persuasion By Toygar T. Kerman; Anastas P. Tenev
  9. Bureaucratic representation and gender mainstreaming in international organizations: evidence from the World Bank By Heinzel, Mirko; Weaver, Catherine; Jorgensen, Samantha

  1. By: Th\'eo Delemazure; Dominik Peters
    Abstract: Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is used in elections for many political offices around the world. It allows voters to specify their preferences among candidates as a ranking. We identify a generalization of the rule, called Approval-IRV, that allows voters more freedom by allowing them to give equal preference to several candidates. Such weak orders are a more expressive input format than linear orders, and they help reduce the cognitive effort of voting. Just like standard IRV, Approval-IRV proceeds in rounds by successively eliminating candidates. It interprets each vote as an approval vote for its most-preferred candidates among those that have not been eliminated. At each step, it eliminates the candidate who is approved by the fewest voters. Among the large class of scoring elimination rules, we prove that Approval-IRV is the unique way of extending IRV to weak orders that preserves its characteristic axiomatic properties, in particular independence of clones and respecting a majority's top choices. We also show that Approval-IRV is the unique extension of IRV among rules in this class that satisfies a natural monotonicity property defined for weak orders. Prior work has proposed a different generalization of IRV, which we call Split-IRV, where instead of approving, each vote is interpreted as splitting 1 point equally among its top choices (for example, 0.25 points each if a vote has 4 top choices), and then eliminating the candidate with the lowest score. Split-IRV fails independence of clones, may not respect majority wishes, and fails our monotonicity condition. The multi-winner version of IRV is known as Single Transferable Vote (STV). We prove that Approval-STV continues to satisfy the strong proportional representation properties of STV, underlining that the approval way is the right way of extending the IRV/STV idea to weak orders.
    Date: 2024–04
  2. By: Amory Gethin; Vincent Pons
    Abstract: Recent social movements stand out by their spontaneous nature and lack of stable leadership, raising doubts on their ability to generate political change. This article provides systematic evidence on the effects of protests on public opinion and political attitudes. Drawing on a database covering the quasi-universe of protests held in the United States, we identify 14 social movements that took place from 2017 to 2022, covering topics related to environmental protection, gender equality, gun control, immigration, national and international politics, and racial issues. We use Twitter data, Google search volumes, and high-frequency surveys to track the evolution of online interest, policy views, and vote intentions before and after the outset of each movement. Combining national-level event studies with difference-in-differences designs exploiting variation in local protest intensity, we find that protests generate substantial internet activity but have limited effects on political attitudes. Except for the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd, which shifted views on racial discrimination and increased votes for the Democrats, we estimate precise null effects of protests on public opinion and electoral behavior.
    JEL: D72 P0
    Date: 2024–04
  3. By: Maria Cotofan; Karlygash Kuralbayeva; Konstantinos Matakos
    Abstract: This study examines how regional temperature variations across OECD countries influence political behavior and support for offset policies. Our analysis reveals that exposure to higher temperatures correlates with political moderation, reduced backing for extreme and populist parties, heightened climate concerns, and increased support for environmentally conscious agendas. These effects are primarily driven by older individuals, who exhibit increased concerns about climate change and the economic costs of climate policies following temperature spikes. Moreover, they express support for policies aimed at mitigating these economic impacts. Conversely, younger individuals show less apprehension about the economic consequences of climate policies and demonstrate readiness to bear them, including through higher energy bills. These findings emphasize the necessity of accounting for age-related perspectives when formulating effective climate policies for the future.
    Keywords: preference formation, environmental policies, policy support, voting
    Date: 2024–04–15
  4. By: Julia Cagé; Moritz Hengel; Nicolas Hervé; Camille Urvoy
    Abstract: For democracies to function, voters need to be exposed to a variety of views, and media outlets play a key role in this process. Using novel data on hosts and guests appearing in millions of French television and radio shows over 20 years, this article shows that media largely differ in how much attention they devote to different political groups. We investigate the inner workings of media organizations leading to such differences, and in particular quantify the role played by hosts when it comes to deciding who to invite. Thanks to thousands of hosts moving across outlets, we őrst estimate a two-way őxed effects model and decompose the across-outlet variance in political group representation into three factors: (i) differences in host composition, (ii) host compliance with distinct editorial lines, and (iii) host sorting on outlets. We show that channel-level decisions and sorting largely explain across-outlet differences. Overall, hosts have little agency, but we document heterogeneity depending on their characteristics. To complement this analysis, we then study how hosts adapt to a major ownership-driven change in the editorial line, relying on a difference-in-differences framework. We őnd that hosts who stayed after the takeover largely complied with the new editorial line, but that many others left the acquired outlets. Our őndings have important implications for the optimal regulation of the media industry and highlight the limitations of existing legislation on media pluralism.
    Keywords: Media bias; Slant; Journalists; Pluralism; Media ownership; Media capture
    JEL: L15 L82 J40
    Date: 2024–04
  5. By: AIZAWA Nobuhiro
    Abstract: The research addresses how the impact of digitalization of the economy and society would reshape the nature of governance and politics. The paper focuses on Southeast Asia, and primarily Indonesia, the largest and one of the most diverse societies in the region. The analysis in this paper focuses on the effect of digitalization on the political process of redesigning government institutions and rearranging policy coalitions, rather than on the influence and control that social media has in terms of political information and electoral campaigns. I argue that the mutual infiltration of digital entrepreneurs and government institutions is a political process of finding a power equilibrium and stabilizing democracy while adjusting the state-society relationship within the changing nature of the digital economy and digital society. This paper highlights President Joko Widodo’s new recruitment policy and patterns of activity of new tech entrepreneurs as an attempt at state infiltration, while renewing the health services through the use of digital technology is an example of the politics of substitution. In the end, this paper demonstrates the formation of a “new digital elite†in Indonesia.
    Date: 2024–03
  6. By: Gold, Robert; Lehr, Jakob
    Abstract: How to break the populist wave? With the elections to the European Parliament ahead, and the Presidential Elections in the US looming, this question bothers policymakers in many Western democracies. Our study shows that regional policies effectively decrease populist support. Specifically, EU Regional Policy investing into the development of lagging-behind regions decreases the vote share obtained by right-fringe populist parties by 15-20 percent. Moreover, regional policy investments increase trust in democratic institutions, and decreases discontent with the EU.
    Abstract: Wie kann der Aufstieg des Populismus gestoppt werden? Angesichts der bevorstehenden Wahlen zum Europäischen Parlament und der Präsidentschaftswahlen in den USA beschäftigt diese Frage politische Entscheidungsträger in vielen westlichen Demokratien. Unsere Studie zeigt, dass regionalpolitische Maßnahmen die Unterstützung populistischer Parteien wirksam verringern können. Konkret finden wir, dass die EU-Regionalpolitik, die in die Entwicklung von rückständigen Regionen investiert, dazu führt, dass der Stimmenanteil rechtspopulistischer Parteien um 15-20% sinkt. Darüber hinaus erhöhen regionalpolitische Investitionen das Vertrauen in demokratische Institutionen und verringern die Unzufriedenheit mit der EU.
    Keywords: Populism, Regional Policies, European Integration, Regression Discontinuity Design, Populismus, Regionalpolitik, Europäische Integration, Regression Discontinu-ity Design
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Alena Bicakova; Stepan Jurajda
    Abstract: We track the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on political preferences through ‘high’ and ‘low’ phases of the pandemic. We ask about the effects of the health and the economic costs of the pandemic measured at both personal and municipality levels. Consistent with the literature, we estimate effects suggestive of political accountability of leaders during ‘high’ pandemic phases. However, we also find that the pandemic political accountability effects are mostly short-lived, and do not extend to the first post-pandemic elections.
    Date: 2024–03
  8. By: Toygar T. Kerman; Anastas P. Tenev
    Abstract: We study a multiple-receiver Bayesian persuasion model in which the sender wants to achieve an outcome and commits to an experiment which sends correlated messages to homogeneous receivers. Receivers are connected in a network and can perfectly observe their immediate neighbors’ messages. After updating their beliefs, receivers choose an action to match the true state of the world. Surprisingly, the sender’s gain from persuasion does not change monotonically with network density. We characterize a class of networks in which increased communication among the receivers is strictly better for the sender and hence strictly worse for the receivers.
    Keywords: Bayesian Persuasion, Networks, Critical Mass, Voting
    JEL: C72 D72 D82 D85
    Date: 2024–02
  9. By: Heinzel, Mirko; Weaver, Catherine; Jorgensen, Samantha
    Abstract: How does the representation of women in international organizations affect the implementation of gender mainstreaming policies? Many international organizations have adopted policies to prevent gender discrimination in their operations, but their implementation is often lackluster. We argue that these shortcomings appear due to a combination of institutional incentives and an underrepresentation of women in their staff. We test the argument in the case of the World Bank, drawing on highly disaggregated staffing data, an instrumental variable strategy, and an elite survey experiment. Our results show that most staff incorporate at least shallow gender mainstreaming in their projects. Deeper implementation of gender mainstreaming is more likely when women staff supervise projects, hold positions of authority, and are more represented as coworkers. These results contribute to understanding the disconnects between talk and action on mainstreaming policies and inform debates on representation in global governance.
    Keywords: A.SK Foundation (WZB Berlin Social Science Centre); CUP deal
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2024–04–18

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