WORKSHOP IN POLITICAL THEORY
   AND POLICY ANALYSIS
   Fall 2001 Colloquia
    http://www.indiana.edu/~workshop/colloquia/materials/spring2002_colloquia.html

Colloquia during Spring 2002:


Monday, January 14, 2002

RACIAL PROFILING

Presented by Michael Alexeev, Professor at the Department of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington (Co-author: James Leitzel, University of Chicago)

Abstract: Substantial declines in U.S. crime rates in recent years have been tarnished by ongoing controversy concerning the role of race in policing. Efficient policing, it is argued by some, often requires that minorities be subject to disproportionate amounts of police stops and searches, and race has been employed as one factor in developing “profiles” of potential miscreants. We develop an economic model of criminal profiling, within the context of drug prohibition. If police are motivated to arrest and convict carriers of illicit drugs, the pursuit of this goal can result in very wide disparities in stops-and-searches between racial groups – the disparities in searching can be much greater than the disparities in drug possession, in equilibrium. If the goal is not arrests, however, but minimizing total drug possession, the disparities are reduced or eliminated. If stopping innocent people undermines public cooperation with the police (resulting in fewer convictions from juries, for instance), then stops carry an additional cost, providing an efficiency rationale to limit profiling. Excessive profiling also arises from the difference between incentives for individual police officers as opposed to the police force as a whole. By rationally ignoring the impact of his or her actions on deterrence, an individual police officer engages in too much profiling, from a social point of view. Efficiency in policing can potentially be improved, then, by reductions in race-based stops, even if maximizing the number of convictions is the social goal.

BIO: Michael V. Alexeev, Professor, (Ph.D., Duke University, 1984) Comparative Economics, Microeconomics. Dr. Alexeev's research and teaching interests lie mostly in the fields of comparative economics and economics of transition from a Soviet-type economy to a market economy. Recently he has also been interested in models of rent-seeking behavior and in tax policy issues. In studying the economics of transition, Dr. Alexeev concentrates on the behavior of various economic agents (enterprise managers, consumers, government officials) paying special attention to informal aspects such as underground economic activities. Dr. Alexeev's research has appeared in the Journal of Economic Theory, Review of Economics and Statistics, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, as well as in comparative economics and public choice field journals and edited volumes. Since early 1992, Dr. Alexeev, who is a native of Russia, has been actively participating in the technical assistance programs to the former Soviet Union.
Url: http://php.indiana.edu/~malexeev/.

Paper in PDF format.

Monday, January 28, 2002

SERVICE-CONTRACTING, CO-PRODUCTION, AND COALITIONS IN THE DELIVERY OF EMPLOYMENT-RELATED SERVICES

Presented by Kenneth N. Bickers, Associate Professor of Political Science and Co- Associate Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract: This paper focuses on one type of inter-organizational response to the problem of high transactions costs that are often associated with the delivery of employment-related and other social services. These transactions costs stem in part from the prevalence of service contracting between public agencies and local organizations and public agencies for the delivery of services where specification of complete contracts is often impossible and monitoring is difficult. These transactions costs also often stem from the need for clients to engage in co-production of those services. The argument developed below is that participation in local coalitions with other service delivery organizations helps participating organizations cope with these transactions costs. One hypothesis is that an organization or agency that delivers employment-related services is more likely to participate in a community coalition (1) when it relies heavily on service contracts and (2) when it requires co-production of services by clients. A second hypothesis is that the choices made by organizations about the coalitions in which they participate, i.e., the diversity of other organizations and agencies represented in coalitions, will be a function of the kinds of services that organizations deliver. Data for this paper are drawn from a survey conducted in 2000 of 802 organizations across the state of Indiana that deliver employment-related services. The statistical analyses reported below provide support for the hypotheses developed here about the role that coalitions play in overcoming problems associated with transactions costs.

BIO: Kenneth N. Bickers received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988 and is currently Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-Associate Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington. His most recent books include Public Policy Analysis: A Political Economy Approach, with John Williams (Houghton Mifflin, 2001) and Perpetuating the Pork Barrel: Policy Subsystems and American Democracy, with Robert M. Stein (Cambridge University Press, 1995). His current research focuses on the consequences of the devolution of federal policy activities to states and local communities. A book in progress, tentatively titled Workforce Development for a Changing World Economy: The Politics of Policy Design, examines community-level service arrangements that assist low income persons to overcome barriers to employment.

Contact Information:
      Kenneth N. Bickers
      Indiana University
      Department of Political Science
      Woodburn Hall 210
      Bloomington, IN 47405
      Email: kbickers@indiana.edu
      Office ph.: 812-855-4198
      Office fax: 812-855-2027

Since the paper for this session is soon due to be published in Public Administration Quarterly, it will not be added to our website. Hard copies of the paper will be available at the Workshop. If you would like to be mailed a copy of the paper or have a question regarding our Colloquium Series, please contact Gayle Higgins (tel 855-0441, email ghiggins@indiana.edu).

Monday, February 04, 2002

EXPLAINING THE OCCASIONAL SUCCESS OF MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE OF FOREST RESOURCES: OVERCOMING LOCAL INFORMATION BARRIERS

Presented by Krister Andersson, Doctoral Candidate in Public Policy and Research Assistant,Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC), Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract: Considering the rather adverse institutional conditions for local governance of forest resources in many non-industrial nations, the failure of many forest governance arrangements may come as little surprise. Ambiguous property rights, weak rule of law, weak tradition of civil society participation in governance of natural resources, as well as a traditionally heavy-handed and centralized government administration, are but a few factors that complicate the governance of forest resources. However, not all municipal governments in poor countries fail. Despite many difficulties, some local governments have risen to the occasion. Contrary to theoretical expectations, these units have proved themselves capable of providing their citizenry with high-quality services in the areas of education, health, urban infrastructure, and natural resource management, just to mention a few. How is this possible? Why do some municipal governments succeed while others fail?

In this paper, I seek to explain the apparent successes of municipal governance of forest resources. I propose that the varying conditions for information-sharing between several key actors in the local governance system are strong determinants of municipal government performance. This theoretical proposition is tested using empirical evidence from a random sample of 50 municipalities in Bolivia’s forestry sector, where municipal governments are responsible for providing multiple forestry-related services. The empirical analysis finds that the use of three distinct information-sharing mechanisms can dramatically change a municipality’s prospects for achieving success as a public provider of forestry sector services.

BIO: Krister Andersson, Doctoral Candidate in Public Policy and Research Assistant at the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change (CIPEC) at Indiana University, Bloomington. Before initiating his doctoral studies, Mr. Andersson worked four years as a Community Forestry Officer for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). His main research interest is in the area of local governance of natural resources and more specifically how international and national-level political reforms may influence the conditions for local self-governance. The title of his forthcoming Doctoral Dissertation is: Can Decentralization Save Bolivia’s Forests? An Institutional Analysis of Municipal Governance of Forest Resources.

Paper in PDF format.

Monday, February 11, 2002

SIMULATING LAND-COVER CHANGE IN SOUTH-CENTRAL INDIANA - An Agent-Based Model of Deforestation and Afforestation

Presented by Hugh Kelley, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, and the Department of Cognitive Science, and Tom Evans, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, and Research Associate, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change, Indiana University, Bloomington (co-author: Matthew Hoffman, University of Delaware)

Abstract: Prior to European colonization, Indiana was nearly entirely forested. By 1900, only 5-10% of the state was forested, but since this time forestland has rebounded to approximately 30% of the state’s landcover. We present a dynamic model of landcover change that simulates this process of deforestation and afforestation in Indiana over time with the expectation that the model will also lend insight into general dynamics of evolving land-use patterns. We approach this problem assuming that land-use patterns are produced by the interactions of landholders—micro-level economic choices with the biophysical and social systems in which they are embedded. As such we have constructed an agent-based model to explore these relationships. The model simulates socially and economically constrained decisions on a biologically active landscape and explores the feedback inherent between biological systems, socio-economic systems, and micro decisions. With the model, we identify factors that produce specific spatial patterns of land-use. This paper presents the initial findings of our land-use model and points to where future research in this critical area is necessary.

BIO: Hugh Kelley completed a Ph. D. in International Economics in 1998 at the University of California Santa Cruz. After completing his Ph. D., Dr. Kelley accepted a position as a NIMH postdoctoral research fellow within the cognitive science department within the psychology department at Indiana University. There his research interests expanded to include various more psychologically oriented mathematical models of decision making and learning. Also during this postdoctoral period, several research projects were begun with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, which has culminated in a NSF research grant, and has presented work on multi-agent modeling of landcover change. More recently, he teaches the graduate and some undergraduate international trade sequence while pursuing research applying decision theory to models of international trade.

Tom Evans is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Indiana University and Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change. His research focuses on landuse/landcover change modeling and analysis and the study of human-environment relationships through the use of Geographic Information Science and Remote Sensing techniques.

Since the paper for this session is soon due to be published in Multi-Agent Approaches for Ecosystem Management, Ed. Marco Janssen, Elsevier Press, 2002, it will not be added to our website. Hard copies of the paper will be available at the Workshop.

Monday, February 18, 2002

MARKET TRANSITION AND LONG-TERM VIABILITY OF UTAH’S RURAL HEALTHCARE NETWORK

Presented by Roberta HerzbergAssociate Professor of Political Economy, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, and Visiting Scholar at Liberty Fund, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana (Coauthor: Chris Fawson, Department of Economics, Utah State University)

Abstract: Market inefficiencies precipitated by the high cost of insurance, information asymmetries, and concerns about equitable access to health care have converged upon rural Utah's markets for health care services. It is essential that rural residents and policymakers obtain a more complete picture of dynamic market transitions affecting participants in rural healthcare markets to ensure effective solutions that reduce, rather than exacerbate, these problems.

In this presentation, Dr. Herzberg will outline the factors that she and coauthor Chris Fawson believe impact the demand and supply of health care in rural Utah. The demand for health care and the cost of health care are spiraling upward and both trends cannot continue without creating the crisis. The problem for policymakers in rural markets is that often politics and market realities are at odds in reaching solutions. Competition within a rural community is frequently more limited than in urban settings, the assumptions of efficiency derived from economies of scale are rarely met, and citizen demands are divided between wanting access to local care and seeking out "higher quality" care in larger urban hospitals. It is little wonder that policymakers are split over the appropriate strategy to "solving the rural health problem."

In addition to outlining the scope of the problem, Dr. Herzberg will review a series of focus group questionaires and surveys that they are using to measure the degree of valuation and demand for health services by rural consumers and employers. By illuminating the demand side of the equation, they hope to improve the overall understanding of health care access in rural marketplaces.

BIO: Roberta Herzberg is Associate Professor of Political Economy at Utah State University and is currently in residence as a Visiting Scholar at Liberty Fund, Inc., in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Herzberg received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis where she was associated with the Center for the Study of American Business. She has had a long relationship with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University and was in residence here from 1982-1992. She was appointed to the Utah Health Policy Commission by Governor Michael Leavitt in 1994 and served as a Commissioner until the Commission's sunset in 2000. In 1998, Governor Leavitt appointed Dr. Herzberg to the Medical Education Council, a consortium overseeing funding of graduate medical education under a new HCFA demonstration project. In addition to her academic and policy activities, she is a frequent lecturer on health insurance, the politics of health reform, and rural health care. She has published articles on policy and institutional analysis and has received several grants and awards in political science and political economy.

Hard copies of two papers are available: “Market Transition and Long-Term Viability of Utah’s Rural Healthcare Network” and “Health Care in Rural Utah: Diagnosis and Treatment.”

Monday, February 25, 2002

TOWARDS AN OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Presented by Milindo Chakrabarti, Lecturer at the Department of Economics and Director of CREATE, St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling, India; and Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract: Sustainable Development (SD) as a norm has been accepted in the literature ever since the publication of the Brundtland Commission report in 1987. The publication of this report has been followed by several attempts at defining SD. Very often, these definitions have been found to be partial and even sometimes at conflict with one another. Distinguishing between "sustainable use" of a resource and "sustainable development," the paper first develops a conceptual framework for defining "sustainable use." The necessary conditions for guaranteeing sustainable use of a resource are also identified. Observation from the use pattern of forestry resources that offer multiple services to multiple sets of users has been used to come up with a working definition for "sustainable use" of a resource. Next, it argues that since any individual or a community does not depend on a single resource for subsistence, the use pattern of other competitive and complementary resources also plays a role in ensuring that forests are/are not put to "sustainable use." Thus, a necessary condition for SD is simultaneous and sustainable use of all resources—natural, man-made, and human—which is argued in the conclusion of the paper.

BIO: Milindo Chakrabarti is a Lecturer (Senior Scale) in the Department of Economics, St. Joseph's College, Darjeeling, India, where he has been teaching since June 1987. He has also been simultaneously directing the Centre for Studies in Rural Economy, Appropriate Technology and Environment (CREATE)—the research wing of the college, since its inception in October 1999. CREATE is a part of the CRC network of the IFRI research project. His research interest is centered around issues involving crafting and sustainability of institutions.
Paper in PDF format

Monday, March 4, 2002

TYPES OF MULTI-LEVEL GOVERNANCE

Presented by Liesbet Hooghe, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Coauthor: Gary Marks, UNC - Chapel Hill)

Abstract: The reallocation of authority upwards, downwards, and sideways from centralized states has drawn attention from a growing number of scholars in the social sciences. Yet beyond the bedrock agreement that governance has become (and should be) multi-level, there is no convergence about how it should be organized. This paper draws on various literatures in distinguishing two types of multi-level governance. One type conceives of dispersion of authority to multi-task, territorially mutually exclusive jurisdictions in a relatively stable system with limited jurisdictional levels and a limited number of units. A second type of governance pictures specialized, territorially overlapping jurisdictions in a relatively flexible, non-tiered system with a large number of jurisdictions. We find that both types co-exist in different locations, and we explain some facets of this co-existence.

BIO: Associate Professor of Political Science, received her Ph.D. from the University of Leuven in Belgium in 1989. Before joining the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in July 2000, she taught at the University of Toronto (1994-2000), and held research fellowships at Cornell University, Oxford University (Nuffield), and the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). Her principal areas of interest are comparative politics, European integration, public policy, and political elites. Over the past years she has also researched ethnic conflict, nationalism, and federalism. She is the author of author of The European Commission and the Integration of Europe: Images of Governance (Cambridge University Press 2002); co-author with Gary Marks of Multi-Level Governance and European Integration (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001); and editor of Cohesion Policy and European Integration: Building Multilevel Governance (OUP, 1996). She has contributed book chapters, and published many articles in refereed journals on topics as multi-level governance, regional mobilization in the EU, EU public policy, preference formation in the Commission, federalism, nationalist conflict management in Belgium. She is member of the European Union Studies Association (USA), the Council for European Studies, and the American Political Science Association, and she is on the editorial board of several journals, including European Union Politics, Governance, Regional and Federal Studies, Regional Studies, and West European Politics.


Paper in PDF format

Monday, March 18, 2002

USING CROSS-CULTURAL EXPERIMENTS TO UNDERSTAND THE DYNAMICS OF A GLOBAL COMMONS

Presented by Juan-Camilo Cardenas, Associate Professor at the School of Environmental and Rural Studies, Javeriana University, Bogota, Columbia (Coauthor - Jeffrey Carpenter, Middlebury College)

Abstract: Differences in group affiliation may affect the level of cooperation in commons situations such as complex international negotiations over the preservation of the rainforest. In this example, one might expect individuals from the north to show strong support for conservation because they receive mostly non-extractive benefits from the forest (e.g., clean air). However, locals may act with less restraint for two reasons: (1) much more of the benefits coming from the forest are resources that are extracted, and (2) compounding the first reason, local individuals may resist being told to conserve by outsiders. We design a real-time, cross-cultural common pool resource (CPR) experiment purposely using participants from cultures that derive different benefits from biodiversity (extraction versus conservation) to analyze the effect of group affiliation on cooperative behavior. In addition, we elicit real donations to local and international conservation funds to augment our CPR results. In the CPR environment, we find evidence that group affiliation affects behavior. American students maintain their extraction in the mixed treatment (both Colombian and American participants) compared to homogeneous groups (American only), while Colombian participants extract more in the mixed treatment. We also witness negative reciprocity by exploited subgroups. Here subgroups that extract less in one period (i.e., are exploited) tend to extract more in the future and the magnitude of this adjustment is determined by participant nationality and our treatments. In the donation stage, we show that nationality affects how much participants are willing to donate of their first-stage earnings to a conservation fund. We also examine the possibility that altruistic preferences to donate to a conservation fund are endogenous, in that, they reflect the level of cooperation in the CPR game.

BIO: Juan-Camilo Cardenas received his Ph.D. in resource economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2000, and did his post-doctoral work as a visiting scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, after which he returned to his home country where he works as an Associate Professor at the Javeriana University (School of Environmental and Rural Studies). He has been combining experimental methods in the field, along with participatory tools, in the analysis of cooperation and collective action dilemmas in different rural communities. The particular questions he has been pursuing are the role of external regulations, group heterogeneity, and inequality as determinants of cooperation in the use of local commons. He has published articles and book chapters on different applications and results from bringing the experimental lab to the field and work with the communities that face the dilemmas he is studying.
Paper in PDF format

Monday, March 25, 2002

ARTIFACTS, FACILITIES, AND CONTENT - Information as a Common-Pool Resource

Presented by Charlotte Hess, Director of Library and Information Services, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, and Elinor Ostrom, Co-Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis; Co-Director, Center for the Study of Institutions, Populations, and Environmental Change (CIPEC); Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract: This paper was one of the framing papers for the Conference on the Public Domain at the Duke University Law School in November 2001. Conference Chair, James Boyle emphasized the importance of bringing the CPR research and theory into the legal discussions of what Boyle has termed “the second enclosure” movement -- that of the intellectual public domain.

In the past five years, a new legal literature has been built around the concept of information as a commons and increasing commodification of scholarly communication through new patent and copyright laws. One of the main issues concerns the conflicts and contradictions between new laws and new technologies. Information that used to be “free” is now increasingly being privatized, monitored, encrypted, and restricted.

The goal of our paper is to summarize the lessons learned from a large body of international, interdisciplinary research on common-pool resources in the past twenty-five years and consider its usefulness in the analysis of the information as a resource. We suggest ways in which the study of the governance and management of common-pool resources can be applied to the analysis of information and the intellectual public domain. The complexity of the issues is enormous for many reasons: the vast number of players, multiple conflicting interests, the general lack of understanding of digital technologies, local versus global arenas, and a chronic lack of precision about the information resource at hand. We suggest, in the tradition of Hayek, that the combination of time and place analysis with general scientific knowledge is necessary for sufficient understanding of policy and action. In addition, the careful development of an unambiguous language and agreed-upon definitions is imperative.

BIO: Charlotte Hess heads the Workshop Research Library and is Information Officer for the International Association for the Study of Common Property. She is an information specialist on common-pool resources (CPRs) and collective action. Her current areas of research include: the academic uses of the term “commons”; international equity of digital information; intellectual property rights; and the evolution of scholarly communication.

She maintains a regular column in the CPR Digest on Recent Publications. http://www.indiana.edu/~iascp/e-cpr.html

Her works include: A Comprehensive Bibliography of Common Pool Resources, (CD-ROM) 1999 (Bloomington: Indiana University, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis); “Capturing the Campus Commons,” 1998 (The Common Property Resource Digest 46:9-11) http://www.indiana.edu/~iascp/boal.htm; “Is There Anything New Under the Sun? A Discussion and Survey of Studies on New Commons and the Internet,” 2000 (Presented at the eighth biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property, May 31-June 4, Bloomington, IN) http://129.79.82.45/IASCP/Papers/hessc042400.pdf .

BIO: Elinor Ostrom is the Arthur F. Bentley Professor in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University. She is the codirector with Vincent Ostrom of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, and with Emilio Moran of the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC). Her primary interest is the evolution of institutions and strategic behavior within institutions. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Frank E. Seidman Prize in Political Economy and the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. Her books include Governing the Commons; Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources; and Local Commons and Global Interdependence: Heterogeneity and Cooperation in Two Domains.

A copy of the paper can be found on the Digital Library of the Commons at http://dlc.dlib.indiana.edu.

Monday, April 01, 2002

TRUST AND POLITICAL ECONOMY - Institutions and the Sources of Inter-firm Cooperation

Presented by Henry Farrell, Senior Research Fellow, Max-Planck Project Group: Common Goods - Law, Politics and Economics, Bonn, Germany

Abstract: “Industrial districts,” geographically concentrated clusters of small firm production, have received remarkably little attention in political science and political economy. With the exception of a few political scientists interested in “flexible specialization,” and scholars interested in Italy, they have been left to economic sociologists and geographers. This is in spite of the fact that they offer insights relevant to important debates among political scientists and economists as to the sources of trust and cooperation. Industrial districts involve an extraordinary level of disintegration of the production process, so that tasks which are usually undertaken with firm hierarchy are carried out through cooperation between small independent producers. Despite the economic efficiencies of this form of production, it is exceedingly rare in advanced industrial democracies.

BIO: Henry Farrell received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University in 2000. He is currently employed as a Senior Research Fellow at the Max-Planck Project Group in Bonn. From July 1, 2002, he will be Assistant Professor in International Political Economy at the university of Toronto. Dr. Farrell is currently engaged in research on trust and institutions (both individually and with Jack Knight at Washington University in St. Louis), on theories of institutional change (co-organizing a workshop with Alec Stone Sweet, Nuffield College, Oxford, and Neil Fligstein, University of California at Berkeley, and on new forms of public-private interaction in the sphere of e-commerce.

Paper in PDF format

Monday, April 08, 2002

SOCIAL HEURISTICS PEOPLE USE AND HEURISTICS THAT EMERGE IN AN EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS

Presented by Joerg Rieskamp, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington (Coauthor: Gerd Gigerenzer, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany)

Abstract: We study a bargaining situation an indefinitely repeated investment game in which Player A decides how much of an endowment he wants to invest whereas Player B decides how much of the then tripled investment she wants to return. In two studies, we show that participants in the role of Player A make substantial investments ("trust"), those in the role of Player B return substantial parts of the money ("reciprocity") and both players act so that equal payoffs ("fairness") are possible. We test models of the underlying mechanisms of this behavior, and find that social heuristics can predict participants' choices substantially better than a reinforcement learning model and a baseline model. These heuristics explicate the underlying principles of what is commonly called trust, reciprocity and fairness.

BIO: Dr. Rieskamp received his doctorate from the Free University Berlin. He is a post-doctoral researcher at the Psychology Department at Indiana University. He is particular interested in the field of judgment and decision-making research. Other areas of interest are evolution of human behavior in social dilemmas. He is part of the biocomplexity group and doing experimental work on how people learn to allocate a resource between different financial assets.

Paper in PDF format

Monday, April 15, 2002

SHOULD CANDIDATES FLIP A COIN IF THE DIFFERENCE IN THEIR VOTES IS SMALL?

Presented by Eric Rasmusen, Professor at the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract: A coin flip can be a good way to settle an election if the margin of victory is small and it is known that there is a good chance of fraud by one candidate. In that case, however, an even better rule is to award victory to the apparent loser. Even this rule will not entirely eliminate the incentive to acquire illegal votes.

BIO: Professor Rasmusen, Indiana University Foundation Professor in the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy of Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, received his doctorate from MIT in 1984 and has been on the IU faculty since 1992. He works in many areas, including law-and-economics and microeconomic theory, and is perhaps best known for his book Games and Information. In 2002, the University of Chicago Press will be publishing his book with Mark Ramseyer, Measuring Judicial Independence: The Political Economy of Judging in Japan.

Paper in PDF format

Monday, April 22, 2002

EXTERNAL THREAT AND COLLECTIVE ACTION

Presented by Emerson M.S. Niou, Professor at the Department of Political Science, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (Coauthor: Guofu Tan, University of British Columbia)

Abstract:In this paper, we develop a model to study how individual members allocate their endowed resources between productive and conflictual efforts in the context of rivalry between two groups. Our analysis shows that by endogenizing external threat in Olson’s model, the validity of the suboptimality and exploitation hypotheses established by Olson only holds true for members in a defensive group but not for members in an offensive group. Furthermore, when both groups are offensive, the validity of the exploitation and suboptimality hypotheses depends on what rule is used to divide the spoils of victory. If the spoils of victory are divided proportionally, then the two hypotheses are not valid for members in the poor group; but if the spoils of victory are divided equally, the two hypotheses continue to hold for both groups. Another interesting finding from our model is that free riding induced by an equal division rule can actually be beneficial to everyone in the system. Lastly, we show that it does not always pay to take an offensive stance. When competing with an offensive group, it might be better off for members in a defensive group to remain defensive.

BIO: Emerson M.S. Niou (Ph.D., U. of Texas at Austin, 1987), Professor of Political Science, specializes in Formal Theory, International Relations, Political Economy, and East Asian Politics. He is the co-author of The Balance of Power, Cambridge University Press, 1989. His publications in the field of international relations include: "Less Filling, Tastes Great: The Realist-Neoliberal Debate," coauthored with P. C. Ordeshook, World Politics, January 1994 and "Alliances in Anarchic International Systems," coauthored with P. C. Ordeshook, International Studies Quarterly, June 1994. In the field of East Asian politics, his recent publications include: "An Analysis of Dr. Sun Yet-sen's Self-Assessment Scheme for Land Policy," with G. Tan, Public Choice, December 1993; "Seat Bonuses under the Single Non-Transferable Vote for Large Parties: Evidence from Japan and Taiwan," with G. Cox, Comparative Politics, January 1994; and "Police Patrol vs. Self-Policing: A Comparative Analysis of the Control Systems Used in the Ex-Soviet Union and the Communist China," with John Brehm, Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1996. His current projects include studies of village elections in rural China and alliance politics in anarchic international systems. Professor Niou is Director of the Duke University Program in Asian Security Studies at Duke University.

Paper in PDF format

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