Day: Monday
06.11.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Seeds of Populism: Media Coverage of Violence and Anti-Immigration Politics
Location
B6, 30-32 - Room 310
Date
start: 06.11.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 06.11.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Stephanos Vlachos - University of Lausanne
Abstract:
We study how news coverage of immigrants' criminality impacted municipality-level votes in the 2009 referendum on "Minaret Ban" in Switzerland. The campaign, successfully led by the populist party SVP, played aggressively on the fears of Muslim immigration and linked Islam with terrorism and violence. We make use of an exhaustive dataset of violent crime detection that we combine with detailed information on crime coverage from 12 newspapers. First we quantify the extent of the media bias in covering immigrant's criminality. Second we estimate a theory-based voting equation at the municipality-level. Exploiting random variations in crime occurrences, we find a positive and large effect of news coverage on the votes in favor of the Minaret ban. Our counterfactual quantifications show that, in presence of a law forbidding the report of crime perpetrators nationality, the outcome of the referendum would have been nearly reverted at the national level.

Day: Monday
23.10.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Question even more: A comparative assessment of the activity of Russian international news media on Twitter
Location
B6, 30-32 - Room 310
Date
start: 23.10.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 23.10.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Karina Shyrokykh - LMU Munich
Abstract:
This paper investigates how Twitter is being used by Russian international news media. From a comparative perspective, it focuses on the characteristics of their communication and the patterns of users' interaction with these news media content. In doing so, the paper (a) explores and compares the content of Russian (RT and Sputnik) and Western (CNN, BBC, and Spiegel) international news media and, (b) describes the composition of the debates by highlighting the most prevailing topics over time, as well as (c) investigates to what extent their messages find resonance with their audience by capturing the like- and retweet-patterns. Utilizing text analysis and machine learning techniques, the present paper illustrates that Russian media is disproportionally focused on the topics related to Ukraine. The findings also suggest that Russian media experiences hyperactivity at time periods relating to Russia's military actions in Ukraine. Moreover, the analysis reveals that Russian media is systematically much more negative than Western media in its sentiment. At the same time, in comparison to more established media, the extent of users' interaction with Russian media is rather negligible. Although RT and Sputnik are more active on Twitter than their Western counterparts, their content receives significantly fewer likes and retweets. This paper contributes to the discussion of the extent to which Russian disinformation attempts can find resonance with international audience. It also helps better understand news media behavior on social media platforms.

Day: Monday
09.10.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Contestation, Participation, and Democratic Sequencing
Location
B6, 30-32 - Room 310
Date
start: 09.10.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 09.10.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Matthew Wilson - West Virginia University
Abstract:
This study re-examines Dahl (1971) by testing arguments related to the order in which contestation and participation have occurred. Using concept variables from the Polity IV project, I demonstrate that there is modal path in the way in which countries have developed, but that it is not sufficient for explaining democratization. First, I examine whether sequences involving changes in contestation and participation identifysimilar groups of institutional patterns. I then estimate a set of models that show that groups of countries based on dominant sequences exhibit meaningful differences in income, conflict risk, and level of democracy. The results encourage scholars to thinkmore broadly about the interactions that produced long-term patterns of institutional change and to engage in theory building above the level of individual regimes.

Day: Monday
11.09.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Politically feasible reforms of non-linear tax systems
Location
B6, 30-32, Room 310
Date
start: 11.09.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 11.09.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Felix Bierbrauer - University of Cologne
Abstract:
We present a conceptual framework for the analysis of politically feasible tax reforms. First, we prove a median voter theorem for monotonic reforms of non-linear tax systems. This yields a characterization of reforms that are preferred by a majority of individuals over the status quo and hence politically feasible. Second, we show that every Pareto-efficient tax systems is such that moving towards lower tax rates for below-median incomes and towards higher rates for above median incomes is politically feasible. Third, we develop a method for diagnosing whether a given tax system admits reforms that are welfare-improving and/ or politically feasible. Co-author: Pierre Boyer (École Polytechnique - CREST)

Day: Monday
29.05.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Voting in the Bundestag and in the Weimar National Assembly
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 29.05.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 29.05.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Benny Moldovanu - University of Bonn
Abstract:
Article 3 of the Weimar constitution defined the colors of the national flag. This was one of the most contested issues in the Weimar Republic. In this paper we analyze the precise voting process leading to that decision. We combine two methods of analysis: first, we recall in some detail the historical and political context. Second, we use recent advances in social choice/mechanism design under incomplete information that allow us to precisely analyze the employed voting procedure and, together with the historical record, to explain and interpret the observed outcome.

Day: Monday
22.05.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Silence of the Innocents: Illegal Immigrants' Underreporting of Crime and their Victimization
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 22.05.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 22.05.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Giovanni Mastrobuoni - University of Essex
Abstract:
We analyze the consequences of illegally residing in a country on the likelihood of reporting a crime to the police and, as a consequence, on the likelihood to become victims of a crime. We use an immigration amnesty to address two issues when dealing with the legal status of immigrants: it is both endogenous as well as mostly unobserved in surveys.Right after the 1986 US Immigration Reform and Control Act, which disproportionately legalized individuals of Hispanic origin, crime victims of Hispanic origin in cities with a large proportion of illegal Hispanics become considerably more likely to report a crime. Non-Hispanics show no changes. Difference-in-differences estimates that adjust for the misclassification of legal status imply that the reporting rate of undocumented immigrants is close to 11 percent. Gaining legal status the reporting rate triples, approaching the reporting rate of non-Hispanics. We also find some evidence that following the amnesty Hispanics living in metropolitan areas with a large share of illegal migrants experience a reduction in victimization. This is coherent with a simple behavioral model of crime that guides our empirical strategies, where amnesties increase the reporting rate of legalized immigrants, which, in turn, modify the victimization of natives and migrants.

Day: Monday
08.05.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Revealed Preferences for Hard vs. Soft News
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 08.05.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 08.05.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
James Snyder - Havard University
Abstract:
We analyze minute-by-minute, individual level data on viewership for Italian TV news broadcasts (from Auditel), matched with detailed data on content (from Osservatorio di Pavia). We are interested in the behavior of viewers, and in particular in their decision to switch from a news program as a function of the type of story they are currently watching. Somewhat surprisingly, we find that "soft" news systematically induce viewers to switch, even more than "hard" news. On the other hand, stories about crime, and stories about accidents and disasters, are associated with less switching. We also find significant differences in this switching behavior as a function of gender, age, the specific TV channel being watched, and prior behavior. For example, young people (below the age of 30) are more turned off by hard news than older people, while the opposite holds for soft news. Women also appear to be less turned off than men by soft news. A substantial minority of Italians appear to be "regular" news viewers who do not appear to avoid hard news.

Day: Monday
24.04.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
The Political Consequences of Terrorism. A Quasi-Experimental Approach.
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 24.04.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 24.04.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Laia Balcells - Duke University
Abstract:
We investigate the consequences of terrorism on political behavior by leveraging of a set of "natural experiments'". We study several attacks against civilians and combatants (e.g. members of the army and police forces) perpetrated by E.T.A., a Basque terrorist organization that was active in Spain and France between 1958 and 2011. Using national-wide surveys that were being fielded when the attacks occurred, we precisely identify the effects of terrorist violence on individual political participation in democratic elections. We find that both lethal and non-lethal terrorist attacks significantly increased turnout. However, we do not observe punishment to the incumbent government as a consequence of the attacks. Our results contrast with some previous findings on the political consequences of terrorism, but are consistent with existing studies on other forms of political and criminal violence, which suggest that exposure to violence can lead citizens to engage in politics in order to heal from trauma as well as to show discontent. Our results have an important implication: by enhancing political engagement of citizens, terrorism could have the unintended effect of reinforcing democracy. Co-author: Gerard Torrats-Espinosa (NYU)

Day: Wednesday
05.04.2017
12:00 Uhr
Joint AEE & SFB 884 Seminar (12-1pm!)Public
Parenting Style as an Investment in Human Development
Location
Building L7, 3-5 , Room P 043
Date
start: 05.04.2017 - 12:00 Uhr
end: 05.04.2017 - 13:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Deborah Cobb-Clark - University of Sydney
Abstract:
We propose a household production function approach to human development that explicitly considers the role of parenting style in child rearing. Specifically, parenting style is modelled as an investment that depends not only on inputs of time and market goods, but also on attention. Our model relates socioeconomic disadvantage to parenting style and human development through the constraints that disadvantage places on cognitive capacity. We find empirical support for key features of our model. Parenting style is a construct that is distinctive to standard parental investments and is important for young-adult outcomes. Effective parenting styles are negatively correlated with disadvantage. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The group "Applied Economics and Econometrics" (AEE) and the SFB 884 present this joint seminar. For more information on AEE, please have a look here: https://www2.vwl.uni-mannheim.de/31.0.html

Day: Monday
27.03.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Gerrymandering in America: The House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, and the Future of Popular Sovereignty
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 27.03.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 27.03.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Charles Anthony Smith - University of California, Irvine
Abstract:
The Supreme Court's decision in Vieth v Jubelirer (2004) made challenging a congressional districting plan on the grounds of partisan gerrymandering almost impossible. We demonstrate that in the 2010 re-districting round after Vieth, partisan bias increased dramatically. From a Constitutional perspective, unrestrained partisan gerrymandering poses a critical threatto a central pillar of democracy: popular sovereignty. In Vieth, Kennedy suggested there was an absence of a constitutionally grounded and legally manageable standard for gerrymandering. We argue (and demonstrate) that the scientifically rigorous "partisan symmetry measure" is an appropriate legal standard for assessing partisan gerrymandering as it is a necessary condition of equal protection and can be practically applied.

Day: Monday
13.03.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
From Campaigns to the Halls of Congress: Class-based Prejudice and Strategic Discrimination in Brazil
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 13.03.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 13.03.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Amanda Driscoll - Florida State University
Abstract:
Can electoral incentives mitigate racial and class prejudices toward underrepresented groups? We use a pair of large-scale field experiments to investigate the responsiveness of Brazilian legislative candidates to information requests from fictitious voters before and after the 2010 legislative elections. Our panel study design allows us to examine how politicians' electoral incentives and prejudices jointly affect their responsiveness to voters with randomly assigned socioeconomic and partisan characteristics. Distinguishing between prejudiced and strategic discrimination in responsiveness, we find that the most competitive candidates--the socioeconomically privileged with a viable chance of winning a seat--are more responsive to lower class voters in advance of the election, yet systematically less responsive once in office.

Day: Monday
27.02.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Separated Under the Same Roof: Fiscal Inefficiency of Parties' Fragmentation and Mayor's Political Power
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 27.02.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 27.02.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Paolo Roberti - University of Bologna
Abstract:
This work studies the causal effect of the fragmentation of parties in a ruling coalition on fiscal policies, using data on Italian municipalities. We exploit the ballot order effect and the random allocation of parties on the ballot paper as instrument for political fragmentation. Results show that a larger political fragmentation reduces revenues and spending, because each party internalizes the whole cost of the contribution made by the groups of citizens it represents, but only a fraction of the benefit, the rest of which is distributed to the other groups. Exploiting a regression discontinuity design as exogenous variation in the political power of the mayor, we show that a politically strong mayor can solve this problem of underprovision, exerting pressure on the central government, in order to receive larger transfers.

Day: Monday
20.02.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Monetary Constraints, Spending and Autocratic Survival in Dominant Party Regimes
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 20.02.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 20.02.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Masaaki Higashijima - University of Tohoku (Japan)
Abstract:
When do authoritarian regimes collapse and transition to democracies or other forms of authoritarianism? In dominant party regimes party cadres participate in the decision-making process, which constrains dictators from arbitrarily using policy and patronage. Dominant party regimes are also better at mobilizing regime supporters in exchange for extensive patronage. These two mechanisms are assumed to work together to prolong dominant party rule. We contend that, under certain conditions, the elite-level constraints may make it difficult for the autocrat to engage in patronage distribution. We focus on monetary institutions, arguing that when high legal central bank independence overlaps with the collective decision-making in dominant party regimes, dictators have a harder time controlling the central bank. Thus the central bank becomes credible enough to restrict expansionary fiscal policy. Such a spending constraint makes it more difficult to mobilize party supporters using patronage, paving a way for authoritarian breakdown and regime transitions. Empirical analyses on data from 1970 to 2012 and 94 countries find that high central bank independence in dominant party regimes increases the likelihood of authoritarian breakdown and democratic transitions. Moreover, independent central banks in dominant party autocracies contribute to lower fiscal expenditures.

Day: Monday
30.01.2017
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
The Credibility of Party Policy Rhetoric. Survey Experimental Evidence
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 30.01.2017 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 30.01.2017 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Pablo Fernandez-Vasquez - Carlos III-Juan March Institute
Abstract:
Democratic elections are expected to help citizens elect like-minded incumbents. The issue positions that political parties publicly take are thus supposed to inform voters of each party´s policy preferences. I argue, however, that voters are aware that policy offerings are also a strategic tool to win elections and that parties may campaign on policies that get them elected and do otherwise in office. Hence, citizens are more skeptical of party stances that might be electorally motivated. I have tested this argument with a survey experiment fielded in the United Kingdom that exposes respondents to Conservative and Labour Party statements on immigration and the National Health Service. I report consistent evidence that respondents discount more heavily the party statements that are likely to be electorally beneficial. This finding has key implications for democratic representation, spatial models of elections and public opinion change.

Day: Monday
05.12.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Waking up to a Golden Dawn: The effect of exposure to the refugee crisis on political attitudes and support for far-right parties
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 05.12.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 05.12.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Konstantinos Matakos - King's College London
Abstract:
European governments are struggling with the largest refugee crisis since World War II. In addition to the direct financial costs that receiving countries have to shoulder, the political repercussions could be equally severe and longer-lasting. One of the key questions, therefore, is whether exposure to the refugee crises fuels anti-immigrant sentiments and increases electoral support for extreme right-wing parties. Despite heated debates about Europe´s response to the refugee crisis, there exists very little, and usually conflicting, evidence that assess the impact of influx of refugees on natives´ political attitudes and behaviour. We provide new causal evidence from a natural experiment in Greece, where some Aegean islands close to the Turkish border have experienced drastic increases in the number of refugees while other islands slightly further away - but otherwise very similar as far as a series of institutional and socio-economic characteristics are concerned - did not. Our research design exploits some unique features of Greek electoral institutions and takes advantage of this unique natural experiment in the Aegean Sea which allow us to identify the electoral impact of exogenous influx of refugees on affected islands. Placebo tests suggest that pre-treatment vote shares for exposed and non-exposed islands were very similar. This allows us to obtain unbiased estimates of the impact of a refugee influx on voting for extreme right parties. Our study shows that for the islands that faced a large influx of refugees, vote shares for Golden Dawn, the most extreme right-wing party in Europe, increased by almost 50% in just couple of months, at the expense of all other parliamentary parties. We also find that this effect is significantly amplified by the intensity of exposure (in terms of per capita arrivals of refugees) and geographical concentration. This has important implications for policy design regarding the management of refugee flows and the speed of processing asylum requests. Our analysis identifies issue-owning and expressive voting (xenophobic attitudes) as the main mechanisms taking place. Co-authors: Elias Dinas (Oxford), Dimitrios Xefteris (U Cyprus) and Dominik Hangartner (LSE)

Day: Monday
21.11.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Social Media and Protest Participation: Evidence from Russia
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 21.11.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 21.11.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Ruben Enikolopov - New Economic School, Moscow
Abstract:
Do new communication technologies, such as social media, reduce collective action problem? This paper provides evidence that penetration of VK, the dominant Russian online social network, affected protest activity during a wave of protests in Russia in 2011. As a source of exogenous variation in network penetration, we use information on the city of origin of the students who studied together with the founder of VK, controlling for the city of origin of the students who studied at the same university several years earlier or later. We find that a 10% increase in VK penetration increased the probability of a protest by 4.6%, and the number of protesters by 19%. Additional results suggest that social media has affected protest activity by reducing the costs of coordination, rather than by spreading information critical of the government. In particular, VK penetration increased pro-governmental support and reduced the number of people who were ready to participate in protests right before the protests took place. Also, cities with higher fractionalization of network users between VK and Facebook experienced fewer protests. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that municipalities with higher VK penetration received smaller transfers from the central government after the occurrence of protests.

Day: Monday
07.11.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
It's never too LATE: A new look at local average treatment effects with or without defiers.
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 07.11.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 07.11.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Giovanni Mellace - University of Southern Denmark
Abstract:
In heterogeneous treatment effect models with endogeneity, the identification of the local average treatment effect (LATE) typically relies on an exogenous instrument and the monotonicity of the endogenous treatment in the instrument. We demonstrate that a strictly weaker local monotonicity condition (given a marginal potential outcome) identifies the LATEs on the compliers (whose treatment reacts to the instrument in the intended way) and defiers. Furthermore, when easing local monotonicity further to local stochastic monotonicity (allowing for both compliers and defiers given a potential outcome), our identification results still apply to subsets of compliers and defiers. As second contribution, we propose estimators that can be more efficient than 2SLS even in cases where the latter is consistent for the LATE. We illustrate our findings in an application to the quarter of birth instrument.

Day: Monday
24.10.2016
14:00 Uhr
Joint AEE & SFB 884 SeminarPublic
The Impact of Education on Family Formation: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the UK
Location
L7, 3-5 - Room P043
Date
start: 24.10.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 24.10.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Heather Royer - University of California, Santa Barbara
Abstract:
In this paper we examine the fertility and mating market effects of education. We exploit a quasi-experiment generated by a change in UK compulsory schooling laws. This change, introduced in 1972, forced all students to stay in full-time education until at least age 16. The reform was recent enough that access to legal abortion and modern contraception was quite similar to today, granting insight into the fertility effects of education in a modern context. This reform was binding for many girls, inducing around one quarter of the female population of England and Wales in the relevant cohorts to attend an additional year of school. For identification, we leverage the fact that compulsory school requirement was discontinuous with respect to cohort of birth using regression discontinuity methods. We show that the affected girls had significantly lower fertility in their teen years. Instrumental variables estimates imply a 30% reduction in births at ages 16 and 17 caused by the additional year of schooling. The decline was not accompanied by any increase in abortions. We also find that the reform had negligible impacts on completed fertility. Our findings suggest that education-based policies might reduce teen pregnancies without impacting completed fertility rates. On the mating market front, the reform induced both men and women to marry more educated mates and induced women to marry younger mates. The mating effects suggest that educational reforms can have multiplicative effects on household income by changing mate quality. Co-author: Michael Geruso (University of Texas at Austin & NBER) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The group "Applied Economics and Econometrics" (AEE) and the SFB 884 present this joint seminar. For more information on AEE, please have a look here: https://www2.vwl.uni-mannheim.de/31.0.html

Day: Monday
17.10.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Effect of Pension Plan Type on Retirement Behavior
Location
SFB Room 014/015, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 17.10.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 17.10.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Neha Bairoliya - Harvard University
Abstract:
Annuity based retirement plans like Defined Benefit (DB) are significantly different from Defined Contribution (DC) and other account based plans in the nature of wealth accrual over the life cycle. In a DB plan, marginal returns to staying with the pension provider drops after a certain age incentivizing exit from the labor market. In a DC plan, marginal returns to staying with the employer stays the same at all ages. The increase in participation rates over the last three decades for older workers along with the shift in pension plans from DB to DC over the same time period in the U.S. suggest a potential link between the two. This paper establishes a relationship between the nature of pension wealth accrual and retirement behavior. A life cycle model of consumption, savings, social security and pension wealth heterogeneity is estimated using the Health and Retirement Survey data. Simulations from the model indicate that a complete phase-out from DB to DC plans results in a 17% increase in the labor force participation rates of 57 to 69 years old.

Day: Monday
26.09.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Bridging the Gap: Lottery-based Procedures in Early Parliamentarization
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 26.09.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 26.09.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Alexandra Cirone - London School of Economics and Political Science
Abstract:
This paper explores the use of lottery-based rules in cases of European parliamentarization. While democratic theory has long argued the benefits of either pure or partial selection by lot, few have explored this procedure in the context of modern democratic transitions. We first review the use of such procedures in the 19th century cases of Germany, Austria, and Denmark. We then empirically analyze the case of the French Third Republic, which incorporated random assignment in the selection of the budget committee. Using a unique, time series dataset of deputies in the National Assembly from 1881-1910, we demonstrate that lottery-based procedures resulted in more diverse and more skilled candidates, as opposed to wealthier Parisian elites. We find that across cases, the use of such lotteries was related to partisan politics, and that legislative procedures can evolve to coordinate political activities in the absence of a strong party system. Co-author: Brenda Van Coppenolle (Leiden University)

Day: Wednesday
06.07.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Handling Missing Data Under Difficult and Ordinary Circumstances
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 06.07.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 06.07.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Jeff Gill - Washington University, St. Louis
Abstract:
Missing values are unfortunately common in the collection of social science data. These missing values occur for a variety of reasons that affect downstream analysis. Missing data is not a problem that can be ignored since deleting cases with missingness leads to biased results in most cases. In this talk standard tools for handling missingness are reviewed and some new areas of research are discussed. This talk is meant to be accessible and examples are drawn broadly from the social sciences.

Day: Monday
23.05.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Fostering the benefits of international migration. A randomized evaluation of pre-departure training for migrants from the Philippines to the US
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 23.05.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 23.05.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Andreas Steinmayr - University of Munich
Abstract:
By providing migrants with the right information to succeed abroad, pre-departure orientation seminars (PDOS) for migrants have the potential to become a key policy tool for increasing the benefits of international migration for migrants, their families as well as their countries of destination and origin at large. There is currently no evidence on the effectiveness of PDOS and on what kind of training contents matter. We evaluate the effectiveness of PDOS by randomly assigning migrants departing from the Philippines to the US to new and different types of PDOS and tracking the impact on 1,273 migrants and their family members remaining in the Philippines over time. This paper summarizes the short-term effects of the new PDOS. We find that the new information provided in the PDOS (i) reduces travel-related problems, (ii) tends to speed up initial important steps for settlement, (iii) makes migrants less likely to have their Philippine qualification recognized and more likely to plan to study in the US, (iv) reduces the size of migrants´ social network in the US, and (v) has no effect on subjective wellbeing. Preliminary evidence from ongoing fieldwork also suggests that the new PDOS may increase migration intentions of family members who stay behind.

Day: Monday
09.05.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
How war affects political attitudes: Evidence from eastern Ukraine
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 09.05.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 09.05.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Martin Huber - University Fribourg (CH)
Abstract:
This study empirically evaluates the impact of the war in eastern Ukraine on the political attitudes and sentiments towards Ukraine and Russia among the population living close to the war zone on the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government. Exploiting unique survey data that were collected in early 2013 (13 months before the outbreak of the conflict) and early 2015 (11 months after the outbreak), we employ two strategies to infer how the war has affected two different groups defined by distance to the war zone. First, we apply a before-after analysis to examine intra-group changes in attitudes over time. Second, we use a difference-in-difference approach to investigate inter-group divergence over time. Under particular assumptions, the latter approach yields a lower absolute bound for the effect. We control for a range of observed characteristics and consider both parametric and semiparametric estimation based on inverse probability weighting. Our results suggest that one year of conflict negatively affected attitudes towards Russia, while mostly no statistically significant intra- or inter-group differences were found for sentiments towards Ukraine.

Day: Monday
02.05.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Team Contests with Multiple Indivisible Prizes
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 02.05.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 02.05.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Benoit Crutzen - Erasmus University Rotterdam
Abstract:
We analyze theoretically an effort-based, imperfectly discriminating contest between teams for the allocation of multiple indivisible prizes. Prize allocation between teams is based on the outputs of the different teams. These outputs are a CES-type function of their members´effort choices. Each team member can get at most one prize. The way teams allocate the different prizes they won to their members follows one of three possible rules: 1) under the egalitarian or random allocation rule, the allocation is effort-independent and every team member has the same probability of getting one of the prizes their team won; 2) under the list rule, prizes are allocated to members following the order of the list; specifically, members are first ranked on a list and they then decide how much effort to exert, knowing their position on the list; this rule is thus also effort-independent; 3) under the competitive rule, team members are again ranked on a list but this time the ranking is based on their effort decisions. In the basic model, team members only care about them receiving one of the prizes their team won. We then study how complementarities between the effort choices of team members impacts on the ranking of the three allocation rules in terms of team output. We show that, if the competitive rule dominates the other two rules, which of the random or the list rule dominates the other depends on the degree of complementarity between the efforts of team members. We then consider several extensions of our basic analysis. For example, we let the number of teams vary and we also let team members also care about the number of prizes their team won, irrespective of whether or not they got one of the prizes themselves.

Day: Monday
18.04.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
How Transparency Kills Information Aggregation: Theory and Experiment
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 18.04.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 18.04.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Sebastian Fehrler - University of Konstanz
Abstract:
We investigate the potential of transparency to influence committee decisionmaking. We present a model in which career concerned committee members receive private information of different type-dependent accuracy, deliberate and vote. We study three levels of transparency under which career concerns are predicted to affect behavior differently, and test the model´s key predictions in a laboratory experiment. The model’s predictions are largely borne out - transparency negatively affects information aggregation at the deliberation and voting stages, leading to sharply different committee error rates than under secrecy. This occurs despite subjects revealing more information under transparency than theory predicts.

Day: Monday
04.04.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Choice and personal responsibility: What is a morally relevant choice?
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 04.04.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 04.04.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Erik O. Sorensen - NHH Norwegian School of Economics
Abstract:
The principle that people should be held personally responsible for the consequences of their choices is a fundamental moral ideal in Western societies. We study experimentally how far-reaching this principle is when people consider income inequalities: are individuals held personally responsible for nominal and forced choices, which arguably do not meet minimal conditions for a morally relevant choice (causal responsibility and the presence of an acceptable alternative). The paper offers two main findings. First, we find strong evidence of the minimal conditions being violated. If individuals have made a nominal or forced choice, then third-party spectators are significantly more willing to implement an income inequality than in a situation where individuals have not made any choice. Second, we find a political divide between the right and the left in how to understand the idea of personal responsibility. The introduction of a nominal or forced choice has a very strong effect on the redistributive behavior of right-wing spectators, but no statistically significant effect on left-wing spectators. We argue that these findings shed important light on the present heated political debate on personal responsibility and redistributive policies. Co-authors: Alexander W. Cappelen, Sebastian Fest and Bertil Tungodden

Day: Monday
07.03.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Patronage Explanations for the Survival of International Organizations
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 07.03.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 07.03.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Julia Gray - London School of Economics and Political Science
Abstract:
Many scholars have praised the rise of international organizations (IOs) as a sign of increased cooperation and economic integration. Others have noted that the swelling numbers of IOs have also meant that several organizations replicate others' stated purposes, and that there is significant membership and rule overlap within the ranks of IOs. At the same time, the disbanding of or exit from IOs is rare (Vabulas and von Borzykowski, 2013), and many ineffective organizations tend to outlive their stated purpose. One might expect, to take an evolutionary logic, that redundant IOs will simply fade out of existence once they are supplanted by better-functioning ones. Yet many poorly functioning IOs, as one scholar put it, "refuse to die" (Bernholz, 2009) even though they do not seem to be fulfilling their stated purpose. What keeps redundant IOs alive? This paper argues that even ineffective international organizations can serve valuable patronage functions for their member states. Even if IOs fail in their goals, the bureaucracies surrounding them can still be used for patronage, defined here as the use of public office for political and personal gain. The bureaucracies surrounding international organizations can offer substantial private rents for member state governments. The perqs that an IO can offer can lead to ineffective organizations hanging on, even if they do not fulfill their original mandate. Patronage can thus be an unintended consequence of IOs, leading to a misuse of the structure of IOs for corrupt purposes. This goes beyond the study of bureaucratic drift (Pollack, 1997) to present a more pathological version of IOs (Barnett and Finnemore, 1999).

Day: Wednesday
02.03.2016
12:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Unlisted in America
Location
L 13,17 - Room 014/015 (Ground Floor)
Date
start: 02.03.2016 - 12:00 Uhr
end: 02.03.2016 - 13:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Simon Jackman - Stanford University
Abstract:
Campaigns, parties, interest groups, pollsters and political scientists increasingly rely on voter registration lists and consumer files to identify targets for registration, persuasion and mobilization, and as sampling frames for surveys. However, a sizable proportion of the U.S. citizen population does not appear on these lists, making them invisible to list-based campaigns and research. How large is the unlisted population? Are their preferences ignorable? What political consequences follow from a list-based view of the polity? We address these questions after matching respondents to the face-to-face component of the 2012 American National Election Study (using an address-based sampling design) to voter and consumer files. At least 11% of the U.S. adult citizenry is unlisted. 1 in 5 Blacks and (citizen) Hispanics are unlisted, but just 8% of Whites. The unlisted earn less income and are less likely to have health insurance or own their own home than the listed population. The unlisted have markedly lower levels of political engagement than the listed and report close to no contact with candidates and campaigns whatsoever. Yet, the unlisted have coherent policy preferences that tend to the left of listed respondents. Unlisted ANES respondents reported favoring Obama over Romney 73-27 and just 14% identify as Republicans. The exclusion of the unlisted has important practical and normative implications for political representation, measures of public opinion, election outcomes and public policy.(Co-author: Brad Spahn)

Day: Monday
29.02.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Relinquinshing Power, Explotation and Political Unemployement in Democratic Organizations
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 29.02.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 29.02.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Luis Corchón - Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Abstract:
This paper focuses on the dynamics of organizations and how they design its future according to the interest of their members. Agents are grouped into three classes, high, medium and low productivity. We analyze the evolution of organizations which take decisions by majority voting. We focus on the evolution of the political power and show that in some cases, rational agents who valuate the future may yield political power to other class. This is what we call the relinquish effect. We show that exploitation is possible in democratic societies and study its determinants. We also show that high productivity agents may be left in the cold because their entrance in an organization may threaten the dominance of other classes. We call this political unemployment.

Day: Wednesday
24.02.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Investing under human, defined and vague uncertainty
Location
L 13,17 - Room 014/015 (Ground Floor)
Date
start: 24.02.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 24.02.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Jonas Fooken - Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
Abstract:
That the interaction with social counterparts, external risk and the vagueness of external risk impact decision making is well known. Less is known how these elements interact. I investigate changes in investment decisions when uncertainty about likely decisions of a human counterpart is combined with external risk, observing decisions at various likelihood levels and under risk and ambiguity. The presence of external uncertainty leads to more own-regarding decisions and increases with the level of uncertainty, the effect being larger under ambiguity than under risk. Choices of decision makers who should not change their decisions due to risk attitudes, but are affected by the uncertain outcome, become more own-regarding with increasing risk. Changes of those for whom risk attitudes may play a role also change choices; while their behavior may be explained by risk attitudes, an additional, interactive element between social and risk preferences appears also likely.

Day: Monday
22.02.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Legislative Reforms and Party Competition in Parliamentary Democracies
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 22.02.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 22.02.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Thomas König, Nick Lin and Katsunori Seki - SFB 884 - C1
Abstract:
The primary task of the C1 project is to investigate the ability of political parties, including parties in the government and the opposition, to initiate policy reforms in parliamentary democracies. In the first phase of this project we have examined how party competition and collective ruling affect the initiation of reforms using novel data on policy reforms in Germany and Austria. In this presentation we will provide a general overview of how we continue our study from the previous phrase by expanding our theoretical and empirical scopes. More specifically, we will discuss the research questions we are currently pursuing, our theoretical expectations, what we have done, and our general contribution to the broader policymaking literature. We will also give an overview of our plan for the third phase of this project.

Day: Monday
08.02.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Exposure to bankers: networks and stock market participation
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 08.02.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 08.02.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Louis Raes - Tilburg University
Abstract:
In this paper we investigate the importance of acquaintance networks for financial decisions by households. We construct a variable capturing the expected proximity or social closeness to a subpopulation of financially savvy people using an overdispersed Poisson model. This measure captures the exposure to people with financial knowledge in an investor's acquaintance network. We find that investors with a higher exposure to financial savvy people are more likely to invest in stocks. This holds after controlling for a wide range of known stock market participation determinants. Moreover when restricting to households with elevated levels of trust or wealth the impact of exposure to financial savvy people increases. Our main findings continue to hold in several analyses to uncover an exogenous effect from proximity on stock market participation. Furthermore we show that the importance of acquaintance networks extends to other financial decisions as well.

Day: Monday
25.01.2016
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Politician Family Networks and Electoral Outcomes:Evidence from the Philippines
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 25.01.2016 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 25.01.2016 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Cesi Cruz - University of British Columbia
Abstract:
We demonstrate the electoral importance of politician family networks and provide evidence of the mechanisms behind the relationship. We use a 20 million person dataset, allowing us to reconstruct intermarriage networks for over 15,000 villages in 709 municipalities in the Philippines. We show that politicians are disproportionately drawn from more central families and that, controlling for candidate fixed effects, candidates receive a higher vote share in villages where their families are more central. We present evidence that centrality confers organizational and logistical advantages that facilitate clientelistic transactions such as vote buying and do not operate through popularity, name recognition or through the choice of policies more aligned with their constituents’ preferences.

Day: Monday
07.12.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 07.12.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 07.12.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Jean-Robert Tyran - University of Vienna
Abstract:
The quality of democratic decision making critically depends on voter motivation, i.e. voters´ willingness to incur costs to be well informed and to turn out. If voters are motivated, voting may result in smart choices because of information aggregation but if voters are unmotivated, delegating the choice to an expert may yield better outcomes. Those willing to incur a cost to cast an informed vote improve the quality of democratic choice for the entire committee and thus provide a public good. We experimentally show that voting is more informationally efficient when subjects demand (by signing a petition) to make choices by voting than when decision making by voting is imposed on subjects. Our results suggest that the quality of democratic decision making can be improved by letting voters know that others are (also) motivated to be informed and to turn out.

Day: Monday
16.11.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
[changed abstract!]The international context of tax and public sector reform decision - Public debt and the political economy of reforms
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 16.11.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 16.11.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Friedrich Heinemann, Eckhard Janeba and Christoph Esslinger - SFB 884 - C5
Abstract:
First, Friedrich Heinemann and Eckhard Janeba will present briefly the C5 project "The international context of tax and public sector reform decision". Afterwards, Christoph Esslinger will present his paper on "Public Debt and the political economy of reforms". Abstract: What determines whether beneficial reforms are implemented in the political process? This question dominates the current debate in many countries. We show that a decisive factor is the interaction of the reform decision with the decision to raise public debt. We consider a two-period model in which two politicians compete for election in each period. They do so by targeting available resources to subsets of voters. This tactical redistribution does not imply any efficiency gain. In the first period, the two politicians also propose whether to implement an efficient reform that costs resources today but yields higher benefits in the future. Additionally, they choose the level of public debt. We show that the ability to raise public debt for targeting current voters can help in sustaining the efficient reform in political competition. Without public debt, politicians compete only on how to target first-period resources to voters. This implies a disadvantage for a reforming candidate, who loses targetable resources through the first-period reform costs. In contrast, the use of public debt allows politicians to also compete on targeting the pie of future resources. This gives a competitive edge to a reformer, since her advantage lies in the future. We show that putting a less restrictive limit on public debt will increase the probability of reform. The impact is especially high for growth-enhancing reforms that create more targetable resources in the future. If the reform mainly creates non-targetable public good benefits, public debt cannot ensure the implementation of the reform anymore. However, a higher ability to raise public debt still decreases the relative importance of the reform costs and still increases the probability of reform. Our results highlight a new view on the trade-off between targeted pork-barrel spending and efficient spending. As long as the efficient policy creates benefits only in the next electoral cycle, allowing enough debt-related targeted spending might be necessary to incentivize spending on the efficient policy.

Day: Monday
09.11.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Imperfectly informed voters and strategic extremism
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 09.11.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 09.11.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Enriqueta Aragonès - Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
Abstract:
We analyze an electoral competition model with two office motivated candidates where voters use shortcuts (e.g. interest-group/media endorsements) to infer the policy platforms of the competing candidates. That is, voters have imperfect information about the candidates´ policy proposals: they do not observe the exact policy proposals of the candidates but only which candidate offers the more leftist/rightist platform. We also consider the possibility that voters use a biassed tie breaking rulethat assigns a non-policy advantage to one of the candidates. In the unique equilibrium of the game the behavior of the two candidates tends to maximum extremism, but it may converge or diverge depending on the size of the candidates´ advantage. For small values of the advantage candidates converge to the extreme policy that is most preferred by the median voter and for large values of the advantage candidates´strategies diverge: each candidate specializes in a different extreme policy.Our analysis shows that the imperfect information of the voters about the candidates´strategies leads candidates to choose extreme policies, while the presence of the non-policy advantage leads candidates to choose diverging policies.

Day: Monday
12.10.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
The Marginal Voter's Curse
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 12.10.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 12.10.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Aniol Llorente-Saguer - Queen Mary University London
Abstract:
An intuitive explanation for voter abstention is that a voter is uncertain which policy or candidate to vote for, and so defers to the rest of the electorate to make the decision. In majoritarian elections this has been formally modelled as a strategic response to the swing voter's curse, which arises because the rare event of a pivotal vote conveys substantial information. In electoral systems other than majority rule, however, the standard pivotal voting calculus may not apply. This paper analyzes one such system, namely proportional representation, where additional votes continue to push the policy outcome in one direction or the other. A new strategic incentive for abstention arises in that case, to avoid the "marginal voter's curse" of pushing the policy outcome in the wrong direction. Intuitively, conditioning on the rare event of a pivotal vote might seem to have a greater impact on behavior, but the marginal voter's curse actually presents a larger disincentive for voting than the swing voter's curse. This and other predictions of the model are confirmed empirically by a series of laboratory experiments. The project is joint with Helios Herrera and Joseph McMurray.

Day: Monday
28.09.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Using Randomized Controlled Trials to Evaluate Financial Interventions in Developing Countries
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 28.09.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 28.09.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Andreas Landmann & Niels Kemper - SFB 884 - B7
Abstract:
The seminar will present initial findings from two large-scale impact evaluations conducted by researchers of the SFB-Project B7. After some introductory words on the ongoing projects in B7 (Markus Frölich), there will be two presentations on ongoing RCTs in the Pakistan and the Philippines: Presentation 1 (Andreas Landmann): We study a health insurance innovation in rural Pakistan where several different product types were introduced as an RCT. The experiment covers more than 500 villages and about 40.000 individuals, which allows meaningful statistical analyses. We first discuss the products, details of the treatment assignment and prodedures of the experiment. We then analyze adverse selection into insurance in different treatments using baseline health status. We further provide causal evidence for adverse selection using random price variation for the insrance product. Presentation 2 (Niels Kemper): Asymmetric information leads to non-compliance with credit contracts. We evaluate whether conditioning insurance coverage through a health emergency fund on the clients´repayment performance improves compliance with credit contracts. Partnering with a microfinance institution in the Philippines we introduce conditional insurance coverage at varying levels of intensity and track repayment decisions of more than 21.000 clients in more than 700 client centers on a weekly basis over 150 weeks. Drawing on data from the first 95 weeks we find a small effect of the low-intensity conditional insurance coverage, but a steadily growing treatment trajectory.

Day: Thursday
24.09.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
Hic Sunt Leones! The role of national identity on aggressiveness between national football teams
Location
SFB Meeting Room, 5th Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 24.09.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 24.09.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
David A. Savage - University of Newcastle, Australia
Abstract:
This paper examines the role of national identity in explaining on field aggression during soccer competitions between national teams. In particular, this paper empirically investigates whether differences in macro identity markers such as: the economy, religion, education, governance and power between nation-states influence football players' aggressiveness across a range of international FIFA competitions. We analyse the finals of the FIFA World, Confederations and Under 20's World Cups as well as the Olympic tournaments from 1994 to 2012, resulting in 1088 individual matches. Our aggression focus is derived from both the (i) weighted measure of penalties (red and yellow cards) and; (ii) the count of sanctions (fouls) issued during a game as a proxy measure for on field aggression. We generate national identity factors from a set of macro level variables in order to estimate the size of national differences, from which we determine the impact that national identity has on the emergence of on field aggression between rival countries. Our results show that these national identity factors are significant predictors of aggression, while the match specific variables seem to be of less importance. It would appear that the football pitch is perceived as an opportunity to redress any differences of imbalance of power between nations. Interestingly, our results also show that these aggression factors disappear once we include referee fixed effects, indicating that while national differences are played out on the football pitch the referees are effective at controlling the aggression.

Day: Monday
14.09.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Determinants of Discrimination in Strategic Settings
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 14.09.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 14.09.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Dominik Duell - University of Toulouse
Abstract:
Social identity relationships fundamentally affect mutual expectations of agents and principals, and through those, agents' performance and career prospects. In a laboratory investigation of a principal-agent relationship with moral hazard, we isolate the effect of the strategic environment on subjects' beliefs and choices and provide a direct test of the strategic theory of statistical discrimination. We find that when principals use the sanctioning tools at their disposal in an outcome-contingent way, they attribute good outcomes more readily to their agents' effort and reward their agents more frequently when they share a social identity, but when principals do not use the sanctioning tools outcome-contingently or have no access to sanctioning tools, they do not hold such beliefs. In a strategic setting, agents tend to anticipate needing to meet a lower outcome threshold to receive a reward from the in-group principals and condition their effort choice on that expectation, increasing the effort with the increase in the expected demanded outcome and with the greater expectation of identity-based reward bias in their favor. A key factor determining the agents' responsiveness to their expectation of the principals' reward bias is the agents' attitude toward risk, suggesting limitations on the power of a norm of reciprocal favoritism as an explanation. We illustrate implications for institutional design: the most promising approach to alleviating strategic discrimination may be reward schemes that cannot differentiate between in- and out-group agents, and reward agents on observable measures of performance without conditioning on principals' second-guesses of their causes. Co-author: Dimitri Landa (NYU)

Day: Thursday
10.09.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar SeriesPublic
When Labor Disputes Bring Cities to a Standstill: The Impact of Public Transit Strikes on Traffic, Accidents, Air Pollution and Health
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 10.09.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 10.09.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Stefan Bauernschuster - University of Passau
Abstract:
Many governments have banned strikes in public transportation. Whether this can be justified depends on whether strikes endanger public safety or health. We use time-series and crosssectional variation in powerful registry data to quantify the effects of public transit strikes on urban populations in Germany. Due to higher traffic volumes and longer travel times, total carhours operated increase by 15% during strikes. This effect is accompanied by a 14% increase in vehicle crashes, a 20% increase in accident-related injuries, a 14% increase in particle pollution, and an 11% increase in hospital admissions for respiratory diseases among young children.

Day: Thursday
21.05.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Local Elections in Authoritarian Regimes: An Elite-Based Theory with Evidence from Russian Mayoral Elections
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 21.05.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 21.05.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Ora John Reuter - University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Abstract:
Why do authoritarian regimes permit elections in some settings but not in others? Focusing on the decision to hold subnational elections, we argue that autocrats use local elections to assuage powerful subnational elites. When subnational elites control significant political resources, such as local political machines, leaders may need to co-opt them in order to govern cost-effectively. Elections are an effective tool of co-optation because they provide elites with autonomy and the opportunity to cultivate their own power bases. We test this argument by analyzing variation in the decision to hold mayoral elections in Russia’s 207 largest cities between 2000 and 2012. Our findings suggest that Russian mayoral elections were more likely to be retained in cities where elected mayors sat atop strong political machines. Our findings also illustrate how subnational elections may actually serve to perpetuate authoritarianism by helping to ensure elite loyalty and putting the resources of powerful elites to work for the regime.

Day: Monday
18.05.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Interests, Norms, and Mass Support for Global Climate Cooperation
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 18.05.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 18.05.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Michael Bechtel - University of St.Gallen
Abstract:
The provision of manageable greenhouse gases to mitigate climate change is the paradigmatic global public good. As with most public goods, domestic political conflict over its provision is a central determinant of cooperation on climate policy. What role, if any, do economic interests and social norms play in shaping public disagreement about climate policy? We examine observational and experimental data from original surveys in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, using various measures of the pollutiveness of individuals' industries of employment and quasi-behavioral measures of altruism and reciprocity. Our results suggest that both sector-based interests and social norms determine support for global climate cooperation. We also find evidence that these factors sometimes interact, mediating each other's effect on support for climate change cooperation. Our results have implications for both scholarship on individual policy preferences and the political debate about the optimal design of institutions in climate cooperation.

Day: Monday
04.05.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Tools in Text Analysis for the Study of Political Representation
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 04.05.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 04.05.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Jason Eichorst - SFB 884 - C4
Abstract:
The C4 project is tasked with developing useful quantitative tools that make spatial placement of political actors possible. Using mass surveys, political speeches, and roll call data, we have applied our empirical tools to test theories in varied substantive fields, including political economy, political representation, and mass voting behavior. In this presentation we show research from working projects that employ quantitative methods from computational linguistics to test theoretical implications related to political representation. This research uses text-as-data to explore the incentives for political elites to develop a collective partisan or individual reputation in industrialized and less-industrialized nations. We also provide an overview of recent events associated with the C4 project.

Day: Wednesday
29.04.2015
13:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Political Competition in Legislative Elections
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 29.04.2015 - 13:00 Uhr
end: 29.04.2015 - 14:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Mattias Polborn - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:
We develop a theory of electoral competition predicated upon the notion that voters care both about their local candidates' positions, and the positions of their parties, and that those party positions are in turn determined by the positions of the parties' elected representatives in the legislature.We show that candidates may be unable to escape the burden of their party association, and that the primary voters in both parties exploit the median voters' national preferences to nominate the most extreme electable candidates.Gerrymandering affects the equilibrium platforms also in those districts whose ideology remains constant.

Day: Monday
20.04.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Are Corrupt Elites Necessary for Corrupt Countries?
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 20.04.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 20.04.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Susan Rose-Ackerman - Yale University
Abstract:
Many claim that ‘a fish rots from the head down’—meaning that corrupt elites are the engine that engenders and entrenches systemic corruption. That may be one mechanism, it is not the only possibility. Can a country with a corrupt ruler have a civil service that operates honestly? Conversely, can an honest, public-spirited government leader stay in office with high levels of corruption in the grassroots delivery of public services and in the enforcement of the law? Might it ever be in the interest of a personally honest ruler to tolerate lower-level corruption? Finally, are there situations where the “fish rots from the tail up’; in other words, can pervasive low-level corruption seep up to the top of government? The presentation will argue that the answer to all these questions is yes, under some conditions. Beginning with the case of an honest elite, it asks if such a system could have pervasive low-level corruption. Next, the talk will ask if patronage and special favors for the elite, as well as quid pro quos, must inevitably trickle down to include officials engaged with ordinary citizens and local firms. However, although high- and low-level corruption need not go together, there are indeed conditions under which they are likely to co-exist as corruption unfolds over time. Hence, high- and low-level corruption are not necessarily linked together, but high-level corruption can lead to low-level corruption under some conditions and vice versa. These scenarios can occur not only because of the force of (im)moral example, but also because of structural links between the nature of malfeasance, especially if it does not involve outright bribery.

Day: Monday
23.03.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Mechanism Design and Reforms: An Overview
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 23.03.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 23.03.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Hans Peter Grüner - SFB 884 - A2 and A7
Abstract:
We give an overview of all the papers that are currently produced in the projects A2 "The role of asymmetric information in political reform processes"and A7 "Experimental analysis of Bayesian voting mechanisms, procedural choices and the acceptance of transfers". For more information on the projects, please have a look here: http://reforms.uni-mannheim.de/projects/

Day: Monday
16.03.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
The Effect of Statutory Sick Pay Regulations on Workers´ Health
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 16.03.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 16.03.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Martin Halla - University of Innsbruck, IZA, NRN
Abstract:
Social insurance programs typically comprise sick-pay insurance. An important policy parameter is how the cost of sick leave are shared between workers, firms, and the social security system. We show that this sharing rule affects not only absence behavior, but also workers' subsequent health. To inform our empirical analysis we propose a simple model, where workers' absence decision is taken conditional on the sharing rule, health, and a dismissal probability. Our empirical analysis is based on high-quality administrative data sources from Austria. Identification is guaranteed by idiosyncratic variation in the sharing rule (caused by different policy reforms and sharp discontinuities at certain tenure levels and firm sizes). We find that an increase in either the workers' or the firms' cost share (both at the public expense) decrease the number of sick leave days significantly. Variations in the workers' cost share turn out to be quantitatively more important (by a factor of about two). Policy-induced variation in sick leave has a significant effect on subsequent health (care cost). The average worker in our sample is in the domain of presenteeism, i.,e. and increase in sick leave (due to reductions in the workers' or the firms' cost share) would reduce health care cost.Co-authors: Susanne Pech (U Linz) and Martina Zweimüller (U Linz & NRN)

Day: Monday
02.03.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Statistical inference on party positions from texts: statistical modeling, bootstrap and adjusting for time effects
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 02.03.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 02.03.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Carsten Jentsch - SFB 884 - B6
Eun Ryung Lee - SFB 884 - B6
Abstract:
In this project, we use combinations of LASSO and fused LASSO techniques to make inference on the evolution of party positions. For our approach, we adopt the idea of Slapin and Proksch (2008), who proposed to model word counts via Poisson distributions with parameters depending parametrically on word, party and time. Our main contribution to complement the existing literature is to allow the political lexicon to change over time. This gives more insight into the use of words by left and right-wing parties over time. Furthermore, to address the potential dependence structure of the word counts over time, we included integer-valued time series processes into our modeling approach and we implemented a suitable bootstrap method to construct confidence intervals for the model parameters.We apply our approach to German party manifestos of five parties over all seven federal elections after German reunification. Here, penalization in form of LASSO and fused LASSO makes it possible to deal with the resulting high-dimensional setup and allows us to fit a model of more than 50,000 parameters to a (7,000 by 35) data matrix which is sparse. Our simulation studies confirm that our procedure is robust, runs stable and leads to meaningful and interpretable results. Due to the non-convexity of the minimization problem, the implementation of the algorithm was rather challenging.

Day: Monday
16.02.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Efficiency of Flexible Budgetary Institutions
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 16.02.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 16.02.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Renee Bowen - Stanford Graduate School of Business
Abstract:
Which budgetary institutions result in efficient provision of public goods? We analyze a model with two parties bargaining over the allocation to a public good each period. Parties place different values on the public good, and these values may change over time. We model budgetary institutions as the rules governing feasible allocations to mandatory and discretionary spending programs. Mandatory spending is enacted by law and remains in effect until changed, and thus induces an endogenous status quo, whereas discretionary spending is a periodic appropriation that is not allocated if no new agreement is reached. We show that discretionary only institutions lead to dynamic inefficiencies and mandatory only institutions can lead to both dynamic and static inefficiencies. By introducing flexibility, either through a combination of mandatory and discretionary programs, or through a state-contingent mandatory program, we obtain static and dynamic efficiency. Co-authors: Ying Chen, Hülya Eraslan, Jan Zapal

Day: Monday
09.02.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Does Social Media Promote Civic Optimism?
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 09.02.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 09.02.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Nikolay Marinov - University of Mannheim
Abstract:
Does social media promote civic activism or merely attract activists? Many features of social media such as the ability to identify like-minded people, to spread information and to attract supporters for actions, suggest that it should be a good instrument for promoting civic activism. Casual observations, from pro-democracy protests and elsewhere, suggest this is the case. We conduct a field experiment to study the effects of social media. We select a random sample of 3000 respondents in Bulgaria through a in-person interview. A filtering question lets only respondents with Facebook accounts participate (network participation is high, with 2 out of every 3 respondents having an account). We randomly assign some participants to a group receiving an encouragement to like a Facebook page devoted to the preservation of a threatened natural resource, the country's Black Sea coast. We encourage another group to sign up for an email newsletter promoting the same campaign. Our remaining respondents constitute the control group. In a survey distributed two months later, we probe respondents' attitudes about the effectiveness of civic action. We find respondents assigned to the Facebook group to be more optimistic that civic action will succeed, as compared to the control or newsletter groups. We use data from the Facebook page and survey instruments to say more about the ways in which the network appears to contribute to increased confidence in success.

Day: Monday
02.02.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
The Imperfect Agenda Setter: Analyzing the Implications of National Elections for EU Decision Making
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 02.02.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 02.02.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Thomas König - SFB 884 - C6
Moritz Osnabrügge - SFB 884 - C6
Abstract:
This article analyzes how uncertainty induced by national elections influences the outcome of European Commission proposals. We extend the standard spatial model of agenda setting by including uncertainty over the location of the Council pivot whose approval is necessary to pass Commission proposals. We argue that the Commission is an imperfect agenda setter and expect that Commission proposals are more likely to fail if uncertainty increases. To test the empirical implications we focus on two phenomena that cannot be explained by the standard model: the convention of conciliation committees and withdrawals. The analysis provides evidence that more uncertainty, measured by the number of elections and core expansions in the Council, is positively related to the probability of conciliations and withdrawals.

Day: Monday
26.01.2015
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2015Public
Changing pension reform attitudes: institutional and socio-economic factors
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 26.01.2015 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 26.01.2015 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Bernhard Ebbinghaus - SFB 884 - A6
Elias Naumann - SFB 884 - A6
Abstract:
The presentation will discuss first findings on pension reform attitudes from the SFB project A6 “Welfare State Support from Below”. Our analysis explores to what degree public opinion defends the status quo or is willing to support reforms in the area of pension policy given demographic challenges. In the first step, we analyse two major dimensions, i.e. (social) redistribution and extensity (scope of government), using the 2008 European Social Survey. We analyse whether particular social classes, the retirees, and trade union members as well as party supporters differ in their attitudes toward pension redistributive principles and government involvement for retirement income across Europe. We compare three countries with different pension systems, organized interests, and party systems: Britain (UK), France, and Germany. In a second step, we study how socio-economic changes, i.e. population ageing affects pension reform attitudes. We rely on data from a survey experiment in the GIP that exogenously manipulates the perceived pressure to reform due to an ageing society. We show that people indeed change their reform preferences when faced with an ageing society: the strong opposition to increasing the retirement age decreases. Further analyses reveal that not all groups within society react to demographic challenges in the same way: political knowledge but also political partisanship do moderate the strength and the direction of the attitude change.

Day: Monday
15.12.2014
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Cooperation and Authoritarian Norms: An experimental study in China
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 15.12.2014 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 15.12.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Björn Vollan - University of Innsbruck
Abstract:
There is ample evidence for a "democracy premium". Laws that have been implemented via election lead to a more cooperative behavior compared to a top-down approach. This has been observed using field data and laboratory experiments. We present evidence from Chinese students and workers who participated in public goods experiments and a value survey. We find a premium for top-down rule implementation arguably stemming from people with stronger individual values for obeying authorities. When participants have values for obeying authorities, they even conform to non-preferred rule. Our findings provide strong evidence that the effectiveness of political institutions depends on societal norms.

Day: Monday
08.12.2014
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Dynamic Elections and Ideological Polarization
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 08.12.2014 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 08.12.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Jan Zapal - CERGE-EI, Prague
Abstract:
How does political polarization affect the welfare of the electorate? We analyze this question using a framework in which two policy and office motivated parties compete in an infinitesequence of elections. We propose two novel measures to describe the degree of con ict among agents: antagonism is the disagreement between parties; extremism is the disagreement between each party and the representative voter. We show that forward-looking parties have an incentive to implement policies favored by the representative voter, in an attempt to constraint future challengers. This incentive grows as antagonism increases. On the other hand, extremism decreases the electorate's welfare.

Day: Monday
01.12.2014
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Direct and Indirect Treatment Effects: Causal Chains and Mediation Analysis with Instrumental Variables
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 01.12.2014 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 01.12.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Markus Frölich - SFB 884 - B5
Abstract:
This paper discusses the nonparametric identification of causal direct and indirect effects of a binary treatment based on instrumental variables. We identify the indirect effect, which operates through a mediator (i.e. intermediate variable) that is situated on the causal path between the treatment and the outcome, as well as the unmediated direct effect of the treatment using distinct instruments for the endogenous treatment and the endogenous mediator. We examine different settings to obtain nonparametric identification of (natural)direct and indirect as well as controlled direct effects for continuous and discrete mediators and continuous and discrete instruments. We illustrate our approach in two applications: to disentangle the effects (i) of education on health, which may be mediated by income, and (ii) of the Job Corps training program, which may affect earnings indirectly via working longer hours and directly via higher wages per hour. Paper by Markus Frölich und Martin Huber.

Day: Monday
10.11.2014
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Evidence on the Causes and Consequences of Intra-Party Heterogeneity
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 10.11.2014 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 10.11.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Zachary Greene - SFB 884 - C2

Day: Monday
27.10.2014
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Revising the Common View: Can Asymmetry Improve Chances of Avoiding Catastrophic Climate Change?
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 27.10.2014 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 27.10.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Israel Waichman - University of Heidelberg
Abstract:
Fighting climate change, in particular mitigating CO2 emissions, is a global public good characterized by several dimensions, notably heterogeneity between the parties involved. It is often argued that such heterogeneity between countries is a major obstacle to cooperative climate policy. We challenge this belief by experimentally simulating two important heterogeneities: asymmetry in wealth and asymmetry in loss when dangerous climate change occurs. We find that under loss asymmetry the success rate in achieving sufficient mitigation to prevent catastrophic climate change is higher than under symmetric conditions. We also observe that neither asymmetric endowment nor the combination of endowment and loss asymmetries lead to different success rates than under symmetry. Our findings suggest that asymmetries may facilitate rather than hinder successful international climate policy negotiations.

Day: Monday
13.10.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
The German Internet Panel: Processes and Outcomes
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 13.10.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 13.10.2014 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Ulrich Krieger - GIP
Annelies Blom - GIP
Dayana Bossert - GIP
Abstract:
The German Internet Panel (GIP) is the central data collection project of the Collaborative Research Center “Political Economy of Reforms” (SFB884). At the same time, it is the first longitudinal web survey in Germany that includes both the online and offline population. The GIP studies political and economic attitudes and reform preferences through bi-monthly longitudinal online interviews of individuals.Our presentation consists of two parts. In part one, we will introduce the details of the GIP processes. We will give insight into how the GIP samples were recruited and are maintained over time, how questionnaires developed by the SFB project teams are implemented in the GIP, and how the data are prepared, documented, and published to the scientific community. Part two looks into the representativeness of panel. We present methodological analyses of the recruitment processes. In particular, we demonstrate how the previously offline individuals participating in the GIP contribute to the sample quality.

Day: Thursday
25.09.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Crises and The Puzzle of Reforms
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 25.09.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 25.09.2014 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Carlo Prato - Georgetown University
Abstract:
This paper studies how economic conditions affects the likelihood of economic reforms. Using a novel theory of elections where successful communication of candidates' platforms requires effort from both candidates and a representative voter, we show that candidates' platform choices depend critically on the voter's gain from reform. When her gain from reform is low, no candidate proposes policy change; when it is high, non-competent politicians run on harmful reformist platform. In line with empirical findings, our model rationalizes why reforms occur rarely in good and bad times and why crises can lead to delayed and botched reforms.

Day: Monday
15.09.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Intimidation: Costly Attacks, Negotiations, and the Length of Conflicts
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 15.09.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 15.09.2014 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Gabriele Gratton - University of New South Wales
Abstract:
We model conflicts in which a challenger demands a resource from a defender. In each period, the challenger chooses whether to attack; if attacked, the defender chooses whether to concede. Each player might be committed to keep fighting until victory. In equilibrium, the challenger repeatedly attacks to intimidate the defender: at each repetition, the defender's belief that the challenger is committed to attack again increases. The unique equilibrium features prolonged conflict even as uncertainty vanishes. We provide comparative statics regarding the probability of a conflict and its length and discuss implications for the prediction of terrorist attacks and workers' strikes.We enrich the model with pre-conflict negotiations, where the defender can make a single offer, whose rejection by the challenger initiates conflict at an exogenous later date. Negotiation cannot eliminate conflict because larger offer makes conflict an increasingly attractive outside option for the challenger. This is a joint paper with Sambuddha Ghosh and Caixia Shen.

Day: Monday
19.05.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Intelligence, Military Overconfidence and Foreign Policy Mistakes in Dictatorships
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 19.05.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 19.05.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Natasha Ezrow - University of Essex
Abstract:
Do all dictatorships make bad foreign policy decisions? We argue that poorly institutionalized dictatorships (personalist dictatorships) are more liable to make foreign policy errors because they are most likely to suffer from military overconfidence --- due to poor intelligence and weak militaries. Bad decisions are then more likely to be implemented because personalist dictatorships lack decisional and institutional constraints to prevent them from making foreign policy errors. Though we acknowledge and explain the absence of these constraints, it is the reasons behind misperceptions and miscalculations across dictatorships that we are most interested in uncovering. We explain why some dictatorships have better intelligence than others and what the implications of this may be.

Day: Monday
12.05.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
A Theory of Campaign Contributions in Multi-Candidate Elections
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 12.05.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 12.05.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Micael Castanheira - Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Abstract:
The literature on campaign financing in multiparty elections is thin at best. In this paper, we try to partially fill that gap by analyzing the strategic behavior of campaign contributors (e.g. interest groups). We assume that contributors aim at influencing the outcome of the election and analyze the effects of different campaign finance laws (i) on the behavior of contributors, and (ii) on the expected outcome of the election. In a stylized setup with three parties and a divided majority (i.e. two majority parties and one minority party), we identify three main results: first, equilibria with only two parties receiving contributions exist when campaign finance laws are lax. This highlights the fundamental coordination problem that campaign contributors face and suggests the existence of a (weak) Duverger’s Law in campaign contributions. These equilibria may be eliminated by the implementation of a cap on individual contributions. Second, the equilibrium in which contributors contribute to the campaign of their favorite party is quite robust to different campaign finance laws. An interesting feature of that equilibrium is that it involves both bandwagon and underdog effects. Finally, very rich donors can have disproportionate influence on the election outcome, by directly affecting coordination amongst small donors.

Day: Monday
05.05.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
How Parties Move: Shifting Positions or Emphasis?
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 05.05.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 05.05.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Markus Wagner - University of Vienna
Abstract:
Policy change is an essential feature of models of party competition, yet the question of how parties move has so far been rarely examined in detail. In this paper, we consider party positions as expressed in political statements and identify three mechanisms through which parties can change their positions: (1) positional change, (2) emphasis change and (3) issue change. So, parties can move by directly shifting positions on issues, by emphasizing certain positions more, or by addressing new issues and discarding old ones. We implement this approach using data from newly coded manifestos of Austrian political parties between 1986 and 2008. We find that party policy shifts are mainly due to positional change and issue change, with only a negligible role for emphasis change. We speculate that even though emphasis change is easy to carry out, the resulting gains may be too low to be attractive to parties. Our findings are important for our understanding of policy shifts in party competition.

Day: Monday
14.04.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Fiscal Rules and the Intergenerational Welfare Effects of Public Infrastructure
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 14.04.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 14.04.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Pedro Bom - University of Vienna
Abstract:
In this paper, I study the intergenerational welfare effects of a permanent increase in public infrastructure investment using an overlapping generations model of a small open economy. The government finances public investment by employing distortionary labor taxes. I derive the intergenerational welfare distribution profile for two widely discussed fiscal rules: the balanced budget rule and the so-called 'golden rule.' Using a quantitative model calibrated for an average small open economy in the OECD area, I show that an efficient permanent increase in public investment generally decreases the welfare of existing generations in the balanced budget case. Governments constrained by a balanced budget rule may thus struggle to obtain sufficient public support for a higher level of public infrastructure investment when public infrastructure is initially underprovided. In contrast, the golden rule, by shifting part of the financing burden to future generations, allows current generations to also benefit from the public investment increase. Finally, I show that the welfare effects on existing generations in the golden rule case are rather similar to those of a pure tax smoothing scenario.

Day: Thursday
27.03.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation with Multidimensional Types: The Case with Heterogeneous Behavioral Responses
Location
SFB Meeting Room, 5th Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 27.03.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 27.03.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Laurence Jacquet - Universite de Cergy-Pontoise
Abstract:
This paper derives an optimal income tax formula that is numerically implementable in models with one observable action (e.g. individual pre-tax income) and multidimensional unobserved characteristics (e.g., skills and labor supply elasticities). Individuals differ in terms of skills and belong to different groups. A group is a subset of individuals with the same vector of characteristics (e.g., gender, age, labor supply elasticity) but distinct skill levels. Assuming the Spence-Mirrlees single-crossing condition with respect to the level of skill in each group, we are able to derive the optimal second-best allocation. We then show how this optimality condition leads to a tax formula in terms of behavioral responses, social welfare weights and income density in the vein of Saez (2001). However, our multidimensional context implies that all these terms are averaged across individuals who earn the same income. When we take into account that people who earn the same income level have distinct characteristics, the optimal tax schedule we obtain (on US data) is drastically different from the one we obtain when individuals differ only along their skill levels. We also show how our method can be used to solve a large set of policy relevant problems for which it is crucial to introduce multidimensional heterogeneity, e.g., unobserved heterogeneity in labor supply elasticity, joint taxation of households, nonlinear pricing of a monopoly.

Day: Monday
10.03.2014
13:45 Uhr
REMINDER: Seminar Series 2014Public
Attributing Coalition Responsibility: Experimental and Observational Evidence
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 10.03.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 10.03.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Akitaka Matsuo - Oxford University
Abstract:
We assess the micro-foundations of rational theories of vote choice in contexts with multi-party governing coalitions. The results of this experiment first confirm the Duch, Przepiorka and Stevenson (2012) findings -- agenda power continues to have a very strong effect on responsibility attribution for collective decisions even in treatments in which Decision Makers have extremely high voting power. Nevertheless, there is evidence in our experiments that veto power can play a role in responsibility attribution. First, it is clear that information priming is important in order for subjects to consider veto power in their responsibility attribution decisions. Without this priming we find little evidence that subjects consider veto power in allocating their deduction points. Second, subjects were more likely to incorporate veto power into their responsibility attributions when the voting weights of Decision Makers were highly skewed and hence where veto power was extremely apparent. In more subtle situations -- for example where each party has effective veto power -- subjects were less likely to incorporate voting weight into their decisions regarding allocating deduction points. The results from an observational analysis of economic voting in developed parliamentary democracies confirm these findings.

Day: Monday
24.02.2014
13:45 Uhr
REMINDER: Seminar Series 2014Public
Voting rules and voter behavior: a comparative perspective using laboratory and field experiments
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 24.02.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 24.02.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Karine van Der Straeten - Toulouse School of Economics
Abstract:
We study individual voting behavior in winner-take-all elections under four different voting rules: plurality, run-off elections, single transferable vote (alternative vote) and approval voting. First, in laboratory experiments where subjects have single-peaked preferences, we find that the rational choice theory provides very good predictions of actual individual behavior in plurality and approval voting elections, but fares poorly in explaining vote choice under two-round run-off elections. We conclude that voters behave strategically as far as strategic computations are not too demanding, in which case they rely on simple heuristics (in two-round elections) or they just vote sincerely (in single transferable vote elections). Second, we report on an internet-based quasi-experiment which took place during the French 2012 presidential election. We designed a website where French voters were offered the opportunity to vote under the same four voting rules. Based on the observation of over 8,000 participants, we find that a substantial minority (10 to 15%) vote differently under the different systems, with 17% of the voters not voting for their preferred candidate in the plurality election, this percentage dropping to 12% in the alternative vote (first choice). We conclude with a discussion about the interests of these experimental techniques to study voter behavior.

Day: Monday
17.02.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Human Capital Portfolios
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 17.02.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 17.02.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Eric Smith - University of Essex
Abstract:
This paper assesses the trade-off between acquiring specialized skills targeted for a particular occupation and acquiring a package of skills that diversifies risk across occupations. Individual-level data on college credits across subjects and labor market dynamics reveal that diversification generates higher income for individuals who switch occupations whereas specialization benefits those who stick with one type of job. A human capital portfolio choice problem featuring skills, abilities, and uncertain labor outcomes replicates this general pattern and generates a sizable amount of inequality. Policy experiments illustrate that mandatory specialization generates lower average income growth and lower turnover, but also lower inequality.

Day: Thursday
16.01.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
Deliver the Vote! Principal-Agent and Collective Action Problems in Electoral Manipulation
Location
SFB Meeting Room, 5th Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 16.01.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 16.01.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Milan Svolik - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:
This paper presents a formal model that studies the perverse consequences of motivating local agents to conduct electoral fraud on behalf of the incumbent, along with empirical tests of its implications.

Day: Monday
13.01.2014
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2014Public
A theory of communication in political campaigns
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 13.01.2014 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 13.01.2014 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Philipp Denter - University of St. Gallen
Abstract:
In this paper I develop a formal theory of campaign communications. Voters have priors about the quality of candidates’ policies in the different policy issues and about the issues’ relative importance. Candidates spend time or money (TV ads, public speeches, etc.) in an effort to influence voters’ decisions at the ballot. Influence has two simultaneous effects: (i) it increases the quality of the policy in the issue as perceived by the voters through policy advertising and (ii) it makes the issue more salient through issue priming, thereby increasing the issue’s perceived importance. A strategy is an allocation of influence activities to the different issues or topics. I show conditions under which candidates’ strategies converge or diverge, which issues – if any – will dominate the campaign, and under what conditions candidates are forced to focus on issues in which they are perceived to be weak. I develop a set of novel testable predictions and discuss the model’s predictive power by example of the 2008 presidential campaign in the U.S.

Day: Monday
25.11.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
Dynamic Bargaining over Redistribution in Legislatures
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 25.11.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 25.11.2013 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Alessandro Riboni - Ecole Polytechnique
Abstract:
In modern democracies public policies are negotiated by elected policymakers. When they agree to replace the current status quo, the approved policy becomes the status quo in the next period. Yet, these two ingredients, bargaining and endogenous status quo, are absent in most macroeconomic models. We revisit the classical capital taxation problem adding legislative bargaining with an endogenous status quo. We analyze a growth model where agents (legislators and consumers) are heterogenous in wealth. We find that legislators may not propose or accept high taxes because doing so may improve, via a change of the status quo, the bargaining power of ``poorer" legislators in future negotiations. On average equilibrium capital taxes are between 12% and 55%, depending on the distribution of wealth and other variations on the institutional environment. We also find that a large status quo bias could lead to political growth cycles: decades with low taxes and growing capital are followed by decades with high taxes and decreasing capital (and vice versa).

Day: Monday
11.11.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
The Allocation of Ministries in Multiparty Governments
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 11.11.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 11.11.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Lanny Martin - Rice University
Abstract:
One of the earliest, and most important, decisions facing parties in a coalition government concerns the distribution of cabinet ministries. Prevailing scholarship on the question of portfolio allocation can be classified into two largely separate research traditions. Most research focuses on the quantitative division of portfolios|the question of how many ministries coalition parties receive|while other research focuses on the qualitative division of portfolios|the question of which ministries coalition parties receive. For several reasons, this bifurcation in the literature has resulted in significant limitations in how much we actually understand empirically about portfolio allocation. In this study, I propose and implement an empirical design that allows researchers to answer both questions simultaneously. Examining existing theories of quantitative and qualitative portfolio allocation, I find that coalition partners distribute ministries in a way that increases their collective policy benefits, while at the same time ensuring that each of them receives an individualshare of ministries, as well as an individual share of policy benefits, roughly in proportion to their seat contribution to the coalition. In other words, the results suggest that portfolio allocation follows Gamson's Law not only with respect to the number of ministries coalition parties receive (the conventional finding in the literature) but also with respect to the types of ministries they receive. The findings provide very little support for alternative arguments that coalition parties receive ministries in accordance with their bargaining power or that formateur parties enjoy an advantage in portfolio allocation vis-a-vis their partners.

Day: Thursday
24.10.2013
14:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
When Extremism Pays: Policy Positions, Voter Certainty, and Party Support in Postcommunist Europe
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 24.10.2013 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 24.10.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Lawrence Ezrow - University of Essex
Abstract:
We argue that extreme positioning benefits parties in new democracies, because given the lack of other reliable cues such as party histories, the distinctiveness of their left-right policy positions increases voter certainty about parties' identities and intentions in office. Cross-sectional analyses provide evidence that, in the new democracies of postcommunist Europe, parties that are farther away from the mean voter position gain more popular support than those moderately positioned along a policy continuum. In established democracies, by contrast, policy moderation increases popular support. We also find empirical support for the proposed causal mechanism that links policy positions to popular support via voter certainty. These findings have implications for party strategies, spatial theories, and our understanding of political representation in relatively new democracies.

Day: Monday
07.10.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
Policy Under Pressure: When Coalition Government Collusion breaks down
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 07.10.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 07.10.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Matt Loftis - Rice University/ SFB 884
Abstract:
At any time, making policy in coalition involves a balancing act between parties' need to cooperate with governing partners and their need to deliver policies that please their own voters. I argue that coalitions reduce transparency about compromise policies to diffuse political responsibility for compromises. I provide evidence that parties in coalition governments make policy via secondary legislation issued by government ministers more often early on in the life of the government. As time passes and the expected continuing duration of the coalition decreases, policy is more often made via legislative instruments that ensure all parties take part in decisions. The results, taken from a large sample of coalition government policy making between 1986 and 2008 in nine Western European democracies, suggest that the stability of a coalition government has a direct impact on its approach to everyday policy issues, due to the politics of coalition compromise.

Day: Monday
23.09.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
Attract Voters or Appease Grassroots? Opposition Party Leaders' Dilemma and Party Policy Change
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 23.09.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 23.09.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Florence So - Aarhus University
Abstract:
Why do prime minister contender parties sometimes resist shifting their policy positions, even if doing so can increase the party's vote share during the next general election? In this paper, I construct a game theoretic model between the party leader and grassroots to illustrate how a party's strategic decision to orient the party towards a vote-winning policy position depends on the party leader's risk assessment of being deposed. Using the perfect Bayesian equilibrium concept, the model predicts that a party leader is more likely to succeed in moving the party towards a vote-winning position when the party leader's perceived probability that grassroots and MPs are united is low; when the cost of intraparty conflict on the party's overall electoral wellbeing is high; and when the benefits of holding the prime minister position is high, but the benefits of being the party leader is low.

Day: Monday
02.09.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
Re-Election through Division
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 02.09.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 02.09.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Richard van Weelden - University of Chicago
Abstract:
We provide a positive analysis of effort allocation by a politician facing reelection when voters are uncertain about the politician's preferences on a divisive issue. We then use this framework to derive normative conclusions on the desirability of transparency and other institutional design features. There is a pervasive incentive to "posture'' by over-providing effort to pursue divisive policies, even if all voters would strictly prefer to have a consensus policy implemented. As such, the desire of politicians to convince voters that their preferences are aligned with the majority can lead them to choose strictly pareto dominated effort allocations. Transparency over the politicians' effort choices can either mitigate or re-enforce the distortions depending on the strength of politicians' office motivation and the efficiency of institutions. When re-election concerns are paramount, and executive institutions are strong, transparency about effort choices can be bad for both incentivizing politicians and for sorting.

Day: Monday
29.04.2013
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Divided We Reform? Evidence from US Welfare Policies
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 29.04.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 29.04.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Andreas Bernecker - SFB 884/ CDSE
Abstract:
More than one half of all US state governments are typically divided. Divided government is often thought of as causing legislative deadlock. Accordingly, when being dominated by different parties the executive and the legislative politically block each other hindering economic reforms. This paper is the first to systematically analyze this issue using novel data on welfare reforms conducted by US states between 1978 and 2010. The empirical strategy is twofold. First, I conduct a differences-in-differences analysis including a wide range of controls and taking potentially confounding effects from policy spillovers between states and the 1996 US Welfare Reform at the federal level into account. The result is that under divided government a US state is in fact between 25 and 50% more likely to adopt a welfare reform than under unified government. Second, I show how a standard regression discontinuity design (RDD) focusing on close elections can be adjusted to the divided government setting. To my knowledge, this paper is the first to use an RDD with multiple interdependent assignment variables. This approach confirms the counter-intuitive result from before. I suggest different theories based on risk-sharing, competition, and signaling that may help to explain the finding.

Day: Monday
22.04.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
Does misinformation demobilize the electorate? Measuring the impact of alleged "robocalls" in the 2011 Canadian election (with Tom Cornwall)
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 22.04.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 22.04.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Anke Kessler - Simon Fraser University
Abstract:
The paper presents evidence on the effect of voter demobilization in the context of the Canadian 2011 federal election. Voters in 27 ridings (as of February 26, 2012) allegedly received automated phone calls (‘robocalls’) that either contained misleading information about the location of their polling station, or were harassing in nature, claiming to originate from a particular candidate in the contest for local Member of Parliament. We use within-riding variation in turnout and vote–share for each party to study how turnout changed from the 2008 to the 2011 election as a function of the predominant party affiliation of voters at a particular polling station. We show that those polling stations with predominantly non-conservative voters experienced a decline in voter turnout from 2008 to 2011, and that this effect was larger in ridings that were allegedly targeted by the fraudulent phone calls. The results thus indicate a statistically significant effect of the alleged demobilization efforts: in those ridings where allegations of robocalls emerged, turnout was an estimated 3 percentage points lower on average. This reduction in turnout translates into roughly 2,500 eligible (registered) voters that did not go to the polls. The 95%-confidence interval gives a lower bound estimate of 1,000 fewer votes cast in robocall ridings, which is still a sizeable effect.

Day: Monday
15.04.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
Behavioral Biases and Long Term Care Insurance: A Political Economy Approach
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 15.04.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 15.04.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Philippe de Donder - Toulouse School of Economics - GREMAQ and IDEI
Abstract:
We develop a model where individuals all have the same probability of becoming dependent and vote over the social long term care insurance contribution rate before buying additional private insurance and saving. We study three types of behavioral biases, all having in common that agents under-weight their dependency probability when taking private decisions. Sophisticatedprocrastinators anticipate their mistake when voting, while optimistic and myopic agents have preferences that are consistent across choices. Optimists under-estimate their own probabilityof becoming dependent but know the average probability while myopics underestimate both. Sophisticated procrastinators attain the …rst-best allocation while myopics and optimists insure too little and save too much. Myopics and optimists more (resp., less) biased than the median are worse off (resp., better off), at the majority voting equilibrium, when private insurance is available than when it is not.

Day: Monday
25.03.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Lobbying and Dismissal Dispute Resolution Systems
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 25.03.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 25.03.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Professor Dr. Michael Neugart - Technische Universität Darmstadt
Abstract:
Previous studies of dismissal protection have largely been based on the analysis of the rules on the books. However, actual outcomesoften rely on the involvement of courts. Our model takes this feature into account and explains how relative lobbying power of unions and employer associations in the legislature and judicial realm, and characteristics of labor court systems shape labor court activity and affect payoffs. We find that (a) as employer associations become stronger, court activity increases, and firms' costs and workers' payoffs decrease;(b) higher court costs tend to reduce the extent of labor court disputes and may, therefore, actually reduce the cost of judicial involvement; (c) more elaborate court systems make reliance on courts more attractive for the stronger party.

Day: Monday
04.03.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2013Public
Strategic ambiguity of party positions in multiparty settings
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 04.03.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 04.03.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Thomas Bräuninger - SFB 884

Day: Monday
25.02.2013
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Defaulting on sovereign debt: A macroeconomic analysis
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 25.02.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 25.02.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Hubert Kempf - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan
Abstract:
We study the sustainability of sovereign debt in a macroeconomic model in which monetary and fiscal policies interact. The inconsistencies between policies may lead to default. We distinguish two critical values: the "default" and "sustainability" thresholds. The default threshold corresponds to the upper limit for public debt: default intervenes when lenders do not consider that the state is able to fulfill its contractual debt obligation. The "sustainability" corresponds to a lower level of public debt. Under this level, and in the absence of future shocks, public debt necessarily converges to its steady state level. Above it, lenders still give a positive probability to the full reimbursement of public debt. However, above threshold and in the absence of future shocks, the risk premium imposed by lenders is such that future default is unescapable. We show that a "successful default" implies a rule of default fulfilling the sustainability criterion of debt after default. Here sustainability means that the risk premium after default must sufficiently small so that the ration of debt to GDP decreases continuously. Such a rule of default implies a sufficiently large reduction in public debt.

Day: Monday
18.02.2013
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
The Electoral Consequences of Party Policy Ambiguity
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 18.02.2013 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 18.02.2013 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Zeynep Somer Topcu - Vanderbilt University
Abstract:
Does party policy ambiguity help or hurt parties’ electoral prospects in multi-party elections? Despite a quite common negative view toward ambiguity among political commentators and pundits, it still is a widespread electoral strategy among parties that aim to appeal to a broader electorate with diverse preferences. I argue that ambiguity can help a party win votes if it can convince different groups of voters that the party is now ideologically closer to their preferred positions. I report analyses of election data from six European democracies, which show thatparties gain votes when there is higher ambiguity about their policy positions. Analysis of individual-level survey data suggests that voters perceive ambiguous parties as ideologically closer to their preferred positions. This individual-level finding explains the possible mechanism behind the aggregate positive effect of ambiguity on party support. The findings have important implications for our understanding of party electoral strategies and of mass-party policy linkages.

Day: Friday
07.12.2012
14:00 Uhr
WorkshopPublic
Facilitating Empirical Research on Political Reforms: Automating Data Collection in R
Location
SFB Meeting Room, 5th Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 07.12.2012 - 14:00 Uhr
end: 07.12.2012 - 17:00 Uhr

Abstract:
We live in the age of data abundance. Scores of machine readable data are created daily and made freely available online. Learning to harvest that data will help researchers to both dramatically decrease data collection costs and to answer questions that have never been within the reach of social scientists. The methodological workshop will demonstrate some of the available techniques to access large-scale data sources. We will elaborate the data collection process using several realworld, political science applications. All of the speakers will present their applications in a common framework – the R statistical language. There are several advantages of this common framework. One, quantitative researchers in political science might have some prior experience with R. Such familiarities provide a firm background to establish thenecessary new techniques to accomplish automated data collection. Two, besides being used as a statistical software, R is also a veritable programming language and several packages have been made available to accomplish web scraping tasks. Thus, collectingdata from within R provides a more coherent data analysis experience. R is well suited to accomplish all main tasks in an empirical research process – data collection, data manipulation, data analysis, and data presentation.Apart from the SFB researchers, social science faculty and GESS students are welcome to participate in the seminar.

Day: Monday
26.11.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Globalization with Whom: Context-Dependent Foreign Direct Investment Preferences
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 26.11.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 26.11.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Rene Lindstädt - Essex University
Abstract:
Despite decades of investment liberalization, public opinion in many countries around the globe continues to be sharply divided on the issue of inward foreign investment. Existing research on foreign direct investment (FDI) preferences has focused on economic explanations, in particular emphasizing returns on capital and labor. Yet, assessing the distributional consequences of FDI has proven to be quite a complex task, even for economic experts, so that it is unclear how individual citizens can effectively act on economic interest when it comes to FDI. Drawing on original survey experiments conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom, we not only highlight a number of empirical regularities that are difficult to fit within economic models of preference formation, but also advance a new theoretical framework that accounts for the complexities involved in assessing the impact of FDI and the use of heuristics in FDI preference formation, particularly heuristics based on country of origin. More generally, we argue that citizens do not select into groups of globalization supporters and opponents solely based on economics, but rather carefully consider the question of "globalization with whom". Our empirical evidence is consistent with this theoretical framework, showing that individuals use country-of-origin heuristics based on general favorability, domestic job creation and reciprocity.

Day: Monday
19.11.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Optimal Income Taxation between Competing Governments
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 19.11.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 19.11.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Laurent Simula - Upsalla University
Abstract:
We investigate how the optimal nonlinear income tax schedule is modifed when taxpayers can evade taxation by emigrating. We consider two symmetric countries with Maximin governments. Workers choose their labor supply along the intensive margin. The skill distribution is continuous, and, for each skill level, the distribution of migration cost is also continuous. We show that optimal marginal tax rates are nonnegative at the symmetric Nash equilibrium when the semi-elasticity of migration is decreasing in the skill level. When the semi-elasticity of migration is increasing in the skill level, either optimal marginal tax rates are positive everywhere or they are positive for the lower part of the skill distribution and then negative. Numerical simulations are calibrated using plausible values of the semi-elasticity of migration for top income earners. We show that the shape of optimal tax schedule varies significantly, depending on the profile of the semi-elasticity of migration over the entire skill distribution - a profile over which we lack empirical evidence.

Day: Monday
12.11.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Consociational Democracy, Divided Government, and the Possibility of Reforms
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 12.11.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 12.11.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Gebhard Kirchgässner - Universität St. Gallen
Abstract:
In Switzerland, direct popular rights and the resulting consociational democracy are often held responsible for delays or even cancellations of necessary political reforms. Switzerland is, however, not the only country with such a system, and direct democracy is just one out of several mechanisms fostering consociational democracy. Moreover, as the examples of the United States and Germany show, such a situation might show up even if the government does not reflect this. Thus, we first describe different manifestations of consociational democracy. Then, we ask for institutional preconditions for successful political reforms, before the situations in Switzerland and Germany are discussed more detailed. The experience of both countries shows that consociational democracy is not per se destructive for political reforms, it can even be conductive. This very much depends on the concrete institutional design of consociational democracy.

Day: Monday
05.11.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Government Formation in Europe
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 05.11.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 05.11.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Sona Golder - Penn State University/ SFB 884

Day: Monday
22.10.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Rather stupid than selfish? Lay people's perception of economic reforms
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 22.10.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 22.10.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Detlef Fetchenhauer - Universität Köln
Abstract:
In my talk I will discuss how economic laypersons perceive economic reforms. Based on a number of empirical studies I will show that laypersons and economic experts heavily differ in their evaluation of such reforms. One reason for this divergence lies in the fact that laypersons often lack expertise to realize long-term and side-effects of economic measures. Furthermore, while economists heavily rely on the perceived efficiency of economic measures laypersons are mainly concerned about their fairness. Interestingly, laypersons' self-interests are not a major determinant of their attitudes. It appears that laypersons are less selfish, but also less rational as rational choice theories would predict.

Day: Monday
15.10.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Live for Today, Hope for Tomorrow? Rethinking Gamson's Law
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 15.10.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 15.10.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Indridi Indridason - University of California, Riverside
Abstract:
The empirical phenomenon termed Gamson's Law is well known but not least because it lacks firm theoretical foundations. In fact, Gamson's Law is a real puzzle as most models of coalition bargaining suggest that bargaining strength should determine the division of portfolios, which, in turn, suggest that portfolios should rarely be allocated in proportion to the parties' seat share. I propose a theory of portfolio allocation that goes some way towards explaining Gamson's Law. The theory emphasizes the need to maintain, rather than simply to form, coalitions. The desire to maintain the coalition provides the parties with radically different incentives, i.e., instead of maximizing their share in the short run they face a trade-off; taking too much of the pie for oneself means that one's coalition partner can be bought of rather easily. Thus, the problem of forming a stable coalition requires making it sufficiently expensive to buy off each party in the coalition. While this logic is in many respects similar to the logic of the standard coalition bargaining model it differs in important ways as a new coalition may form at any time, i.e., the opposition parties can always propose to form a new coalition. I test hypotheses derived from the model on an extensive dataset on portfolio allocations in coalition cabinets across Europe.

Day: Monday
08.10.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Religious Participation, Social Conservatism, and Human Development
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 08.10.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 08.10.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Matt Golder - Pennsylvania State University
Abstract:
What is the relationship between human development, religion, and social conservatism? We present a formal model in which individuals derive utility from both secular and religious sources. Our model is unusual in that it endogenizes both an individual’s religious participation and her preferences over social policy at different levels of development. Using data from the pooled World Values Survey, we find that religious participation declines with human development and an individual’s ability to earn secular income. We also find that although social conservatism declines with development in absolute terms, religious individuals becomemore socially conservative relative to the population average. Paradoxically, our results suggest that human development may make it easier for religious individuals to overcome collective action problems and obtain disproportionate political influence, even as their numbers dwindle and society as a whole becomes less socially conservative. Our analysis has important implications for the debate about secularization theory.

Day: Monday
24.09.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
The State as Employer: The Heterogenization of Public Employment Regimes in Comparative Perspective
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 24.09.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 24.09.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Bernhard Kittel - Universität Wien
Abstract:
The challenges confronted by the state in view of the development of public expenditures and the orientation towards ideas of New Public Management have left their marks in the relation between the state and its employees. Encompassing efforts to downsize the public sector and to expand efficiency of public services have not only resulted in reorganization but also in the reform of public employment regimes. These changes, however, are moderated by country specific administrative cultures and sector specific needs. As a result, today’s employment regimes can be described even less as a uniform type of public employment than during the “Golden Age” of the “democratic constitutional and intervention state”. These dynamics are studied in the sectors police, waste management, and energy regulation in Germany, France, and Sweden.

Day: Monday
17.09.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
On the incidence of a financial transactions tax in a model with fire sales
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 17.09.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 17.09.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Felix Bierbrauer - University of Cologne

Attachments: IncidenceFTTJune12.pdf    
Day: Monday
10.09.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Civil Society Involvement in Global Environmental Governance
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 10.09.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 10.09.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Thomas Bernauer - ETH Zürich
Abstract:
One of the unique features of global climate politics and other areas of global environmental governance is that many governments include representatives of civil society organizations (CSO) in their national delegations. It remains unclear, however, why states do so, since they face a trade-off between constraints on autonomy and increased legitimacy and knowledge resulting from CSO inclusion. We argue that due to uncertainty associated with this trade-off, governments pay close attention to what others do in this respect. We hypothesize accordingly that states which are more central to the broader network of global governance are more likely to be informed of and influenced by what other states do. This argument is tested with data on participation of CSOs in national delegations to global climate negotiations in 1995-2008, complemented with an analysis of survey data collected at the UNFCCC negotiations in Durban in 2011. The results offer strong support for the hypothesized 'contagion' effect. To shed additional light on why states involve CSOs in global governance efforts, Prof. Bernauer will also present results from recent survey embedded experiments that look at how CSO involvement affects citizens' evaluation of global governance.

Day: Monday
18.06.2012
12:00 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012 (12:00 am!!!)Public
Quandaries of Gridlock and Leadership in U.S. Electoral Politics
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 18.06.2012 - 12:00 Uhr
end: 18.06.2012 - 13:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Norman Schofield - Washington University, St. Louis
Abstract:
In 1964 President Johnston was able to overcome Southern Democrat opposition to the Civil Rights legislation. Recent opposition by Republicans in Congress have induced a form oflegislative gridlock, similar to the situation facing Johnston. We argue here that the current gridlock is more pernicious than in 1964 for two reasons. The pivot line in the two dimensional policy space has shifted slightly so that voters are more clearly separated by different preferences on civil rights. Secondly the era of deregulation since the election of Reagan has brought money into the political equation, especially since Citizen's United decision of the Supreme Court. We base our argument on a formal model of the 2008 election and show that excluding money, both candidates in 2008 would have adopted centrist positions. We argue that it was money that pulled the candidates into opposite quadrants of the policy space. We suggest that the same argument holds for members of Congress, leading to to the current gridlock.

Day: Monday
11.06.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Economic Growth and the Rise of Political Extremism
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 11.06.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 11.06.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Markus Brückner - National University of Singapore
Abstract:
In many western democracies, political parties with extreme platforms challenge more moderate incumbents. This paper analyses the impact of economic growth on the support for extreme political platforms. We provide a theoretical argument in favor of growth effects (as opposed to level effects) on the support for extreme political parties and we empirically investigate the relationship between growth and the support for extreme political parties. Lower growth rates benefit right-wing and nationalist parties, but do not have a robust positive effect on the support for communist parties. Our estimates indicate that extreme political platforms are unlikely to gain majorities in OECD countries, unless there is an extreme drop in the GDP per capita growth rate.

Day: Monday
04.06.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Taxing the unobservable: The impact of the shadow economy on inflation and tax revenue
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 04.06.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 04.06.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Pierre-Guillaume Meon - Université libre de Bruxelles
Abstract:
In this paper, we test empirically the notion that a rational government should rely less on taxes and more on inflation to finance its expenditures if the size of the shadow economy increases. In a sample of developed and developing countries over the 1999-2007 period, we indeed report a negative relation between the tax burden and the size of the shadow economy, and a positive relation between inflation and the size of the shadow economy. The relation is not driven by reverse causality, and survives a series of robustness checks.

Day: Tuesday
29.05.2012
15:30 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Strategic Issue Balancing: An analysis of party electoral strategy and issue competition in advanced industrial democracies
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 29.05.2012 - 15:30 Uhr
end: 29.05.2012 - 17:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Zachary Greene - University of Iowa
Abstract:
Traditional theories of party electoral strategy do not indicate a direct explanation for why parties choose the number and range of issues in their platforms instead focusing on parties’ left-right placement on one or a small number of issues or studying only parties’ primary issues. I propose that party leaders increase the number of issues they discuss to either expand the scope of conflict in the hope of mobilizing moderately supportive voters or decrease the number of issues to satisfy intra-party groups. The number of issues in the party platform therefore represents a balance between the party’s goals of mobilizing voters and satisfying policy-motivated intra-party groups. The degree to which party election platforms lean toward the priority of each group depends on the conditions leading up to the election such as previous electoral success, economic conditions and party competition. I test hypotheses from the theory using CMP and elections data from 24 OECD countries between 1945 and 2010. The results indicate that opposition parties react more to electoral conditions than incumbent parties, although economic conditions impact both parties’ strategies.

Day: Monday
21.05.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
From Democratization to Taxation?
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 21.05.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 21.05.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Thushyanthan Baskaran - University of Göttingen
Abstract:
Anecdotal evidence from pre-modern Europe and North America has led economic historians to hypothesize that taxation leads to representation. Once rulers began to claim a large share of private resources, they had to give citizens a voice in policy making. One difficulty in testing the “taxation causes democratization” hypothesis is the endogeneity of taxation levels. In this paper, I use the recent world-wide surge in the adoption of value added taxes and autonomous revenue authorities – i. e. tax innovations that were made for non-political reasons – as plausible sources of exogenous variation to identify the effect of taxation on democracy. The estimation results, obtained from instrumental variables regressions with a panel of 122 countries over the 1981-2008 period, suggest that taxation indeed leads to more democracy.

Day: Monday
14.05.2012
13:45 Uhr
Cancelled: Seminar Series 2012Public
Cancelled
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 14.05.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 14.05.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Detlef Fetchenhauer - Universität Köln
Abstract:
Cancelled

Day: Tuesday
08.05.2012
17:15 Uhr
Department of Economics/ SFB 884 SeminarPublic
Optimal Taxation with Rent-Seeking
Location
L7,3-5, HS001
Date
start: 08.05.2012 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 08.05.2012 - 18:45 Uhr

Speaker:
Florian Scheuer - Stanford University
Abstract:
We develop a framework for optimal income taxation when agents can choose between working in a traditional sector, where private and social products coincide, and a rent-seeking actor, where the private returns to effort exceed the social returns. This could result from the fact that income in this sector reflects the capture of pre-existing rents, or beacuse rent-seekers reduce the returns to traditional work (within- versus cross-sector externalities). We characterize Pareto optimal non-linear income taxes when the government does not observe whether an individual is a traditional worker or a rent-seeker. We identify a sectoral shift effect as a key determinant for optimal tax policy. If the within-sector externality dominates, it can blunt the incentive to tax the highest wage earners at very high rates, even if they are socially unproductive rent-seekers and the government has an intrinsic desire for progressive redistribution. Intuitively, taxing their effort at a lower rate stimulates their rent-seeking efforts, thereby congesting the rent-seeking sector and discouraging further entry.

Day: Monday
07.05.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Party Organization in Context: Political Institutions and Intraparty Structure and Process
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 07.05.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 07.05.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
William B. Heller - Binghamton University
Abstract:
Who gets to make decisions inside parties? Political scientists have focused a great deal of attention on relationships among political parties, asking for instance how parties' legislative and electoral contexts affect policy positioning and coalition bargaining, but what goes on within parties has most often been left to one side. How decisions are made and who is involved in making them are fundamental questions, however, affecting not only how parties look to the outside observer but also the kinds of decisions they make. In this paper, I present a formal analysis of the relationship between a party's institutional context---specifically, the number of individual legislators it needs to be able to supply for publicly visible positions (e.g., government ministers)---and the optimal size of party leadership. One surprising implication from the model is that the costs typically associated with party discipline turn out to be irrelevant as long as the party leaders who define the party position value party unity. Finally, I derive testable propositions as well as propositions that would in principle be testable were it feasible to collect the requisite data.

Attachments: Heller_Paper_SFB-Seminar.pdf    
Day: Monday
30.04.2012
13:45 Uhr
REMINDER: SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Campaign Contributions Over CEOs' Careers
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 30.04.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 30.04.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Brian Kelleher Richter - Ivey School of Business University of Western Ontario
Abstract:
Individuals donate money in politics, accounting for over 90% of federal campaign contributions, yet studies of individuals’ giving patterns are scarce. We construct a new dataset to examine all of the contributions made between 1991 and 2008 by all 2,198 people who served as S&P 500 CEOs for any portion of that interval. We then exploit variation in these individuals’ leadership status over this span of their careers to identify that becoming an S&P 500 CEO causes a $4,000 jump per election-cycle in personal political giving relative to these individuals’ pre-CEO contribution levels. While some fraction of CEOs’ contributions can be attributed to their long-standing preferences and their ability to contribute, the striking change in behavior we identify upon individuals taking leadership roles cannot be explained by these factors alone. Despite causing individuals to give more money to more candidates, more political action committees (PACs), and more parties, serving as a CEO has little effect on partisan leanings. A battery of tests aimed at falsifying identification assumptions and exposing limits to our specifications’ robustness reinforce our findings — and demonstrate that, among other things, the patterns we identify hold whether individuals are promoted to CEO internally or are appointed externally.

Day: Monday
23.04.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Voters Rewards It
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 23.04.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 23.04.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Panu Poutvaara - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Abstract:
Political candidates on the right are more beautiful or are seen as more competent than candidates on the left in Australia, Finland,France, and the United States. This appearance gap gives candidates on the right an advantage in elections, which could in turn influence policy outcomes. As an illustration, the Republican share of seats increased by an average of 6% in the 2000-2006 U.S. Senate elections because they fielded candidates who looked more competent. These shifts are big enough to have given theRepublicans a Senate majority in two of the four Congresses in the studied time period. The Republicans also won nine of the 15gubernatorial elections where looks were decisive. Using Finnish data, we also show that beauty is an asset for political candidates in intra-party competition and more so for candidates on the right in low-information elections. Our analysis indicates that this advantage arises since voters use good looks as a cue for conservatism when candidates are relatively unknown.

Day: Monday
16.04.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Selection of Public Servants into Politics
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 16.04.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 16.04.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Thomas Brändle - University of Basel
Abstract:
Countries differ substantially in how they deal with politicians that come from the public sector. Most constitutions include incompatibility and ineligibility rules due to concerns about conflicts of interest and the politicization of the public service. We study how these rules affect the attractiveness of parliamentary mandates for public servants and thus the selection into politics. We compile a novel dataset that captures the fraction of public servants in 71 national legislatures as well as the respective (in)compatibility regimes. On average, there are 7 percentage points fewer public servants in parliaments where a strict regime is in force. Supplementary evidence shows that the fraction of public servants in parliament is positively correlated with government consumption as well as the absence of corruption.

Day: Monday
26.03.2012
13:45 Uhr
Seminar Series 2012Public
Do markets punish left governments?
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 26.03.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 26.03.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Thomas Sattler - London School of Economics
Abstract:
The political economy literature finds that stock markets drop after left-wing and increase after right-wing electoral victories. This study shows that the size of this reaction strongly depends on the political constraints that the incoming government faces. When constraints are high, the discretion of the government to change policies is low, which decreases policy volatility and therefore the political risk for financial investors. The analysis of an original dataset of stock market reactions to 205 elections since the 1950s confi rms this conjecture. Stocks drop considerably after the electionof a left government and increase after the election of a right government, but only in low-constraints countries. These partisan effects on stocks are highly persistent and even become stronger over time when additional information about the composition of the incoming government becomes available. However, the e ffects of elections on stocks fully disappear when political constraints are high. These results imply that the welfare consequences of democratic political processes diff er substantially across countries.

Attachments: Sattler_Paper_SFB-Seminar.pdf    
Day: Monday
19.03.2012
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Why are Benefits Left on the Table? Assessing the Role of Information, Complexity, and Stigma on Take-up with an IRS Field Experiment
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 19.03.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 19.03.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Professor Day Manoli - Department of Economics - UCLA
Abstract:
Why do some individuals fail to collect the social or private benefits for which they are eligible? We address this puzzle, and attempt to identify concrete strategies to increase take-up, with a unique field experiment in collaboration with the IRS. Specifically, we test the role of program information (regarding benefits, costs, and rules), informational complexity, and stigma on response to a set of experimental IRS mailings that notify eligible individuals of over $26 million in owed benefits. We distribute these mailings to 35,050 California taxpayers who filed their taxes but did not claim their TY 2009 EITC despite presumed eligibility. Among eligible filers, we find residual increases in take-up due to the mere receipt of an experimental mailing (response of 0.14); simplification (+0.09 relative to 0.14); and the display of benefit information (+0.08 relative to the 0.23 simplified baseline). We find no evidence to implicate perceptions of direct transaction costs, audit likelihood, or program stigma, as causes of incomplete take-up in this context. The mailings also substantially increase the likelihood of subsequent year take-up. A novel survey affirms pervasive low awareness and misconstrual of program incentives among eligible tax-filers, while psychometric evidence illuminates possible underlying mechanisms. We project that the tested interventions, if applied to all filing non-claimants, could reduce incomplete take-up among filers from 10% to 7%, and overall from 25% to 22%.

Day: Monday
12.03.2012
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Innovation, Trade, and Finance
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 12.03.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 12.03.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Professor Dr. Christian Keuschnigg - University of St. Gallen
Abstract:
This paper proposes a model where heterogeneous firms choose whether to undertake R&D or not. Innovative firms are more productive, have larger investment opportunities and lower own funds for tangible continuation investments than non-innovating firms. As a result, they are financially constrained while non-innovative firms are not. The efficiency of the financial sector and a country's institutional quality relating to corporate finance determine the share of R&D intensive firms and their comparative advantage in producing innovative goods. We illustrate how tariffs, R&D subsidies, and financial sector development improve access to external finance in distinct ways, support the expansion of innovative industries, and boost national welfare. International welfare spillovers depend on the interaction between terms of trade effects and financial frictions and may be positive or negative, depending on foreign countries' trade position.

Day: Monday
05.03.2012
13:45 Uhr
No Seminar on MondayPublic
The next regular seminar session will take place on March 12 2012.
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 05.03.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 05.03.2012 - 15:15 Uhr


Day: Monday
27.02.2012
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Alone, Lead or Join? Party Entry Strategies in Presidential Elections in Europe and South America
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 27.02.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 27.02.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Jae-Jae Spoon - University of Iowa SFB 884 Visiting Scholar
Abstract:
Prior research has shown that institutions influence parties’ incentives to coordinate within elections or compete on their own. However, no study to date has examined how institutions affect parties’ entry strategies in the most important of electoral contests: the presidential race. Which institutions encourage parties to run as part of pre-electoral alliances or coalitions, or shun them, and run on their own in the race for the presidency? Using an original dataset of 1400 parties that sponsored a candidate on their own or ran as part of an alliance in presidential elections across 23 democracies in Europe and South America from 1975-2009, we find that institutions – namely elements of the presidential office, electoral rules, and multi-level governance – determine when parties decide to enter the race on their own or form an alliance, as well as what role parties play within the alliance. Our findings have important implications for understanding party competition and strategy as well as their potential effects in semi-presidential and presidential systems.

Day: Monday
20.02.2012
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Optimal Apportionment
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 20.02.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 20.02.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Yukio Koriyama - Ecole Polytechnique Department of Economics
Abstract:
This paper provides a theoretical foundation which supports thedegressive proportionality principle in apportionment problems. Thecore of the argument is that each individual derives utility from the fact that the collective decision matches her own will with some frequency, with marginal utility decreasing with respect to this frequency. Then classical utilitarianism at the social level recommends decision rules which exhibit degressive proportionality. The model is applied to the case of the 27 states of the European Union.

Day: Monday
13.02.2012
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
The Political Cost of Reforms
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 13.02.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 13.02.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Alessandra Bonfiglioli - Institute for Economic Analysis CSIC
Abstract:
This paper formalizes in a fully-rational model the popular idea that politicians perceive an electoral cost in adopting costly reforms with future benefits and reconciles it with the evidence that reformist governments are not punished by voters. To do so, it proposes a model of elections where political ability is exante unknown and investment in reforms is unobservable. On the one hand, elections improve accountability and allow to keep well-performing incumbents. On the other, politicians make too little reforms in an attempt to signal high ability and increase their reappointment probability. Although in a rational expectation equilibrium voters cannot be fooled and hence reelection does not depend on reforms, the strategy of underinvesting in reforms is nonetheless sustained by out-of-equilibrium beliefs. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, uncertainty makes reforms more politically viable and may, under some conditions, increase social welfare. The model is then used to study how political rewards can be set so as to maximize social welfare and the desirability of imposing a one-term limit to governments. The predictions of this theory are consistent with a number of empirical regularities on the determinants of reforms and reelection. They are also consistent with a new stylized fact documented in this paper: economic uncertainty is associated tomore reforms in a panel of 20 OECD countries.

Day: Monday
30.01.2012
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Collectivist Hierarchies and Endogenous Public Goods: A Political-Economic Theory of Russian Orthodoxy
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 30.01.2012 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 30.01.2012 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Theocharis Grigoriadis - UC Berkeley
Abstract:
This paper examines experimentally the effects of collectivism on contributions by regional bureaucrats in Tomsk and Novosibirsk, Russia, toward the provision of endogenous public goods. A public good is endogenous, when its threshold is defined by the principal of the administrative agency that provides it. I expand the standard public goods experiment with three treatments, which I define as degrees of Orthodox collectivist enforcement: 1. Solidarity, 2. Obedience, and 3. Collective discipline. I argue for the existence of an Eastern Orthodox rationality in the Russian bureaucracy that prioritizes collective welfare over individual profit. Russian Orthodox collectivism is implemented through Bayesian and collectivist disciplinary monitoring such that hierarchical revelation of individual contributions and enforcement of collective punishment occur. Contrary to conventional wisdom about free-riding in administrative institutions, higher ranks in Russian Orthodox bureaucracies are associated with higher levels of contributions and collectivist enforcement.

Day: Friday
09.12.2011
9:00 Uhr
SFB 884 WorkshopPublic
The Political Economy of Reforms
Location
Fuchs-Petrolub Saal
Date
start: 09.12.2011 - 9:00 Uhr
end: 10.12.2011 - 14:50 Uhr

Abstract:
Dr. Elisabeth Schulte and Dr. Nikoleta Yordanova, Fellows at the SFB 884, are organizing a workshop on the "Political Economy of Reforms" on December 9-10. The workshop is aimed at promoting interdisciplinary research on political reforms. It is open for participation to all members of the University of Mannheim. List of confirmed external speakers:Marco Battaglini (Princeton)Ken Shepsle (Harvard)Georgy Egorov (Kellog)Torun Dewan (LSE)Mark Hallerberg (Hertie)Sophie Bade (MPI Bonn)Massimiliano Onorato (IMT Lucca)

Day: Monday
05.12.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Knowledge Technologies at GESIS
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 05.12.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 05.12.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Dr. Brigitte Mathiak - GESIS
Abstract:
The Department “Knowledge Technologies for the Social Sciences” at GESIS the Leibniz institute for the Social Sciences does Computer Science research for the Social Scientists. In this talk, I present a number of interesting projects from the department with a focus on text analysis and eGovernment. I hope to inspire a fruitful discussion on how our work can be applied to current research problems at the SFB.

Day: Monday
21.11.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Executive Vetoes and Economic Reform - Theory and Evidence from the History of American Labor Regulation
Location
ZEW: room Hamburg (next to EuroBistro)
Date
start: 21.11.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 21.11.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Kaj Thomsson - Department of Economics, University of Maastricht
Abstract:
I analyze the role of legislative institutions in policy change, particularly the role of the veto power of political executives. I study situations characterized by two key features: First, there is a status quo in place that is considered undesirable by all major legislative players. Secondly, there is variation in the political institutions, in particular the strength of the veto power of the executive, and this matters for the ability of groups with different ideal outcomes to reach a compromise. I first show theoretically that endowing a political executive (here a governor) with veto power may facilitate policy change. I then use state-level variation in the enactment of workers' compensation laws in the US to empirically examine the model's predictions. The empirical results support the prediction that a strong executive veto, in this setting, facilitates policy change.

Day: Monday
14.11.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Choosing how to choose: efficiency concerns and constitutional choice
Location
ZEW: room (Hamburg) next to Euro Bistro
Date
start: 14.11.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 14.11.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Engelmann, Dirk - University of Mannheim
Abstract:
We study group decision making in a two-step process. In the first step, group members decide by a random dictator mechanism upon the rule they will use in the second step of their decision process. In the second step, all group members then vote between two alternatives and the decision is implemented according to the rule chosen in the first step. One alternative implies zero payoffs for all group members, the other alternative can have positive and negative valuations for each different group member, where valuations are drawn independently. Selfish players should choose a rule in the first stage that implements their preferred choice for sure in the second stage. Inequality averse players should choose even for small positive valuations a rule that implements the alternative that yields zero payoffs for all and subjects that are concerned with maximizing efficiency should for small positive or negative valuations choose majority voting as the decision rule (or a rule between majority voting and one that implements their payoff-maximizing outcome for sure). We find that in the second stage group members almost always vote in favor of the alternative that maximizes their own payoff, whereas the rule choice is often inconsistent with selfish payoff maximization. Furthermore, the rule choice shows no evidence of inequality aversion, but is consistent with efficiency concerns.

Day: Wednesday
09.11.2011
10:00 Uhr
SFB GIP SeminarPublic
Lessons Learned When Creating and Evaluating an Internet Survey Panel in the United States Using Probability Sampling and Face-to-Face Recruitment
Location
SFB Meeting Room, 5th Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 09.11.2011 - 10:00 Uhr
end: 09.11.2011 - 11:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Jon Krosnick - Stanford University
Abstract:
In 2008, Professor Jon Krosnick created an Internet survey panel with a representative national sample of American adults, dubbed the FFRISP (Face-to-Face Recruited Internet Survey Platform). A probability sample of American households was drawn, and interviewers visited them, offered a randomly selected member of each household a free laptop computer and free high speed internet access from home (if the respondent did not already have it) and a cash payment each month for a year in exchange for answering 30 minutes of survey questions online each month. At the end of the year, participants were allowed to keep the laptops. This presentation will provide an overview of lessons learned in the process of creating the panel about how to do so effectively in the future. Data assessing the sample representativeness and other aspects of data quality will be presented. Researchers interested in gathering or analyzing survey data will find this presentation to provide useful insights into the challenges of optimal social science data collection.

Day: Monday
07.11.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
The Treaty of Lisbon and European Union Trade Policy: A Political-Economic Analysis
Location
ZEW Room
Date
start: 07.11.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 07.11.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Crombez, Cristophe - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Abstract:
This paper presents a game-theoretical analysis of European Union (EU) trade policy and the Lisbon Treaty’s impact on it. Specifically, it develops spatial models of the EU’s international trade negotiations process, and analyzes the European Parliament’s increased involvement in it as a result of the introduction of the Parliamentary consent requirement for international trade agreements. We find that the Council’s right to set a negotiating mandate in trade negotiations is equivalent to an amendment right, and that the Commission’s right to propose a negotiating mandate to the Council is comparable to a monopoly proposal right in the negotiation process with the trade partner. We further conclude that the Parliament’s enhanced role limits the Commission’s ability to set policy and conclude negotiations. Even though it represents a domestic constraint for the Commission, the Parliament’s involvement does not reinforce the Commission’s bargaining position in international negotiations. The Commission can use the negotiating mandate to improve its bargaining position instead.

Day: Monday
24.10.2011
13:45 Uhr
REMINDER: SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
The Federal Reserve Bank May Be Politically Independent, But it is Not Politically Indifferent
Location
ZEW: room
Date
start: 24.10.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 24.10.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Clark, William - University of Michigan
Abstract:
The Federal Reserve System of the United States has long been considered one of the most politically independent central banks in the world. Independent central banks are effective inflation hawks because they are run by technocrats with more conservative monetary policy preferences than the median voter in society. But, central bankers can only protect their independence by compromising with the elected officials who grant them their independence. Policy, therefore, is likely to be the weighted average of the preferences of the central bank and the government. If central bankers are more conservative than right wing politicians, policy will be closer to their ideal under right-wing governments than left. Consequently, central bankers may be eager to help rightwing governments stay in power and oppose the election of left-wing governments. We show evidence from the United States between 1953 and 2010 that supports this argument. The discount rate declines as elections approach when Republicans control the White House, but rise when Democrats do. In addition, the discount rate is sensitive to the inflation rate only when Democrats are in the White House. However, the discount rate is sensitive to the size of the output gap only when the Republicans are in the White House. Thus, the Federal Reserve is a conditional inflation hawk – it acts like an “independent central bank” only when the Democrats control the White House. Further, since the Fed became operationally independent in 1951, the Republicans have exhibited a decided electoral advantage in presidential politics.

Attachments: Fed_Clark_2011.pdf    
Day: Tuesday
04.10.2011
16:00 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
The Political Economy of Natural Disasters
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 04.10.2011 - 16:00 Uhr
end: 04.10.2011 - 17:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Thomas Plümper - Department of Government, University of Essex
Abstract:
Economic damage from natural hazards can sometimes be prevented and always mitigated. However, private individuals tend to underinvest in disaster preparedness and mitigation measures due to collective action, information asymmetry and myopic behavior problems. Governments, which can in principle correct these market failures, also face incentives to under-invest in costly disaster preparedness policies and damage mitigation regulations. Yet, disaster damage varies greatly across countries. We argue that the larger a country’s propensity to experience frequent and strong natural hazards, the more rational actors will invest in preparing for disasters and mitigating disaster damage. Accordingly, economic loss from an actually occurring disaster will be smaller the larger a country’s disaster propensity – holding everything else equal, such as hazard magnitude and the country’s total wealth and per capita income. Even if governments implement effective mitigation measures, damage is not entirely pre-ventable and smaller losses tend to be random. A higher disaster propensity will there-fore have a more pronounced negative effect on predicted damage at the top end of the disaster damage distribution than at the bottom end. We find empirical support for our theory in a quantile regression analysis of economic loss from the three disaster types causing the vast majority of damage worldwide: earthquakes, floods and tropical cyclones.

Day: Tuesday
27.09.2011
17:15 Uhr
VWL Dept. Seminar Series (Co-Sponsored)Public
The Impact of Divorce, Wages, and Preferences on Education Choices and Women´s Work
Location
L7, 3-5, Room HS001
Date
start: 27.09.2011 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 27.09.2011 - 18:45 Uhr

Speaker:
Fernandez, Raquel - New York University

Day: Monday
26.09.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics: A Study of Race-based Residual Vote Rates in Chicago
Location
ZEW: room "Europa"
Date
start: 26.09.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 26.09.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Michael Herron - Dartmouth College
Abstract:
Voter race is known to be a key factor in residual vote rates, and it is well understood that white voters have historically cast fewer residual votes than minority voters. Much of the literature on race and residual votes is based on electoral environments that predate the passage of the Help America Vote Act, and is natural to inquire as to whether the racial regularities observed under pre-Act conditions, often with voting technology that has since been superseded, still obtain. With this imperative in mind, we show that, even with modern, optical scan voting equipment, there were significant differences among black, Hispanic, and white residual vote rates in the city of Chicago during the Municipal Election of 2011 and the Illinois General Election of 2010. Moreover, these three race-based residual vote rates varied with the availability of, respectively, black, Hispanic, and white candidates for office. Hispanics often had the highest residual vote rates among the three major race groups in Chicago, and we identify a number of cases in which a group of voters chose not to vote for anyone in the face of a dominant candidate running for office who happened to be of a different race than the voters themselves. We conclude that voter engagement as measured by residual vote rates continues to reflect racial features of elections and that, holding constant electoral administration and voting technology, the political contexts of elections are highly relevant to the residual vote rates associated with them.

Day: Monday
19.09.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Monitoring Job Offer Decisions, Punishments, Exit to Work, and Job Quality
Location
ZEW: room
Date
start: 19.09.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 19.09.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Gerard van den Berg - Mannheim
Abstract:
Unemployment insurance systems include monitoring of unemployed workers and punitive sanctions if job search requirements are violated. We analyze the effect of sanctions on the ensuing job quality, notably on wage rates and hours worked, and we examine how often a sanction leads to a lower occupational level. The data cover the Swedish population over 1999-2004. We estimate duration models dealing with selection on unobservables. We use weighted exogenous sampling maximum likelihood to deal with the fact the data register is large whereas observed punishments are rare. We also develop a theoretical job search model with monitoring of job offer rejection vis-a-vis monitoring of job search effort. The observation window includes a policy change in which the punishment severity was reduced. We find that the hourly wage and the number of hours are on average lower after a sanction, and that individuals move more often to a lower occupational level, incurring human capital losses. Monitoring offer rejections is less effective than monitoring search effort.

Day: Tuesday
13.09.2011
17:15 Uhr
VWL Dept. Seminar Series (Co-Sponsor)Public
Asset Trading and Valuation with Uncertain Exposure
Location
L7, 3-5, Room HS001
Date
start: 13.09.2011 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 13.09.2011 - 18:45 Uhr

Speaker:
Per Krusell - IIES Stockholm
Abstract:
This paper considers an asset market where investors have private information not only about asset payoffs, but also about their own exposure to an aggregate risk factor. In equilibrium, rational investors disagree about asset payoffs: those with higher exposure to the risk factor are more optimistic about claims on the risk factor, which leads to less risk sharing than under symmetric information. Moreover, uncertainty about exposure amplifies the effect of aggregate exposure on asset prices, and can thereby help explain the excess volatility of prices and the predictability of excess returns.

Day: Monday
05.09.2011
13:45 Uhr
CANCELLED: SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
tba
Location
ZEW
Date
start: 05.09.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 05.09.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Professor Michele Tertilt - Mannheim - Department of Economics

Day: Monday
08.08.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Heterogeneous impact evaluation of policy reforms in the presence of sample selection
Location
ZEW: Alte Bibliothek
Date
start: 08.08.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 08.08.2011 - 15:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Blaise Melly - Brown University Department of Economics

Day: Monday
20.06.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Nonparametric Evidence on the Effects of Financial Incentives on Retirement Decisions (together with Day Manoli)
Location
ZEW: Alte Bibliothek
Date
start: 20.06.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 20.06.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Professor Andrea Weber - Mannheim - Department of Economics
Abstract:
This paper presents new empirical evidence on the effects of retirement benefits on labor force participation decisions. We use administrative data on the census of private sector employees in Austria and variation from mandated discontinuous changes in retirement benefits from the Austrian pension system. We present nonparametric, graphical evidence documenting labor supply responses to the policy discontinuities. Next, based on the nonparametric evidence and mandated financial incentives, we estimate extensive margin labor supply elasticities. We estimate elasticities of 0.12 for men and 0.38 for women. The evidence indicates these elasticities are primarily driven by substitution effects rather than wealth effects.

Day: Monday
30.05.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Compelled without Direction: Compulsory Voting and Party System Spreading (with Christian B. Jensen)
Location
ZEW: Alte Bibliothek
Date
start: 30.05.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 30.05.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Jae Jae Spoon - University of Iowa

Day: Friday
20.05.2011
9:00 Uhr
German Internet Panel WorkshopPublic
Concept and Structure of the GIP // From Offline to Online: Sampling// Recruitment and Nonresponse: How to Reach Offline Populations// Incentives in Online Panels// Panel Care// Core Questionnaire
Location
Fuchs-Petrolub-Saal (Ostflügel)
Date
start: 20.05.2011 - 9:00 Uhr
end: 20.05.2011 - 18:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Christina Gathmann - Mannheim
Marcel Das - University of Tilburg
Michael Blohm - GESIS
Wolfgang Bandilla - GESIS
Annette Scherpenzeel - centER data
Annelies Blom - Mannheim
Mathis Schröder - DIW Berlin
Jürgen Schupp - DIW Berlin
Anja Göritz - University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Abstract:
The workshop on the concept of the German Internet Panel (program attached) is coming up on Friday May 20, 2011. The workshop will take place in the Fuchs-Petrolub-Saal in the Mannheim castle. In case you have not registered, please do so now by writing a short email to Stephan Solomon (publicrelations@reforms.uni-mannheim.de). We need to know the number of participants to plan the catering etc.

Attachments: 14A42d01.pdf    
Day: Monday
16.05.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
How sensitive are subjective retirement expectations to an increase in statutory retirement age?
Location
ZEW: Alte Bibliothek
Date
start: 16.05.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 16.05.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Dr. Michaela Coppola - Mannheim MEA
Abstract:
Population Aging poses an evident threat to the financial sustainability of pension systems based on a “pay-as-you-go” (PAYG) scheme. To cope with this threat, pension systems have undergone numerous reforms in many countries in order to keep people longer at work. One crucial element of these reforms typically is an increase in the statutory retirement age at which workers are legally allowed to retire. In this paper, we focus on subjective retirement expectations, analysing if and to what extent they are affected by such a policy change. We consider the legislative reform introduced in Germany in 2007, which gradually will increase the statutory retirement age (SRA) from 65 to 67 years. Using the SAVE survey, a representative panel of German households, we estimate the increase of the individuals’ expected retirement age (ERA) as an effect of the reform. Furthermore, making use of two special questions asked in the survey 2009, our study complements the existing literature by looking at the role played by financial literacy in shaping individuals' reactions to policy reforms.Our results show that less productive workers living in relatively wealthier households are more likely to plan an early retirement. The introduction of the reform seems to motivate better educated workers to remain longer in the labour force although it does not seem to completely succeed in keeping women longer in the labour force: especially among the younger cohorts, whose SRA will be 67 years, women are still more likely than men to plan an early retirement. We also find that even after controlling for the educational attainments of the respondents a conspicuous degree of disinformation on the functioning and on the costs of the pension system is significantly related with a lower expected retirement age. In terms of the magnitude of the effect, we find that the reform shifted the expectations of the younger cohorts by almost two years – if these expectations will be realized, this reform would have been quite successful.

Day: Tuesday
03.05.2011
17:15 Uhr
SFB884/ VWL Faculty SeminarPublic
tba.
Location
L7, 3-5, HS001
Date
start: 03.05.2011 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 03.05.2011 - 18:45 Uhr

Speaker:
Erik Eyster - LSE

Day: Monday
02.05.2011
17:30 Uhr
DAI/ SFB Lesung mit Gabor SteingartPublic
Das Ende der Normalität. Nachruf auf ein Leben, wie es bisher war.
Location
Schloss, Universität Mannheim
Date
start: 02.05.2011 - 17:30 Uhr
end: 02.05.2011 - 19:00 Uhr

Speaker:
Gabor Steingart - Handelsblatt Chefredakteur
Abstract:
Früher war nicht alles besser, aber vieles verlässlicher. Die Welt drehte sich, aber sie rotierte nicht ständig. Normalität bedeutete das Verlässliche in der Gesellschaft. Es war jene Zeit, als Familie noch lebenslange Schicksalsgemeinschaft bedeutete und sich nicht ein- und ausschalten ließ wie ein Pay-TV-Programm. Es war jene Zeit, als man drei Freunde im Café traf und nicht 500 Freunde auf Facebook. Das Kennzeichen unserer Zeit ist das Verschwinden der vielen Selbstverständlichkeiten. Jedes Mal, wenn man alle Antworten gelernt hat, wechseln die Fragen. Laut Steingart muss der Gezeitenwechsel dennoch kein Drama sein. Das Gefühl der Fremdheit und die Vorfreude auf ein Leben, das anders sein wird als unser bisheriges, schließen sich nicht aus. Steingart berichtet in seinem Werk von dem, was geht, was bleibt und was kommt.

Day: Monday
11.04.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Electoral Incentives and Economic Policy across Political Regimes
Location
ZEW: Alte Bibliothek
Date
start: 11.04.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 11.04.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Professor Vincenzo Galasso - Università L. Bocconi Milano
Abstract:
This paper provides a direct test of the causal link from electoral rules to economic policy. Our theoretical model delivers unambigous predictions on the interaction between institutions and a time varying event, namely the unemployment rate in pivotal and non-pivotal districts. We use local level data on unemployment rate and political competition to obtain an empirical specification which matches our model. First, we test the effect of electoral incentives under majority rule, by analyzing the US House representatives voting records on the 2009 Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, which increased unemployment benefit coverage and generosity. Second, we exploit the time-varying dimension of our theoretical prediction to test the causal effect on panel data. We use a dataset with local information on electoral competitiveness and unemployment rates for 29 OECD countries in 1980-2001 and employ panel analysis on different measures of UB generosity. The empirical evidence strongly supports our theoretical predictions.

Day: Monday
04.04.2011
13:45 Uhr
REMINDER: SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Political Minorities and Electoral Rules in the Lab
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 04.04.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 04.04.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Lydia Mechtenberg, Ph.D. - Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin
Abstract:
In an experimental study, we investigate how a political majority chooses electoral rules if their interests diverge from those of the political minority. We find that (1) political majorities choose the simple majority rule more often than the proportional rule, but choose the proportional rule significantly often even in the absence of punishment. (2) Political minorities punish political majorities for the choice of the simple majority rule. (3) Punishment occurs for instrumental reasons. We find no evidence for a preference for procedural justice as a reason for punishment. (4) In the presence of punishment, political majorities significantly increase the frequency with which they choose the proportional rule. (5) Anticipation of punishment also leads political majorities to vote significantly more often against their own interest and in the interest of the political minority.

Day: Tuesday
29.03.2011
17:15 Uhr
REMINDER:Department of Economics SeminarPublic
The Growth of China in the Face of a Demographic Transition
Location
L7, 3-5, HS001
Date
start: 29.03.2011 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 29.03.2011 - 18:45 Uhr

Speaker:
Fabrizio Zilibotti - University of Zurich
Abstract:
In Cooperation with the Department of Economics, the SFB 884 is happy to announce a talk by Professor Fabrizio Zilibotti at the Department of Economics Seminar next Tuesday.

Day: Monday
21.03.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
The Allocation of Government Ministries in Parliamentary Democracies
Location
ZEW: Alte Bibliothek
Date
start: 21.03.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 21.03.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Professor Lanny Martin - Rice University
Abstract:
Understanding how ministries in parliamentary democracies are distributed among government parties is one of the key tasks of coalition research. Government ministers have primary responsibility for crafting and implementing public policy, and holding these coveted portfolios confers considerable power and prestige on individual politicians. Unfortunately, the bulk of existing empirical work on this topic is extremely limited in both scope and approach, especially when compared with research on related questions such as which parties get into coalition governments and how long these governments survive. Specifically, most scholars investigating portfolio allocation have focused solely on the question of "how many" ministerial portfolios each government party receives -- is the number proportional to party seat share in the legislature or do certain parties receive a "bonus"? -- rather than the question of "which ones" a party receives. But if we are ultimately interested in understanding policy outcomes, and if we believe that explaining and predicting portfolio allocation can help us in that regard, then having an answer to the second question is at least as important as having an answer to the first. In this paper, I propose a new empirical approach to examining portfolio allocation that allows us to answer both questions. Using a comprehensive dataset on government ministries and relatively new methods in discrete choice analysis, I examine a number of previously unexplored office-based and policy-based explanations of which parties get which ministries. The analysis generates specific predictions about the partisan distribution of portfolios that can, for the first time, be evaluated against existing theories.

Day: Monday
14.03.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
The Reform Capacity of Coalition Governments
Location
ZEW: Alte Bibliothek
Date
start: 14.03.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 14.03.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Johannes Lindvall, Ph.D. - Lund Lecturer
Abstract:
Many students of comparative politics believe that countries with proportional representation have low reform capacity since coalition governments are unable to respond effectively to changes in the economic and social environment. My aim is to question this view. This paper argues that reform capacity does not depend on the number of parties in government but on the availability of institutional mechanisms that allow parties to make broad policy agreements that include side-payments to parties who would otherwise oppose reform. The paper tests the argument empirically through an investigation of employment policies in European democracies.

Day: Monday
28.02.2011
13:45 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Does membership in the UN Security Council influence IMF conditionality?
Location
ZEW: Alte Bibliothek
Date
start: 28.02.2011 - 13:45 Uhr
end: 28.02.2011 - 15:15 Uhr

Speaker:
Prof. Jan Egbert Sturm - ETH Zürich
Abstract:
We investigate whether elected members of the United Nations Security Councilreceive favorable treatment from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), analyzing paneldata on the level of conditionality attached to (a maximum of) 314 IMF arrangements with101 countries over the period of 1992 to 2008. We find a negative relationship: SecurityCouncil members receive about 30 percent fewer conditions attached to the loans that theyreceive from the IMF. We conclude that conditionality is softer for these countries becausethe major shareholders of the IMF desire influence over the Security Council.

Day: Monday
21.02.2011
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Political Competition and Mirrleesian Income Taxation: a first pass
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 21.02.2011 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 21.02.2011 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Pierre Boyer, Ph.D. - Mannheim SFB 884
Abstract:
We study Downsian competition in a Mirrleesian model of income taxation. The competing politicians may di ffer in competence. If politicians engage in vote-share maximization, the less competent politicians policy proposals are attractive to the minority of rich agents, whereas those of the competent politician are attractive to the majority of poor agents. The less competent politician wins with positive probability, which gives rise to a political failure in the sense of Besley and Coate(1998). Political failures are avoided if politicians maximize winning probabilities. Nevertheless, the two equilibria cannot be Pareto-ranked, the minority may be better o ff under vote-share maximization.

Day: Monday
07.02.2011
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Social Mobility and Redistributive Taxation
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 07.02.2011 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 07.02.2011 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Kai Konrad - Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance
Abstract:
We investigate redistributive taxation in a political economy experiment and determine how different patterns of social mobility affect the choices of redistributional taxes. In the absence of social mobility, voters choose tax rates that are very well in line with the prediction derived in the standard framework by Meltzer and Richard (1981). However, past or future changes in the income hierarchy affect the choice of the tax rate in the current period. The same is true for social mobility within the period to which the tax rate choice applies and for the case where the choice of the tax rate takes place behind the veil of ignorance. Due to our design of the experiment, these strong effects of own social mobility cannot be attributed to social or other-regarding preferences.

Attachments: Konrad-Morath_2011.pdf    
Day: Monday
31.01.2011
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar SeriesPublic
Democracy and Transparancy
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 31.01.2011 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 31.01.2011 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Prof. Peter Rosendorff - New York University
Abstract:
Are democracies more transparent than other types of political regimes? Many people believe that the presence of elections alone is not sufficient for a country to be considered democratic, and that transparency must be included as part of the definition of political regime. We agree that contestability of elections and transparency of policy-making are analytically distinct concepts. Adopting minimalist approaches to democracy and transparency, we ask a basic question: do electoral politics provide incentives for governments to disseminate data? Or, instead, do electoral politics generate incentives to obfuscate information? We thus investigate theoretically the relationship between regime-type and the willingness of policy-makers to provide credible announcements on policy-relevant variables. And we demonstrate empirically that the availability (or absence) of policy-relevant data is correlated with regime type, even after controlling for level of development, participation in IMF programs, country-specific effects, and the effects of time. Democracies are indeed more transparent.

Attachments: RevisionsPhase1b_JRV.pdf    
Day: Monday
13.12.2010
17:15 Uhr
Seminar Series 2010Public
Family Values and the Regulation of Labor
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 13.12.2010 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 13.12.2010 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Prof. Paola Giuliano - University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
Abstract:
To be efficient, flexible labor markets require geographically mobile workers. Otherwise firms can take advantage of workers' immobility and extract rents at their expense. In cultures with strong family ties, moving away from home is costly. Thus, to limit the rents of firms and to avoid moving, individuals with strong family ties rationally choose regulated labor markets, even though regulation generates higher unemployment and lower incomes. Empirically, we find that individuals who inherit stronger family ties are less mobile, have lower wages and higher unemployment, and support more stringent labor market regulations. We find a positive association between labor market rigidities at the beginning of the 21st century and family values prevailing before World War II, and between family structures in the Middle Ages and current desire for labor market regulation. Both results suggest that labor market regulations have deep cultural roots.

Day: Monday
29.11.2010
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar Series 2010Public
College Admission and High School Integration
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 29.11.2010 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 29.11.2010 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Thomas Gall, PhD - University Bonn
Abstract:
Discrimination is an economic concern because it distorts not only the allocation, but also groups’ payoffs from decisions made before the market, for instance school or neighborhood choice. Policies such as affirmative action aiming at desegregation as a response to discrimination must therefore be evaluated also in terms of their effects on earlier choice. We find that a policy only operating at a later stage, conditioning on earlier individual choice, but not on exogenous markers such as race or gender, may achieve desegregation with respect to that marker in both stages. An example for this is a college admission rule based on relative performance at school. If groups that are to be integrated are disadvantaged ex ante, this policy rewards some advantaged individuals for integrating at school. We present empirical evidence for a decrease in segregation at the high school level as an unintended consequence of introducing of the Texas Top Ten percent college admission rule.

Day: Monday
22.11.2010
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar Series 2010Public
Strategic Private Experimentation
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 22.11.2010 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 22.11.2010 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Elisabeth Schulte, PhD - SFB 884
Abstract:
We consider a model of persuasion in which an agent who tries to persuade a decision maker can sequentially acquire imperfect signals. The agent's information acquisition is unobservable and he has the option to hide unfavorable signals. Nevertheless, if the signal precision is sufficiently high, he can persuade the decision maker by revealing a sufficiently large number of favorable signals When the number of signals that can be transmitted to the decision maker is limited persuasion is impossible if the agent's stakes are too high.

Day: Monday
15.11.2010
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar Series 2010Public
Winners and Losers of Early Elections
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 15.11.2010 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 15.11.2010 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Dr. Felix Bierbrauer - Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Abstract:
We provide a welfare analysis of early elections in a dynamic model of political competition with endogenous political blockades. Blockades arise if a party wins an election due to the support of voters with extreme policy preferences. We show that flexible election timing has the advantage that political blockades are overcome and political decisions are taken more frequently, but also the disadvantage that these decisions are of a lower quality. We argue that the disadvantage of early elections is likely to dominate, but that time-consistency problems make a constitutional ban on early elections difficult to main tain in a parliamentary democracy.

Day: Monday
08.11.2010
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar Series 2010Public
Talk on Transposition of EU Directives: 'The Better Citizens? Transposition of EU Directives in New vs. Old Member States'
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 08.11.2010 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 08.11.2010 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Nikoleta Yordanova - University of Mannheim/ SFB 884
Abstract:
The SFB 884 continues its seminar series on Monday, November 8th, with a talk on “'The better Citizens?' Transposition of EU Directives in New vs. Old Member States”, given by Nikoleta Yordanova, University of Mannheim/ SFB 884. The talk commences on 5:15 p.m. in the seminar room, ground floor, of the SFB-Building L 13, 17.

Day: Tuesday
19.10.2010
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar Series 2010Public
Economic Growth and the Rise of Political Extremism
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 19.10.2010 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 19.10.2010 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Markus Brückner, Ph.D. - Universidad Pompeu Fabra
Professor Dr. Hans Peter Grüner - University of Mannheim/ SFB 884
Abstract:
In many western democracies, political parties with extreme platforms challenge more moderate incumbents. This paper analyses the impact of economic growth on the support for extreme political platforms. We provide a theoretical argument in favor of growth effects (as opposed to level effects) on the support for extremist parties and we empirically investigate the relationship between growth and extremist votes. A lower growth rate increases the support for extreme political platforms but our estimates also indicate that extreme platforms are unlikely to gain majorities in OECD countries, unless there is an extreme drop in the GDP per capita growth rate.

Day: Monday
20.09.2010
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar Series 2010Public
Talk: Successful Budget Consolidations
Location
SFB Meeting Room, 5th Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 20.09.2010 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 20.09.2010 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Prof. Dr. Uwe Wagschal - University of Freiburg
Abstract:
The SFB 884 continues its seminar series on Monday, September 20th, with a talk on “Successful Budget Consolidations in OECD Countries”, given by Professor Dr. Uwe Wagschal, University of Freiburg. The talk commences on 5:15 p.m. in the seminar room P 044 in Building L 7, 3-5.

Day: Wednesday
01.09.2010
17:15 Uhr
SFB Seminar Series 2010Public
Fertility and Citizenship
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 01.09.2010 - 17:15 Uhr
end: 01.09.2010 - 18:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Dr. Paolo Masella - SFB 884
Abstract:
Citizenship rights are associated with better economic opportunities for immigrants. This paper studies how in a country with a large fraction of temporary migrants the fertility decisions of foreign citizens respond to a change in the rules that regulate child legal status at birth. The introduction of birthright citizenship in Germany in 2000, represented a positive shock to the returns to investment in child human capital. Consistent with Becker's “quality-quantity” model of fertility, we find that birthright citizenship leads to a reduction in immigrant fertility and an improvement in health and socio-emotional outcomes for the children affected by the reform.

Day: Wednesday
24.03.2010
18:00 Uhr
SFB Seminar Series 2010Public
Opening Talk: Democratic Change, Ethnic Fractionalization, and Corruption
Location
SFB Seminar Room, Ground Floor L 13,17
Date
start: 24.03.2010 - 18:00 Uhr
end: 24.03.2010 - 19:30 Uhr

Speaker:
Markus Brückner - Universidad Pompeu Fabra
Abstract:
The SFB 884 is pleased to announce the first seminar session coming up on Thursday, 25th of March at L9, 1-2 room 002. From 6 pm on, Markus Brückner (Universidad Pompeu Fabra) will give a talk on "Democratic Change, Ethnic Fractionalization, and Corruption"