Abstract: In this paper, the differences between two variations of proportional representation (PR), open-list PR and closed-list PR, are analyzed in terms of their ability to accurately reflect voter preference. The single nontransferable vote (SNTV) is also included in the comparison as a benchmark. We construct a model of voting equilibria with a candidate who is least preferred by voters in the sense that replacing the least-preferred candidate in the set of winners with any loser is Pareto improving, and our focus is on whether the least-preferred candidate wins under each electoral system. We demonstrate that the least-preferred candidate never wins under the SNTV, but can win under open-list PR, although this is less likely than winning under closed-list PR.
Abstract: In a call for papers, for the special issue to be devoted to “Urban Economy” late in 2015, that the Economies editors issued recently, I noted the increased attention that has been given to urban economies during the past quarter century. This is concomitant with the increased importance and role in policy that cities have attained. This is, in part, due to the diminished capacity of national and sub-national governments to find the funds needed for urban projects and services, and in part to the understanding that cities are the key to the economies and societies of most if not all nations.[...]
Abstract: Few studies on federalism analyze the role of courts as safeguards of the federal arrangement, and those that do tend to be too optimistic about what courts can do. This article analyzes the effect of judicial review on the interaction between the central and a regional government in a federation in order to understand the conditions under which courts may or may not enforce compliance with federalism. It argues that politicians of either level of government anticipate the likelihood of a judicial challenge and an eventual veto, and it finds distinct equilibria in the interaction between central and regional governments (imposition, auto-limitation, negotiation and litigation). Only under auto-limitation do courts effectively prevent transgressions to the federal arrangement. In all other scenarios, defection may take place despite the presence of courts. These findings show that as the court’s jurisprudence becomes more solid and defined, the chances for governments to successfully exceed their powers increase. Not only do transgressions take place despite the presence of the court, but because of it.
Abstract: We provide a theoretical foundation for analyzing how social stigma and adopted behavioral traits affect the transmission of HIV across a population. We combine an evolutionary game-theoretic model—based on a relationship signaling stage game—with the SIR (susceptible-infected-recovered) model of disease transmission. Our evolutionary model specifies how two types of social stigma—that which accompanies an HIV+ condition and that which follows associating with an HIV+ partner—influence behavioral propensities to honestly report one’s condition (or not) and to unconditionally accept relationships (or not). With respect to reporting an HIV+ condition, we find that condition stigma impedes the fitness of honest reporting, whereas association stigma impedes the relative fitness of concealing an HIV+ condition; and both propensities can coexist in a polymorphic equilibrium. By linking our model to the SIR model, we find that condition stigma unambiguously enhances disease transmission by discouraging both honest reporting and a society’s acceptance of AIDS education, whereas association stigma has an ambiguous impact: on one hand it can impede HIV transmission by discouraging concealing behavior and unconditional relationship acceptance, but it also compromises a society’s acceptance of AIDS education. Our relatively simple evolutionary/SIR model offers a foundation for numerous theoretical extensions—such as applications to social network theory—as well as foundation for many testable empirical hypotheses.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, we attempt to find out whether Spanish households took part in a process of substituting loans for wages during the period before the beginning of the current economic crisis. On the other hand, we try to identify the consequences of such process in the evolution of income and consumption inequalities. The theoretical framework to deal with the above mentioned issues is provided by a review of the economic literature on the determinants of consumer behaviour, namely, on consumption, saving and debt. The empirical study consists of a descriptive analysis, which is focused on two fields. First, we analyze the evolution of consumer credit (both, in aggregate and by income groups) and the savings rates. Second, we compare the values and temporal evolution of income and consumption inequalities. The period under study ranges from 2000 to 2008. Our analysis provides some empirical evidence that supports the hypothesis that financial conditions led to significant effects on the distribution of consumption. This influence is especially significant in the case of consumption inequalities. These inequalities were lower than income inequalities and were kept “artificially” low and stable during the whole period.