A Rationale for Unanimity in Committees (2017)
(Joint with Yves Breitmoser)
Theoretically, when committee members are exposed to "idiosyncratic" payoffs that condition on their individual vote, majority rule suffers from a free-rider problem; unanimity, however, mitigates free-riding by equally distributing responsibility for the committee's decision. Experimental results show that if unanimity is required, subjects are more truthful, respond more to others' messages, and are ultimately more likely to make the optimal decision. [PAPER] [Sup. Appendix]
Dynamic Reform of Public Institutions: A Model of Motivated Agents and Collective Reputation (2017)
When motivated agents value the collective reputation of their place of employment, steady-state equilibria with both high and low aggregate motivation (reputation) in the mission-oriented sector exist. Since the effect of higher wages on motivation is negative for a high-reputation institution, but positive for a low-reputation institution, transitioning to a high-reputation steady state requires an initial wage increase to crowd motivated workers in, followed by a wage decrease to crowd non-motivated workers out. [PAPER]
The Link between Partisan Voting and Polarized Social Identity (2017)
(Joint with Dominik Duell)
We provide theoretical and experimental evidence that social polarization influences voting through an expressive channel, as voters become more likely to vote instinctively, and through an instrumental channel, as voters expect candidates to take decisions that are favorable to their partisan in-groups. Our results confirm that affective polarization decreases the electoral prospects of high-quality candidates, as voters become more likely to choose based on identity rather than ability. [Paper]
The Political Economy of Multilateral Aid Funds (2016)
(Joint with Jenny Simon)
When donor countries commit to allocate foreign aid via collective decision making, recipient countries are induced to compete over ex ante investments in good governance. Majority rule induces stronger competition between recipients, but limits aid to a strict subset of recipient countries, which implies that unanimity is often optimal. [PAPER; (updated Aug, 17')]
Voting in Large Committees with Disesteem Payoffs: A ‘state of the art’ model (2017)
(Joint with Rune Midjord and Tomás Rodríguez Barraquer)
If committee members receive idiosyncratic payoffs linked to the correctness of their individual vote, then the standard model predicts that a committee will always accept innovations with too high a probability. However, a natural variation of the model predicts that the committee may accept or reject the innovation with too high a probability depending on the relative size of the payoffs for correctly voting to accept/reject.
Games and Economic Behavior, 104, pp. 430–443 [PAPER, Distinguished CESifo Affiliate Award] [Supplementary Appendix]
Centralized Fiscal Spending by Supranational Unions (2017)
(Joint with Jenny Simon)
When countries with asymmetric incomes bargain over a central budget, an inefficient allocation results since bargaining power is linked to contributions. This link explains why EU resources are diverted to low-productivity projects in high-income countries.
Economica, 84(1), pp. 78-103. [PAPER; Klaus Liebscher Award for "papers dedicated to Economic and Monetary Union and European integration issues"]
A Note on Empathy in Games (2015)
(Joint with Jan Grohn and Steffen Huck)
We illustrate how some insights from the psychological literature on empathy can be incorporated into a standard utility framework, and demonstrate the potential interaction of beliefs and utility through the channel of empathy.
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 108, pp. 383–388. [PAPER]
Get Out The Vote: How Policies That Encourage Voting Change Political Outcomes (2012)
I consider a joint model of voter turnout and candidates' choice of political positions and show that lowering the net expense of voting reduces political polarization.
Economics and Politics, 24 (3), pp. 346-373. [PAPER]
Institutionalizing Eurozone Exit: A modified NEWNEY approach (2012)
(Joint with Steffen Huck)
We argue that the Eurozone needs an institutional exit mechanism to enhance Eurozone stability, and propose modifications to the Dobbs' NEWNEY mechanism.
The Connection Between Turnout and Policy (2010)
Joint with Yves Breitmoser.
Joint with Steffen Huck and Burkhard Schipper