موقعیت اقلیت در شورای آلمان از کارشناسان اقتصادی: تجزیه و تحلیل اقتصادی سیاسی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29146||2013||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5809 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Journal of Political Economy, Volume 31, September 2013, Pages 180–187
I study diversity in views expressed by economists regarding appropriate economic policies. The dataset is for voting by economists on the German Council of Economic Experts, over the period 1971–2011. The results show that the best predictor of minority voting is having been nominated by the trade unions, which results in being some 70 percentage points more likely to vote against the majority opinion. The voting pattern confirms that ideological identity through the channel of political appointment influences economists' voting behavior.
For reasons including prominently ideology and beliefs about values of empirical variables, economists as policy advisors can take different positions regarding appropriate economic policy.1 The differences in views in particular underlie the study of voting in committees.2 For example, disagreements in voting in monetary policy committees (MPCs) usually relate to how to design aspects of monetary policy such as interest rates and money supply. In studies of why MPC members disagree and whether preference heterogeneity influences monetary policy, determinants of dissent voting include members' internal and external status, career background, and the political channel of their appointment.3 Studies of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) show that career background and the political channel of appointment have influenced the voting behavior of the council members (e.g. Havrilesky and Schweitzer, 1990, Chappell et al., 1993 and Chappell et al., 2005): Democrat appointees have exhibited different voting behavior compared to Republican appointees (see Chappell et al., 1993). Members of the German Bundesbank, too, appear to have voted for monetary policies consistent with the views of the parties that nominated them in the pre-election period (see Vaubel, 1993, Vaubel, 1997a, Vaubel, 1997b and Berger and Woitek, 1997).4 Using data for eleven European countries, Göhlmann and Vaubel (2007) show that the career background of central bank council members influenced their views on inflation targets: former union leaders and politicians were the group most likely to show disregard for inflation.5 In this paper I report on an investigation of voting in another committee: the German Council of Economic Experts. Members of the Council, who are generally professors of economics, offer policy advice to the German government. These economists may disagree on economic policy issues for different professional reasons, such as the effectiveness of monetary policy, the desired size of fiscal deficits, the balance between tax financing and government borrowing, the value of labor-supply elasticities, etc. Differences may also be systematic and ideological, relating to the responsibilities of government and the weight placed on the income distribution consequences of policies relative to efficiency. Evidence from studies based on survey data has shown that economists' opinions on economic policy-making are correlated with their statements describing their ideological or political identity (see Alston et al., 1992, Fuchs et al., 1998, Mayer, 2001 and Klein and Stern, 2006), although this is not confirmed in a more recent study by Gordon and Dahl (2013).6 As compared to MPC committees, the members of the German Council of Economic Experts have the same professional background. Differences in voting behavior in the German Council of Economic Experts may thus be more aligned with political ideology than professional background. There are two competing hypotheses on why, in the case of the members of the Council, voting on policy differs: either the coalitions on different votes are non-systematic, indicating differences in professional opinion based on idiosyncratic aspects of the proposed policies; or the coalitions are systematic and ideologically-based. If voting reveals that the coalitions are systematic and ideologically-based, voting can be regarded as expressive confirmation of identity or loyalty (Hillman, 2010). Expressive voting is in general set in the context of a large number of voters in which no individual voter can realistically hope to be decisive.7 In voting in committees, the likelihood of decisiveness is greater than that in usual elections. In particular, the German Council of Economic Experts has five members. If a member votes with 50% probability for or against a proposal (veil of ignorance), the likelihood of being decisive is substantial (3/8). I investigate whether the source of nomination of Council members systematically influences how the economists vote. I find that economists nominated by the trade unions tend systematically to vote with the minority. Usual minority votes are 4 to 1. There have been only two situations where minority votes were 3 to 2.8 The members of the Council taking minority positions are aware that the majority position will influence actual policy and can propose their dissenting policy to confirm their identity as supportive of the ideology of those constituencies that nominated and supported them for Council membership.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Investigation of voting by members of German Council of Economic Experts reveals diversity in support for economic policies. The best predictor of minority voting in the German Council of Economic Experts is that a member of the Council was nominated for membership by the trade unions. A council member nominated by the trade unions is about 70 percentage points more likely to vote against the majority opinion. My results are consistent with the empirical findings on voting in MPCs. In the FOMC and the German Bundesbank, the channel of political appointment has been shown to influence voting behavior: appointees nominated by the political left have voted differently from appointees nominated by the political right, indicating lack of consensus because of ideology. Hillman (2010) proposes that expressive voting is in the category of low-cost acts that enable individuals to confirm their identity to themselves and to others. Dissent from the majority in the German Council of Economic Experts certainly confirms the dissenting expert's identity. Confirming identity to others is moreover openly achieved when voting is visible rather than anonymous. Voting in the minority also provides more publicity: the media tend to report on minority voting in the Council but they do not report about majority voting. Majority voting could also be expressive. Minority votes reflect expressive behavior to a greater extent because minority votes are more visible. The media report on minority voting in the German Council of Economic Experts but they do not report about majority voting. A key question is the extent to which minority voting in the German Council of Economic Experts is purely expressive in the sense that it is motivated solely by the act of dissenting and by the realization that the individual's vote is not consequential.17 In general, the majority of members of the Council base their policy advice on pro-market positions that emphasize the role of market incentives in economic behavior. The members nominated by the trade unions have different policy preferences – or have different masters – and it is conceivable that they would express the same views regardless of whether they were in the minority or not.