ECON 3800 Auburn University Economics Questions

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Econ 3800
Spring 2022
Homework 1 – Due in class on Thursday March 17
Question 1
For each of the following committees determine the winner, if one exists, by (a) majority rule,
(b) majority rule with runoff election, (c) plurality rule, (d) Condorcet criterion, (e) the Hare
system, (f) the Coombs system and (g) the Borda count
Question 2
Does the Borda count satisfy May’s Neutrality condition? If so prove, if not give a
counterexample.
Question 3
Candidates in an election declare which of three issues they are for and which they are against.
Show that in pairwise majority elections there is a cycle between candidates.
Question 4
(a) What is logrolling? What is the difference between explicit and implicit logrolling?
(b) Can logrolling be socially beneficial? Can logrolling be socially harmful? Explain
(c) What institutional changes might decrease logrolling? Explain
Question 5
Consider the following two projects and the voter willingness to pay for them
VOTER
Willingness to pay for Paved Road by
the Government
Willingness to pay for
New Public Park
Bill
$200
$1500
George
$100
$100
Sarah
$1500
$200
Assume each project cost $1500. Each person pays a per capita share of the project of
$500. Also assume each project does not depend upon the other.
(a) Using standard welfare analysis (costs vs. benefits) would it be “efficient” to do both
projects? Explain.
(b) Explain why majority voting would defeat both projects
(c) If vote trading between voters took place – explain what would happen (which voters
would have an incentive to vote trade, for example). Make sure you explain who is vote
trading and why and if the projects would be approved or not.
(d) Is your result in (c) efficient? Explain?
(e) Now suppose that your result in (c) took place, but George’s WTP for each project was
$400 (everything else held constant). Is your result still efficient? Explain
Question 6
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
Explain two theories of rational voting
What is rational ignorance? What is rational abstention?
What are some possible political outcomes of rational ignorance and rational abstention?
Political campaign strategies “take advantage” of rational ignorance. What are some
examples? Explain.
Question 7
(a) What does the median voter model predict? Graphically represent the theory with respect
to political ideologies.
(b) Using the median voter model — graph the full electorate with polarized politics. What
results could occur in this case? What will politicians tend to do if they believe this to be
true?
Question 8
Question 9
Discuss two different theories of the role of government in society.
Question 10
Write a one page summary of one of the papers you read.

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