On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogenous Union
AbstractConsider a voting procedure where countries, states, or districts comprising a union each elect representatives who then participate in later votes at the union level on their behalf. The countries, provinces, and states may vary in their populations and composition. If we wish to maximize the total expected utility of all agents in the union, how to weight the votes of the representatives of the different countries, states or districts at the union level? We provide a simple characterization of the efficient voting rule in terms of the weights assigned to different districts and the voting threshold (how large a qualified majority is needed to induce change versus the status quo). Next, in the context of a model of the correlation structure of agents preferences, we analyze how voting weights relate to the population size of a country. We then analyze the voting weights in Council of the European Union under the Nice Treaty and the recently proposed constitution, and contrast them under different versions of our model.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 597.03.
Date of creation: 11 Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2006. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 317-339, April.
- Barbera, Salvador & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Working Papers 1196, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Working Papers 2004.76, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2003. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Working Papers 220, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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- Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1996. "Is the allocation of voting power among EU states fair?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1996022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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