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The allocation of competencies in an international union: a positive analysis

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  • Ruta, Michele

Abstract

This paper presents a positive theory of centralization of political decisions in an international union. My central claim is that lobbies play a role in determining the assignment of competencies to the union because their power of influence can increase or decrease under centralization. I show that in this setting a misallocation of prerogatives between the international union and national governments can be an outcome, both leading to excessive decentralization and/or non necessary centralization. This result reconciles a partial inconsistency that recent studies pointed out between the allocation of prerogatives in the EU and normative criteria, as laid out in the theoretical literature. JEL Classification: F02, D72, H77, P16

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0220.

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Date of creation: Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20030220

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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "The Politics of Free Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 4597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cremer, J. & Palfrey, T.R., 1994. "In or Out?: Centralization by Majority Vote," Papers 94.335, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  3. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2002. "What Does the European Union Do?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  6. Elhanan Helpman & Torsten Persson, 1998. "Lobbying and Legislative Bargaining," NBER Working Papers 6589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daniel Brou & Michele Ruta, 2003. "Lobbying, Bargaining and EU Enlargement," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 93(1), pages 195-216, January-F.
  8. Kishore Gawande & Pravin Krishna & Michael J. Robbins, 2004. "Foreign Lobbies and US Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 10205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Etro, Federico, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3117, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: a Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, December.
  12. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  13. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-69, August.
  14. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  15. Persson, Torsten, 1998. "Economic Policy and Special Interest Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 310-27, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Pouget, Francois, 2006. "International union and special interest politics," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4071, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Ascari, Guido & Rankin, Neil, 2004. "Perpetual youth and endogenous labour supply: a problem and a possible solution," Working Paper Series 0346, European Central Bank.
  3. Federico Etro, 2004. "The Political Economy of Fiscal and Monetary Unions," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(3-4), pages 289-328, December.
  4. Michele Ruta, 2010. "Lobbying and (de)centralization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 275-291, July.
  5. Libman, Alexander, 2005. "Взаимодействие Государственных И Частных Структур В Интеграционных Группировах: Теоретические Подходы И Оп," MPRA Paper 17044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. International Monetary Fund, 2009. "A European Mandate for Financial Sector Supervisors in the EU," IMF Working Papers 09/5, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Ruta, Michele, 2009. "Political constraints to growth in an economic union," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 989-997, August.

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