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Flexible Integration? Mandatory and Minimum Participation Rules

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  • Bard Harstad

Abstract

For a club such as the European Union, an important question is whether a subset of the members should be allowed to form "inner clubs" and enhance cooperation. Flexible cooperation allows members to participate if and only if they benefit, but it leads to free-riding when externalities are positive. I show that flexible cooperation is better if the heterogeneity is large and the externality small, but that rigid cooperation is the political equilibrium too often. Both regimes, however, are extreme variants of a more general system combining mandatory and minimum participation rules. For each rule, I characterize the optimum and the equilibrium. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2006 .

Suggested Citation

  • Bard Harstad, 2006. "Flexible Integration? Mandatory and Minimum Participation Rules," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 683-702, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:108:y:2006:i:4:p:683-702
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mathias Dewatripont & Francesco Giavazzi & Jürgen von Hagen & Ian Harden & Didier Baudewyns & Gérard Roland & Howard Rosenthal & André Sapir & Guido Tabellini, 1995. "Flexible integration: towards a more effective and democratic Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9541, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Carlo Carraro & Carmen Marchiori & Sonia Oreffice, 2009. "Endogenous Minimum Participation in International Environmental Treaties," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 411-425, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans-Peter Weikard & Leo Wangler & Andreas Freytag, 2015. "Minimum Participation Rules with Heterogeneous Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(4), pages 711-727, December.
    2. Berglöf, Erik & Burkart, Mike & Friebel, Guido & Paltseva, Elena, 2012. "Club-in-the-club: Reform under unanimity," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 492-507.
    3. Baron, David P., 2011. "Credence attributes, voluntary organizations, and social pressure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1331-1338.
    4. Leo Wangler & Juan-Carlos Altamirano-Cabrera & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2013. "The political economy of international environmental agreements: a survey," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 387-403, September.
    5. Erik Berglof & Mike Burkart & Guido Friebel & Elena Paltseva, 2008. "Widening and Deepening: Reforming the European Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 133-137, May.
    6. David McEvoy & Todd Cherry & John Stranlund, 2015. "Endogenous Minimum Participation in International Environmental Agreements: An Experimental Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(4), pages 729-744, December.
    7. Pierre Courtois & Guillaume Haeringer, 2012. "Environmental cooperation: ratifying second-best agreements," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 565-584, June.
    8. Bernard M. Hoekman & Petros C. Mavroidis, 2013. "WTO 'à la carte' or WTO 'menu du jour'? Assessing the case for Plurilateral Agreements," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/58, European University Institute.

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