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To Wait or Not to Wait: Swiss EU-Membership as an Investment under Uncertainty

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Listed:
  • Beat Spirig
  • Rolf Weder

Abstract

Why do some countries join the EU earlier than others, why do others wait? In order to answer this question we apply the theory of investment under uncertainty (Dixit and Pindyck, 1994) to the decision on EU-membership. We develop a simplified model of two periods to study how the value of waiting depends among other things on the degree of uncertainty. The results give rise to a country?s position to deliberately postpone a membership in order to keep the option to join later if this is desirable. After interpreting the results we illustrate the framework by applying it to Switzerland and the new EU-members, taking into account the EU?s draft of the Constitutional Treaty. We argue that the approach provides interesting insights regarding EU-membership, in general, and the Swiss position, in particular.

Suggested Citation

  • Beat Spirig & Rolf Weder, 2008. "To Wait or Not to Wait: Swiss EU-Membership as an Investment under Uncertainty," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(I), pages 85-114, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2008-i-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    European integration; investment under uncertainty; EU-membership;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration

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