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Gradualism and Uncertainty in International Union Formation

  • Nikitas Konstantinidis
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    This paper introduces a new theoretical framework of international unions qua coalitions of countries adopting a common policy and common supranational institutions. We introduce a general class of non-cooperative spatial bargaining games of coalition formation among three countries in order to examine the endogenous strategic considerations in the creation and enlargement of international unions. Why would we observe a gradualist approach in the formation of the grand coalition even if the latter is assumed to be weakly efficient? We propose uncertainty about the benefits of integration as a mechanism that can generate gradual union formation in equilibrium. As it turns out, it may well be in the ‘core’ countries’ interest to delay the accession of a third, peripheral country in order to i) stack the institutional make-up of the initial union in their favor and ii) signal their high resolve to wait out the expansion of their bilateral subunion. A related case from the European Union provides an interesting illustration.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-08/cesifo1_wp2076.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2076.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2076
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    1. Richard Baldwin, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," NBER Working Papers 4465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kevin Roberts, 1999. "Dynamic Voting in Clubs," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 367, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2003. "International Unions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2001, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Bordignon, Massimo & Manasse, Paolo & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Optimal Regional Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 1437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," NBER Working Papers 8645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 2006. "On enhanced cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2063-2090, November.
    7. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1987. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 345-64, July.
    8. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Is Europe Going Too Far?," Scholarly Articles 4553012, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Crémer, Jacques & Palfrey, Thomas, 2000. "Federal Mandates by Popular Demand," IDEI Working Papers 120, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2001.
    10. Cramton, Peter C, 1992. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining with Two-Sided Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 205-25, January.
    11. Seidmann, Daniel J & Winter, Eyal, 1998. "A Theory of Gradual Coalition Formation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 793-815, October.
    12. Alessandra Casella & Jonathan S. Feinstein, 2002. "Public Goods in Trade on the Formation of Markets and Jurisdictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 437-462, May.
    13. Michele Ruta, 2005. "Economic Theories of Political (Dis)integration," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, 02.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Vittorio Grilli, 1993. "On the Feasibility of a One or Multi-Speed European Monetary Union," NBER Working Papers 4350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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