On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union
Consider 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, and compare them to the weights derived from poll data.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published: Published in Journal of Political Economy, V. 114, #2, (2006), pp. 317-339.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125|
Phone: 626 395-4065
Fax: 626 405-9841
Web page: http://www.hss.caltech.edu/ss
|Order Information:|| Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Felsenthal, Dan S. & Machover, Moshe, 1999. "Minimizing the mean majority deficit: The second square-root rule," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 25-37, January.
- Annick Laruelle & Mika Widgrén, 1998.
"Is the allocation of voting power among EU states fair?,"
Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 317-339, March.
- Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1998. " Is the Allocation of Voting Power among EU States Fair?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3-4), pages 317-39, March.
- 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).
- Bård Harstad, 2007. "Harmonization and Side Payments in Political Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 871-889, June.
- Annick Laruelle & Federico Valenciano, 2005.
"Assessing success and decisiveness in voting situations,"
Social Choice and Welfare,
Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 171-197, January.
- Annick Laruelle & F. Valenciano, 2005. "Assessing success and decisiveness in voting situations," Post-Print halshs-00109417, HAL.
- Bård Harstad, 2005. "Majority Rules and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1535-1568.
- Salvador BARBER?Author-Email: email@example.com & Matthew O. JACKSON, 2003.
"Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
596.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1011-1048.
- Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2000. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," Working Papers 57, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Barbera, Salvador, 2002. "Choosing How Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules," Working Papers 1145, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2002. "Choosing How to Choose: Self Stable Majority Rules," Microeconomics 0211003, EconWPA.
- Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 2003.
"Incomplete Social Contracts,"
4554123, Harvard University Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1196. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victoria Mason)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.