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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

Suggested Citation

  • Ruta, Michele, 2003. "The allocation of competencies in an international union: a positive analysis," Working Paper Series 220, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2003220
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    File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp220.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Helpman Elhanan & Persson Torsten, 2001. "Lobbying and Legislative Bargaining," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-33, November.
    2. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1999. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: A Political Economy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Persson, Torsten, 1998. "Economic Policy and Special Interest Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 310-327, March.
    4. Daniel Brou & Michele Ruta, 2004. "A Positive Explanation of EU Enlargement," Economics Working Papers ECO2004/30, European University Institute.
    5. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "The Politics of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 667-690, September.
    6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
    7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482, Elsevier.
    8. 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 752-769, August.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2005. "What does the European Union do?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 275-319, June.
    10. Daniel Brou & Michele Ruta, 2003. "Lobbying, Bargaining and EU Enlargement," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 93(1), pages 195-216, January-F.
    11. Cremer, Jacques & Palfrey, Thomas R., 1996. "In or out?: Centralization by majority vote," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 43-60, January.
    12. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," NBER Working Papers 8645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    14. 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.
    15. Kishore Gawande & Pravin Krishna & Michael J. Robbins, 2006. "Foreign Lobbies and U.S. Trade Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 563-571, August.
    16. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michele Ruta, 2010. "Lobbying and (de)centralization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 275-291, July.
    2. Daniel Brou & Michele Ruta, 2006. "Special Interests And The Gains From Political Integration," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 191-218, July.
    3. Ascari, Guido & Rankin, Neil, 2007. "Perpetual youth and endogenous labor supply: A problem and a possible solution," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 708-723, December.
    4. Ruta, Michele, 2009. "Political constraints to growth in an economic union," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 989-997, August.
    5. International Monetary Fund, 2009. "A European Mandate for Financial Sector Supervisors in the EU," IMF Working Papers 2009/005, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Michele Ruta, 2005. "Economic Theories of Political (Dis)integration," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, February.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4071 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Libman, Alexander, 2005. "Взаимодействие Государственных И Частных Структур В Интеграционных Группировах: Теоретические Подходы И Опыт Снг [Interaction of Public and Private Actors in Regional Integration Groups - Theoretic," MPRA Paper 17044, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal federalism; international unions; lobbying; political economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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