IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Paradox of New Members in the EU Council of Ministers: A Non-cooperative Bargaining Analysis


  • Maria Montero

    (University of Nottingham, School of Economics)


Power indices suggest that adding new members to a voting body may increase the power of an existing member, even if the number of votes of all existing members and the decision rule remain constant. This phenomenon is known as the paradox of new members. This paper uses the leading model of majoritarian bargaining and shows that the paradox is predicted in equilibrium for past EU enlargements. Furthermore, a majority of members would have been in favor of the 1981 enlargement even if members were bargaining over a fixed budget.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Montero, 2010. "The Paradox of New Members in the EU Council of Ministers: A Non-cooperative Bargaining Analysis," Working Papers 2010.123, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.123

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
    2. Echenique, Federico & Yenmez, M. Bumin, 2007. "A solution to matching with preferences over colleagues," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 46-71, April.
    3. Alison Watts, 2007. "Formation of segregated and integrated groups," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(4), pages 505-519, April.
    4. Karni, Edi & Schmeidler, David, 1990. "Fixed Preferences and Changing Tastes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 262-267, May.
    5. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    6. Bogomolnaia, Anna & Jackson, Matthew O., 2002. "The Stability of Hedonic Coalition Structures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 201-230, February.
    7. Pablo Revilla, 2004. "Many-to-one Matching When Colleagues Matter," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/85, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    8. Tayfun Sönmez & Suryapratim Banerjee & Hideo Konishi, 2001. "Core in a simple coalition formation game," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 18(1), pages 135-153.
    9. Dutta, Bhaskar & Masso, Jordi, 1997. "Stability of Matchings When Individuals Have Preferences over Colleagues," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 464-475, August.
    10. Eeckhout, Jan, 2000. "On the uniqueness of stable marriage matchings," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-8, October.
    11. Kaneko, Mamoru & Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 1982. "Cores of partitioning games," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 313-327, December.
    12. Dreze, J H & Greenberg, J, 1980. "Hedonic Coalitions: Optimality and Stability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 987-1003, May.
    13. Kaneko, Mamoru & Kimura, Toshiyuki, 1992. "Conventions, social prejudices and discrimination: A festival game with merrymakers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 511-527, October.
    14. Tom Truyts, 2010. "Social Status In Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 137-169, February.
    15. Alp E. Atakan, 2006. "Assortative Matching with Explicit Search Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 667-680, May.
    16. Milchtaich, Igal & Winter, Eyal, 2002. "Stability and Segregation in Group Formation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 318-346, February.
    17. Greenberg, Joseph & Weber, Shlomo, 1986. "Strong tiebout equilibrium under restricted preferences domain," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 101-117, February.
    18. Marek Pycia, 2012. "Stability and Preference Alignment in Matching and Coalition Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 323-362, January.
    19. Dimitrov, Dinko & Lazarova, Emiliya, 2011. "Two-sided coalitional matchings," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 46-54, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Majoritarian Bargaining; Weighted Voting; Power Measures; EU Enlargement; Paradox of New Members;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.123. 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: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.