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What Does The European Union Do?

  • Schuknecht, Ludger
  • Angeloni, Ignazio
  • Alesina, Alberto

The goal of this paper is to evaluate the attribution of policy prerogatives to European Union level institutions and compare them to the implications of normative policy models and to the preferences of European citizens. For this purpose we construct a set of indicators to measure the policy-making intensity of the European Union (European Council, Parliament, Commission, Court of Justice, etc.). We confirm that the extent and the intensity of policy-making by the EU have increased sharply over the last 30 years, but at different speeds, and in different degrees, across policy domains. In recent years the areas that have expanded most are quite remote from the EEC’s original mission of establishing a free market zone with common external trade policy. On the contrary some policy domains that would normally be attributed to the highest level of government remain at national level. We argue that the resulting allocation of prerogatives between the EU and member countries is partly inconsistent with normative criteria concerning the assignment of policies at different government levels, as laid out in the theoretical literature.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4553010/alesina_whatdoeseudo.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4553010.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Public Choice
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4553010
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Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Robert Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2002. "Optimal Currency Areas," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1958, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "Optimal Currency Areas," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 301-356 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Etro, Federico, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3117, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611, May.
  5. Boeri, Tito, 2000. "Social Europe: Dramatic Visions and Real Complexity," CEPR Discussion Papers 2371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Is Europe Going Too Far?," Scholarly Articles 4553012, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro, 2002. "Currency Unions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 409-436, May.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521662918 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," Scholarly Articles 4553029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Michele Boldrin & Fabio Canova, 2001. "Inequality and convergence in Europe's regions: reconsidering European regional policies," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 205-253, 04.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521788885 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Vives, Xavier, 1990. "Banking Competition and European Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1940, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521664103 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Robert Dur & Hein Roelfsema, 2005. "Why does centralisation fail to internalise policy externalities?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 395-416, March.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521783248 is not listed on IDEAS
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