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Voting Power in the EU Council of Ministers and Fair Decision Making in Distributive Politics

  • Le Breton, Michel
  • Montero, Maria
  • Zaporozhets, Vera

We analyze and evaluate the di¤erent decision rules describing the Council of Ministers of the EU starting from 1958 up to now. Most of the existing studies use the Banzhaf index (for binary voting) or the Shapley-Shubik index (for distributive politics). We argue in favor of the nucleolus as a power measure in distributive situations and an alternative to the Shapley-Shubik index. We then calculate the nucleolus and compare the results of our calculations with the conventional measures. In the second part, we analyze the power of the European citizens as measured by the nucleolus under the egalitarian criterion proposed by Felsenthal and Machover (1998), and characterize the first best situation. Based on these results we propose a methodology for the de sign of the optimal (fair) decision rules. We perform the optimization exercise for the earlier stages of the EU within a restricted domain of voting rules, and conclude that Germany should receive more than the other three large countries under the optimal voting rule.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 716.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: Published in Mathematical Social Sciences, vol.�63, 2012, p.�159-173.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:25809
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  1. Le Breton, Michel & Sudhölter, Peter & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2009. "Sequential legislative lobbying," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 8/2009, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
  2. Michel Le Breton & Maria Montero & Vera Zaporozhets, 2011. "Voting Power in the EU Council of Ministers and Fair Decision Making in Distributive Politics," Discussion Papers 2011-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
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  17. Maria Montero, 2007. "The Paradox of New Members in the Council of Ministers: A Noncooperative Approach," Discussion Papers 2007-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  18. Dan S Felsenthal & Moshé Machover, 2004. "Analysis of QM rules in the draft constitution for Europe proposed by the European Convention, 2003," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 1-20, 08.
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  27. Huibin Yan, 2009. "Uniqueness In Random-Proposer Multilateral Bargaining," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 11(04), pages 407-417.
  28. James M. Snyder Jr. & Michael M. Ting & Stephen Ansolabehere, 2005. "Legislative Bargaining under Weighted Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 981-1004, September.
  29. Roth, Alvin E, 1977. "The Shapley Value as a von Neumann-Morgenstern Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 657-64, April.
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  32. Roger B. Myerson & Daniel Diermeier, 1999. "Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1182-1196, December.
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