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What Does the European Union Do?

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Ignazio Angeloni
  • Ludger Schuknecht

We construct a set of indicators to measure the policy-making role of the European Union (European Council, Parliament, Commission, Court of Justice, etc.), in a selected number of policy domains. Our goal is to examine the division of prerogatives between European institutions and national ones, in light of the implications of normative models and in relation to the preferences of European citizens. Our data confirm that the extent and the intensity of policy-making by the ED have increased sharply over the last 30 years. Such increase has taken place, at different speeds, and to different degrees, across policy domains. In recent times the areas that have expanded most are the most remote from the EEC's original mission of establishing a free market zone with common external trade policy. We conjecture that the resulting allocation may be 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://www.nber.org/papers/w8647.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8647.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Publication status: published as Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2005. "What does the European Union do?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 275-319, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8647
Note: EFG ME PE
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1940, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. R Dur & H.J. Roelfsema, 2004. "Why Does Centralisation Fail to Internalise Policy Externalities?," Working Papers 04-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
  3. Barro, Robert & Alesina, Alberto, 2002. "Currency Unions," Scholarly Articles 4551795, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521664103 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 1997. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," NBER Working Papers 6163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1999. "Is Europe going too far?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-42, December.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto F & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Boeri, Tito, 2000. "Social Europe: Dramatic Visions and Real Complexity," CEPR Discussion Papers 2371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," NBER Working Papers 8645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Dollar, David & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Scholarly Articles 4553020, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521788885 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521662918 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521783248 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Vives, Xavier, 1990. "Banking Competition and European Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
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