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Country size and strategic aspects of structural reforms in the EU

  • Eloi Laurent


  • Jacques Le Cacheux


The European Constitutional Treaty (ECT) was presented by its drafters as an explicit constitution for the European Union (EU 25). We argue that considered as the European economic constitution its provisions do not sufficiently allow for the possibility of cooperative collective decision (leading to convergence in welfare) in a more than ever numerous and heterogeneous EU. Our essential argument in this respect regards the implications of the structurally different economic performances and incentives of small and large countries under the European economic constitution. Finally, since the present European trade-off between “integrity” and “efficiency” appears sub-optimal, we present two original ways of achieving potentially better ones in the EU, through a “Great compromise” or “Economic constitution(s),” expressing a preference for the latter.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/3681.

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Date of creation: 12 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/3681
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  1. Eloi Laurent, 2005. "La croissance du progrès social (fiche de lecture)," Post-Print hal-01020742, HAL.
  2. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
  3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, December.
  4. Jerome Creel & Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2005. "Delegation in inconsistency: the Lisbon strategy record as an institutional failure," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2005-07, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  5. Eloi Laurent, 2007. "From Competition to Constitution: Races to Bottoms and the Rise of 'Shadow' Social Europe," Working Papers hal-00972706, HAL.
  6. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  7. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2003. "Constitution Européenne : l'union politique dans les limbes," Post-Print hal-01019904, HAL.
  8. Beard, Charles A., 1913. "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 127, number beard1913.
  9. Cindy Skach, 2005. "We, the Peoples? Constitutionalizing the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 149-170, 03.
  10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  11. Frédéric Bobay, 2004. "Constitution européenne : redistribution du pouvoir des États au Conseil de lUE," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 163(2), pages 101-115.
  12. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
  13. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2004. "'L’Europe boucles d’or' : Trois maximes pour sortir d’une impasse," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2121, Sciences Po.
  14. Éloi Laurent, 2005. "La croissance du progrès social," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 93(2), pages 357-366.
  15. Frédéric Bobay, 2001. "La réforme du Conseil de l'Union européenne à partir de la théorie des jeux," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 16(2), pages 3-61.
  16. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2002. "The European Social Model: Coping with the challenges of diversity," MPIfG Working Paper 02/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  17. Jacques Le Cacheux, 2005. "Politiques de croissance en Europe. Un problème d'action collective," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(3), pages 705-713.
  18. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/3481 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. DeMeyer, Frank & Plott, Charles R, 1970. "The Probability of a Cyclical Majority," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 345-54, March.
  20. Dennis Mueller, 2005. "Constitutional political economy in the European Union," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 57-73, July.
  21. Parker,William Nelson, 1984. "Europe, America, and the Wider World," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521274807, September.
  22. Abramovitz,Moses, 1989. "Thinking about Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521333962, September.
  23. Christian Joerges, 2004. "What is Left of the European Economic Constitution?," EUI-LAW Working Papers 13, European University Institute (EUI), Department of Law.
  24. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (II): Distribution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number mill1848-2.
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