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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 Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 12-301.

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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:tse:wpaper:25808
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Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. Jason Barr & Francesco Passarelli, . "Who Has the Power in the EU?," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2004-005, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  2. 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.
  3. Montero, Maria, 2006. "Noncooperative foundations of the nucleolus in majority games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 380-397, February.
  4. Le Breton, Michel & Montero, Maria & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Voting Power in the EU Council of Ministers and Fair Decision Making in Distributive Politics," TSE Working Papers 12-301, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  5. Le Breton, Michel & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2007. "Sequential Legislative Lobbying under Political Certainty," IDEI Working Papers 492, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1998. " Is the Allocation of Voting Power among EU States Fair?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3-4), pages 317-39, March.
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  8. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2006. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 317-339, April.
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  10. Nicola Maaser & Stefan Napel, 2007. "Equal representation in two-tier voting systems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 401-420, April.
  11. Le Breton, Michel & Sudhölter, Peter & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Sequential Legislative Lobbying," IDEI Working Papers 714, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. Andrew McLennan & Hülya Eraslan, 2010. "Uniqueness of Stationary Equilibrium Payoffs in Coalitional Bargaining," Economics Working Paper Archive 562, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  13. Claus Beisbart & Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann, 2005. "A Utilitarian Assessment of Alternative Decision Rules in the Council of Ministers," European Union Politics, , vol. 6(4), pages 395-418, December.
  14. Stefan Napel & Mika Widgrén, 2011. "Strategic versus non-strategic voting power in the EU Council of Ministers: the consultation procedure," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 511-541, September.
  15. Noga Alon & Paul Edelman, 2010. "The inverse Banzhaf problem," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 371-377, March.
  16. 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.
  17. Bilbao, J. M. & Fernandez, J. R. & Jimenez, N. & Lopez, J. J., 2002. "Voting power in the European Union enlargement," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 181-196, November.
  18. 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.
  19. Moshé Machover & Dan S. Felsenthal, 2001. "The Treaty of Nice and qualified majority voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 431-464.
  20. Francesco Passarelli & Jason Barr, 2007. "Preferences, the Agenda Setter, and the Distribution of Power in the EU," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 41-60, January.
  21. Kaniovski, Serguei & Leech, Dennis, 2007. "A Behavioural Power Index," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 831, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  23. Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann, 2010. "Welfarist evaluations of decision rules under interstate utility dependencies," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 315-344, February.
  24. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John, 1999. "A Bargaining Model of Collective Choice," Working Papers 1053, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  27. 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.
  28. Eraslan, Hulya, 2002. "Uniqueness of Stationary Equilibrium Payoffs in the Baron-Ferejohn Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 11-30, March.
  29. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521873871 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Algaba, E. & Bilbao, J.M. & Fernandez, J.R., 2007. "The distribution of power in the European Constitution," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 176(3), pages 1752-1766, February.
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