IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Voting Power Implications of a Unified European Representation at the IMF


  • Leech, Dennis

    (Warwick University)

  • Leech, Robert

    (Birkbeck, London University)


We consider some of the implications of a proposed reform of the voting system of the IMF in which EU countries cease to be separately represented and are replaced by a single combined representative of the European bloc. The voting weight of the EU bloc is reduced accordingly. We analyse two cases: the Eurozone of 12 countries and the European Union of 25. Using voting power analysis we show that the reform could be very beneficial for the governance of the IMF, enhancing the voting power of individual member countries as a consequence of two large countervailing voting blocs. Specifically we analyse a range of EU voting weights and find the following for ordinary decisions requiring a simple majority: (1) All countries other than those of the EU and USA unambiguously gain power (measured absolutely or relatively); (2) The sum of powers of the EU bloc and USA is minimized when they have voting parity ; (3) The power of every other non-EU member is maximized when the EU and USA have parity ; (4) Each EU member could gain power - despite losing its seat and the reduction in EU voting weight - depending on the EU voting system that is adopted ; (5) The USA loses voting power (both absolutely and relatively) over ordinary decisions but retains its unilateral veto over special majority (85%) decisions (as does the EU bloc).

Suggested Citation

  • Leech, Dennis & Leech, Robert, 2005. "Voting Power Implications of a Unified European Representation at the IMF," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 720, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:720

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dan S. Felsenthal & Moshé Machover, 1998. "The Measurement of Voting Power," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1489.
    2. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Carlos Bowles, 2002. "A European Voice at the IMF," La Lettre du CEPII, CEPII research center, issue 216.
    3. Géraldine Mahieu & Dirk Ooms & Stéphane Rottier, 2003. "The Governance of the International Monetary Fund with a Single EU Chair," Financial Stability Review, National Bank of Belgium, vol. 1(1), pages 173-188, June.
    4. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, 2004. "A Single EU Seat in the IMF?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 229-248, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Alan Ahearne & Jean Pisani-Ferry & Andre Sapir & Nicolas Veron, 2008. "The EU and the governance of globalisation," International Journal of Public Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(1/2), pages 118-139.
    2. André Sapir & Alan Ahearne & Jean Pisani-Ferry & Nicolas Véron, 2006. "Global governance: an agenda for Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8104, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Herbert Gratz & Harald Grech, 2006. "Reforming the International Monetary Fund – Some Reflections," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 98-118.

    More about this item


    IMF ; European Union ; Voting Power Indices ; Penrose Index ; Banzhaf Index;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:720. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Margaret Nash). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.