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EU Enlargement and Satisfaction with Democracy: A Peculiar Case of Immizerising Growth


  • Barbara Dluhosch
  • Daniel Horgos
  • Klaus W. Zimmermann


Studies on EU enlargement mostly focus on its welfare-economic and much less so on its public-choice dimension. Yet, the latter may be as important as the former when it comes to sustain integration. This paper aims at filling the gap by exploring theoretically and empirically how enlargement of multi-level systems like the EU affects satisfaction with democracy (SWD) and voter turnout (PART). In order to assess the effects of a widening in membership, we present a novel approach that draws on the probability of being outvoted. We find that, given the institutional arrangement, enlargement tends to depress SWD. Our theoretical results are backed by empirical evidence in German Eurobarometer data displaying a tendency towards a decline in SWD that shows up in a significant fall in PART with growth in EU-membership.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara Dluhosch & Daniel Horgos & Klaus W. Zimmermann, 2013. "EU Enlargement and Satisfaction with Democracy: A Peculiar Case of Immizerising Growth," FIW Working Paper series 115, FIW.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsr:wpaper:y:2013:i:115

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    European Union; Enlargement; Multi-level Systems; Democracy; Regime Satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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