Voting Power in the EU Council of Ministers and Fair Decision Making in Distributive Politics

CeDEx Discussion Paper No. 2011-03

41 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2011 Last revised: 21 Feb 2012

See all articles by Michel Le Breton

Michel Le Breton

University of Toulouse I - GREMAQ-IDEI

Maria Montero

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Vera Zaporozhets

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Date Written: February 20, 2012

Abstract

We analyze and evaluate the different decision rules describing the Council of Ministers of the EU starting from 1958 up to date. 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 design 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.

Keywords: Voting Power, Nucleolus, EU Council of Ministers, Optimal Voting Rules

JEL Classification: C7, D7

Suggested Citation

Le Breton, Michel and Montero, Maria and Zaporozhets, Vera, Voting Power in the EU Council of Ministers and Fair Decision Making in Distributive Politics (February 20, 2012). CeDEx Discussion Paper No. 2011-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1783938 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1783938

Michel Le Breton

University of Toulouse I - GREMAQ-IDEI ( email )

Manufacture des Tabacs
21 Allees de Brienne
Toulouse, 31000
France

Maria Montero (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

Centre for Decision Research & Experimental Econ.
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Vera Zaporozhets

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
92
Abstract Views
1,080
rank
346,855
PlumX Metrics