Legislative Activity and Gridlock in the European Union

KU Leuven, Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation (MSI), OR 1226

37 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2013

See all articles by Christophe Crombez

Christophe Crombez

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB)

Simon Hix

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government

Date Written: September 14, 2012

Abstract

We develop a game-theoretical model of European Union (EU) policy making which suggests that the amount of legislative activity depends on the size of the gridlock interval, consistent with Krehbiel’s (1998) study of US politics. This interval depends on two factors: (1) the preference configuration of the political actors; and (2) the legislative procedures in a particular period. Actors’ preferences and the procedures are not expected to have any effect beyond their impact on the gridlock interval. We predict smaller gridlock intervals, and thus more legislative activity, under the codecision (consultation) procedure when the pivotal member states and the European Parliament (Commission) are closer to each other. Furthermore, we expect more activity under qualified majority voting in the EU Council than under unanimity. We find empirical support for these propositions in an empirical analysis of EU legislative activity between 1979 and 2009.

Keywords: gridlock, European Union, legislative procedures, spatial models

Suggested Citation

Crombez, Christophe and Hix, Simon, Legislative Activity and Gridlock in the European Union (September 14, 2012). KU Leuven, Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation (MSI), OR 1226. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2198918 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2198918

Christophe Crombez (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Simon Hix

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government ( email )

Northampton NN7 1NE
United Kingdom

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