The Preoccupation of the United Nations with Israel: Evidence and Theory

37 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2014

See all articles by Raphael N. Becker

Raphael N. Becker

University of Bonn

Arye L. Hillman

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Niklas Potrafke

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Alexander H. Schwemmer

University of Bayreuth

Date Written: October 24, 2014

Abstract

We compiled data on all United Nations General Assembly resolutions on which voting took place between January 1990 and June 2013 and find a preoccupation with one country: in 65 percent of instances in which a country is criticized in a resolution, the country is Israel, with no other country criticized in more than 10 percent of resolutions. We use comparative quantitative criteria to confirm that Israel is subject to discrimination. To explain the motives for discrimination, we present a model of behavioral political economy that includes decoy voting, vanity of autocrats, and a Schelling focal point for deflection of criticism. The model includes a role for traditional prejudice. Our conclusions more generally concern political culture in the United Nations.

Keywords: United Nations General Assembly voting, expressive voting, decoy voting, focal point, logrolling, discrimination, prejudice, political culture

JEL Classification: Z120

Suggested Citation

Becker, Raphael N. and Hillman, Arye L. and Potrafke, Niklas and Schwemmer, Alexander H., The Preoccupation of the United Nations with Israel: Evidence and Theory (October 24, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5034, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2519423

Raphael N. Becker

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Arye L. Hillman

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel
+97 29 774 6424 (Phone)
+97 29 771 5628 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Niklas Potrafke (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Alexander H. Schwemmer

University of Bayreuth ( email )

Universitatsstr 30
Bayreuth, D-95447
Germany

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