Majority Rules and Incentives : International voting affects domestic policies
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Original versionWorking Paper, NUPI nr 662. NUPI, 2004
A "majority rule" defines the number of club-members that must approve a policy proposed to replace the status quo. Since the majority rule thus dictates the extent to which winners must compensate losers, it also determines the incentives to invest in order to become a winner of anticipated projects. If the required majority is large, the members invest too little because of a hold-up problem, if it is small, the members invest too much in order to become a member of the majority coalition. To balance these opposing forces, the majority rule should increase in the level of minority protection (or enforcement capacity) and the project’s value but decrease in the ex post heterogeneity. Strategic delegation turns out to be sincere exclusively under this majority rule. Externalities can be internalized by adjusting the rule. With heterogeneity in size or initial conditions, votes should be appropriately weighted or double majorities required. The analysis provides recommendations for Europe’s future constitution.