NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Self Enforcing Voting in International Organizations

Giovanni Maggi, Massimo Morelli

NBER Working Paper No. 10102
Issued in November 2003
NBER Program(s):   ITI

Some international organizations are governed by unanimity rule, some others by a majority system. Still others have moved from one system to the other over time. The existing voting models, which generally assume that decisions made by voting are perfectly enforceable, have a difficult time explaining the observed variation in governance mode, and in particular the widespread occurrence of the unanimity system. We present a model whose main departure from standard voting models is that there is no external enforcement mechanism: each country is sovereign and cannot be forced to follow the collective decision, or in other words, the voting system must be self-enforcing. The model yields unanimity as the optimal system for a wide range of parameters, and delivers rich predictions on the variation in the mode of governance, both across organizations and over time.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10102

Published: Maggi, Giovanni and Massimo Morelli. "Self-Enforcing Voting In International Organizations," American Economic Review, 2006, v96(4,Sep), 1137-1158. citation courtesy of

 
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