Voting power in the Bretton Woods Institutions
Leech, Dennis and Leech, Robert, Dr. (2004) Voting power in the Bretton Woods Institutions. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, Department of Economics. (Warwick economic research papers).
WRAP_Leech_twerp718.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/resear...
The constitutions of the Bretton Woods Institutions require decisions to be taken by weighted voting: each member country possesses a number of votes, depending on its quota allocation, all of which must always be cast as a bloc. This leads to a problem of democratic legitimacy since a member's influence or voting power within such decision-making systems does not necessarily correspond to its voting weight. In previous work is has been shown that the present system of weighted voting in the IMF gives disproportionate influence to the USA at the expense of all other members. This effect occurs in both the board of governors and the executive board. This paper looks at the power implications of the structure of the IMF and World Bank executive boards (in which members are grouped into constituencies that cast their combined weighted votes as a bloc) from the point of view of formal voting power (using the Penrose power index). A criticism that is frequently made is that the present constituency structure and voting weights work to enhance the power of the developed and creditor countries at the expense of the poor, and that many countries are effectively impotent; we show that the weighted voting system adds to this anti-democratic bias and produces some unintended effects (for example the disfranchisement of Estonia in the Nordic/Baltic constituency and of five Central American republics in the Spanish/Mexican/Venezuelan constituency, even though in neither case is there a dictator). We argue generally that the voting power approach is more than just the calculation of power indices and can in fact produce solid facts by identifying cases where members of weighted voting bodies are actually disfranchised.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference (1944 : Bretton Woods, N.H.), International Monetary Fund, World Bank, International economic relations, International finance|
|Series Name:||Warwick economic research papers|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick, Department of Economics|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Number of Pages:||34|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
|References:||Buira, Ariel (2002), A New Voting Structure for the IMF, Washington: G24, www.g24.org/. Coleman, James S. (1971) "Control of Collectivities and the Power of a Collectivity to Act," in B.Lieberman (ed), Social Choice, New York, Gordon and Breach; reprinted in J.S. Coleman, 1986, Individual Interests and Collective Action, Cambridge University Press. ---------------------- (1973), "Loss of Power", American Sociological Review, 38,1-17. Felsenthal, Dan S. and Moshe Machover (1998), The Measurement of Voting Power, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar. Leech, Dennis (2002a), “Voting Power in the Governance of the IMF”, Annals of Operations Research, vol.109, 2002, pp 373-395. ----------------- (2002b), “Computation of Power Indices”, Warwick Economic Research Papers, No. 644, July 2002. ----------------- (2003a), “Computing Power Indices for Large Voting Games”, Management Science, vol. 49, number 6, June 2003, pp 831-838. ----------------- (2003b), “The Utility of Voting Power Analysis”, European Union Politics, 4:4, December 2003, 479-486. Moggeridge, D.(ed.) (1980), Collected Works of John Maynard Keynes, Vol. XXV Cambridge University Press. Van Houtven, Leo (2002), Governance of the IMF: Decision Making, Institutional Oversight, Transparency and Accountability, IMF Pamphlet Series no. 53, IMF: Washington. Wood, Angela (2001), Structural Adjustment for the IMF: Options for Reforming the Governance Structures, Bretton Woods Project, London. Woods, Ngaire (2001), “Making the IMF and the World Bank more accountable”, International Affairs,. 77:1, 83-100. ------------------ (2002), “The IMF and the World Bank”, Routledge Encyclopedia of Politics.|
Actions (login required)