Department of Political Science

Daniel Finke

The merits of adding complexity: non-separable preferences in spatial models of European Union politics

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The merits of adding complexity : non-separable preferences in spatial models of European Union politics. / Finke, Daniel; Fleig, Andreas.

In: Journal of Theoretical Politics, Vol. 25, No. 4, 10.2013, p. 546-575.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Finke D, Fleig A. The merits of adding complexity: non-separable preferences in spatial models of European Union politics. Journal of Theoretical Politics. 2013 Oct;25(4):546-575. doi: 10.1177/0951629813493212

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Finke, Daniel ; Fleig, Andreas. / The merits of adding complexity : non-separable preferences in spatial models of European Union politics. In: Journal of Theoretical Politics. 2013 ; Vol. 25, No. 4. pp. 546-575.

Bibtex

@article{8be8a0a362d04cf9a02614211a11638f,
title = "The merits of adding complexity: non-separable preferences in spatial models of European Union politics",
abstract = "This paper challenges the assumption of separable preferences that has been applied throughout the existing empirical research on European Union (EU) legislative politics. Yet our analysis reveals that non-separable preferences are in fact a widespread phenomenon in EU politics. In many cases actors' spending preferences are conditional upon the expected policy outcome, but not vice versa. In order to appropriately model such non-reciprocity, we propose a simple modification to the standard Euclidean utility function. Applying simulation techniques, we demonstrate that overlooking non-separable preferences may have caused a substantial bias in the empirical evaluation of competing models of EU legislative politics. Specifically, models that constrain the set of feasible outcomes to either the Winset and/or the core must rely on a correct specification of actors' utility functions. Therefore, a false assumption of core separable preferences significantly disadvantages these models vis-a-vis unconstrained models. Moreover, our findings underline the agenda-setting power of the European Commission for proposals that involve either a spending decision or the delegation of power from the national to the European level.",
keywords = "European Union, legislative politics, spatial models, POWER, PARLIAMENT, POSITIONS, AGENDA, TEXTS",
author = "Daniel Finke and Andreas Fleig",
year = "2013",
month = oct,
doi = "10.1177/0951629813493212",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "546--575",
journal = "Journal of Theoretical Politics",
issn = "0951-6298",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The merits of adding complexity

T2 - non-separable preferences in spatial models of European Union politics

AU - Finke, Daniel

AU - Fleig, Andreas

PY - 2013/10

Y1 - 2013/10

N2 - This paper challenges the assumption of separable preferences that has been applied throughout the existing empirical research on European Union (EU) legislative politics. Yet our analysis reveals that non-separable preferences are in fact a widespread phenomenon in EU politics. In many cases actors' spending preferences are conditional upon the expected policy outcome, but not vice versa. In order to appropriately model such non-reciprocity, we propose a simple modification to the standard Euclidean utility function. Applying simulation techniques, we demonstrate that overlooking non-separable preferences may have caused a substantial bias in the empirical evaluation of competing models of EU legislative politics. Specifically, models that constrain the set of feasible outcomes to either the Winset and/or the core must rely on a correct specification of actors' utility functions. Therefore, a false assumption of core separable preferences significantly disadvantages these models vis-a-vis unconstrained models. Moreover, our findings underline the agenda-setting power of the European Commission for proposals that involve either a spending decision or the delegation of power from the national to the European level.

AB - This paper challenges the assumption of separable preferences that has been applied throughout the existing empirical research on European Union (EU) legislative politics. Yet our analysis reveals that non-separable preferences are in fact a widespread phenomenon in EU politics. In many cases actors' spending preferences are conditional upon the expected policy outcome, but not vice versa. In order to appropriately model such non-reciprocity, we propose a simple modification to the standard Euclidean utility function. Applying simulation techniques, we demonstrate that overlooking non-separable preferences may have caused a substantial bias in the empirical evaluation of competing models of EU legislative politics. Specifically, models that constrain the set of feasible outcomes to either the Winset and/or the core must rely on a correct specification of actors' utility functions. Therefore, a false assumption of core separable preferences significantly disadvantages these models vis-a-vis unconstrained models. Moreover, our findings underline the agenda-setting power of the European Commission for proposals that involve either a spending decision or the delegation of power from the national to the European level.

KW - European Union

KW - legislative politics

KW - spatial models

KW - POWER

KW - PARLIAMENT

KW - POSITIONS

KW - AGENDA

KW - TEXTS

U2 - 10.1177/0951629813493212

DO - 10.1177/0951629813493212

M3 - Journal article

VL - 25

SP - 546

EP - 575

JO - Journal of Theoretical Politics

JF - Journal of Theoretical Politics

SN - 0951-6298

IS - 4

ER -