Emmanuelle Auriol, Robert J. Gary-Bobo, 09 October 2007

Having too few members of parliament means parliament is likely to be un-representative, but it seems that having too many makes it easy for vested interests to buy influence. Simple logic suggests that the optimal number of MEPs should be proportional to the square root of the population. Empirical work suggests that nations with a much higher number of MEPs tend to be plagued by red-tape and corruption.

Emmanuelle Auriol, Robert J. Gary-Bobo, 06 August 2007

Arriving at the optimal number of representatives in a democracy involves a trade-off between the need to keep decision costs down (i.e. limiting the number of representatives involved in the decision-making process) and ensuring that the decisions made truly reflect the preferences of the citizens.


CEPR Policy Research