Roll call votes in the European parliament 1

Simon Hug2
Département de science politique et relations internationales,
Université de Genève
Paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, New Orleans, August 30- September 2, 2012

First draft: August 2011, current preliminary version: Aug 14, 2012


Analyses of roll call votes in the European parliament (EP) have become more and more sophisticated and have been used to address many important research questions. That rather few votes in the EP are roll call votes has been neglected for quite some time. Drawing on a detailed dataset on policy positions (i.e., the DEU dataset) and combining it with information on votes in the EP, the paper proposes tests of a game-theoretical model dealing with the decision to call a roll call as a disciplining device. The empirical evidence supports several implications of this model, highlights, however, also that for some party groups roll call requests are hardly motivated by disciplining considerations.

Information on 9 roll call votes missing from the Hix/Noury/Roland data used in this paper 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,

resulting data file (as csv-file) using the Hix/Noury/Roland coding for EP5


1   This paper draws in part on previous coauthored work by Carrubba, Gabel and Hug (2008a and 2008b). Earlier versions were prepared for presentation at the ECPR General Conference (University of Iceland, Reykjavik, August 25 - 27, 2011) and at a seminar at the Institute of Advanced Studies (Vienna, January 19, 2012). Helpful comments by participants and especially Monika Mühlböck, Research assistance by Danielle Martin, Franziska Spörri, Fabian Wagner, Simone Wegmann as well as the financial support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (Grants No 100012- 108179, 100012-111909 and 100012-129737) are gratefully acknowledged.

2  Département de science politique et relations internationales, Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales; Université de Genève; 40 Bd du Pont d'Arve; 1211 Genève 4; Switzerland; phone ++41 22 379 89 47; email:

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.12.
On 18 Aug 2011, 15:37.