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  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: March 2012

10 - Voting Power Implications of a Double Majority Voting Procedure in the IMF's Executive Board



In this chapter, we simulate the effect that a double majority decision rule would have on the relative influence of members of the IMF's Executive Board. We first discuss the logic of double-majority decision methods and discuss several alternative ways to implement them. We then explain the importance of relative voting power and define two ways to estimate it. We then turn to simulations of how voting power would be redistributed were the IMF to adopt a double majority decision rule. The results, as expected, indicate that the voting power of developing countries would be increased if a double majority decision rule was implemented. We conclude that the chief virtue of double majority voting in the IMF would be to compel the developed countries to take into consideration more seriously the views and preferences of the developing countries which are, after all, most consequentially affected by the decisions and policies of the organization.


One of the most fundamental governance issues facing international organizations concerns the methods by which members' preferences are aggregated for purposes of deciding upon and implementing collective action. From a slightly different perspective, what is at issue is how to reconcile the principle of sovereign equality with the reality of a hierarchical international system marked by large power disparities across member states.