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On the Size of Winning Coalitions


  • Shepsle, Kenneth A.


A recent note by Robert Butterworth is critical of William Riker's size principle on several important grounds. There is, however, an important omission in his analysis which this present essay aims to correct. The author goes on to tie assertions about coalition structure in n-person zero-sum games to a solution theory for such games. In the appendix to this essay the general five-person game, of which Butterworth's game is a special case, is considered in some detail. The effect, with one reasonable solution theory, is a favorable appraisal of the size principle.

Suggested Citation

  • Shepsle, Kenneth A., 1974. "On the Size of Winning Coalitions," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 505-518, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:68:y:1974:i:02:p:505-518_11

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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Le Breton & Karine Van Der Straeten, 2017. "Alliances Électorales et Gouvernementales : La Contribution de la Théorie des Jeux Coopératifs à la Science Politique," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 127(4), pages 637-736.
    2. Ilyana Kuziemko & Eric Werker, 2006. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 905-930, October.
    3. Norman, Peter, 2002. "Legislative Bargaining and Coalition Formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 322-353, February.
    4. Randall Holcombe, 1986. "Non-optimal unanimous agreement," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 229-244, January.
    5. Winschel, Evguenia, 2012. "Coalition formation for unpopular reform in the presence of private reputation costs," Working Papers 13-08, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    6. Qian, Nancy & Yangagizawa, David, 2010. "Watchdog or Lapdog? Media and the U.S. Government," CEPR Discussion Papers 7684, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Chan, Jimmy & Gupta, Seher & Li, Fei & Wang, Yun, 2019. "Pivotal persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 178-202.
      • Jimmy Chan & Seher Gupta & Fei Li & Yun Wang, 2018. "Pivotal Persuasion," Working Papers 2018-11-03, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
    8. David C. King & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1999. "Congressional Vote Options," NBER Working Papers 7342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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