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Models and Reality: the Curios Case of the Absent Abstention

Author

Listed:
  • Dan S. Felsenthal

    (University of Haifa, Department of Political Science, Haifa, Israel)

  • MoshÚ Machover

    (Department of Philosophy, King's Collge, Strand, London, UK)

Abstract

We discuss two inter-related puzzling features of the literature on a priori voting power. First, the mathematical model used in virtually all this literature does not recognize abstention as an option distinct from both a 'yes' and a 'no' vote. Second, reallife decision rules of voting bodies - in particular the US legislature and the UN Security Council -á are misrepresented as though they did not allow abstention as a tertium quid. We suggest that these misrepresentations may be examples of what philosophers of science call 'theory-laden observation'.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan S. Felsenthal & MoshÚ Machover, 2002. "Models and Reality: the Curios Case of the Absent Abstention," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 19, pages 297-310.
  • Handle: RePEc:hom:homoec:v:19:y:2002:p:297-310
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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Grabisch & Agnieszka Rusinowska, 2010. "A model of influence with an ordered set of possible actions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(4), pages 635-656, October.
    2. Grabisch, Michel & Rusinowska, Agnieszka, 2011. "Influence functions, followers and command games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 123-138, May.
    3. René van den Brink & Agnieszka Rusinowska & Frank Steffen, 2009. "Measuring Power and Satisfaction in Societies with Opinion Leaders: Dictator and Opinion Leader Properties," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-052/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Grabisch, Michel & Rusinowska, Agnieszka, 2011. "A model of influence with a continuum of actions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 576-587.

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