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The inevitability of the “paradox of redistribution” in the allocation of voting weights


  • Dietrich Fischer
  • Andrew Schotter


In voting bodies, when voting weights are reallocated, it may be observed that the voting power of some members, as measured by the Shapley-Shubik and Banzhaf power indices, increases while their voting weight decreases. By a simple constructive proof, this paper shows that such a “paradox of redistribution” can always occur in any voting body if the number of voters, n, is sufficiently large. Simulation results show that the paradox is quite frequent (up to 30 percent) and increases with n (at least for small n). Examples are given where the Banzhaf and Shapley-Shubik indices are not consistent in demonstrating the paradox. Copyright Martinus Nijhoff Social Sciences Division 1978

Suggested Citation

  • Dietrich Fischer & Andrew Schotter, 1978. "The inevitability of the “paradox of redistribution” in the allocation of voting weights," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 49-67, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:33:y:1978:i:2:p:49-67
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00118357

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesc Carreras & Antonio Magaña, 2008. "The Shapley–Shubik index for simple games with multiple alternatives," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 81-97, February.

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