Political influence in multi-choice institutions: cyclicity, anonymity, and transitivity
We study political influence in institutions where members choose from among several options their levels of support to a collective goal, these individual choices determining the degree to which the goal is reached. Influence is assessed by newly defined binary relations, each of which compares any two individuals on the basis of their relative performance at a corresponding level of participation. For institutions with three levels of support (e.g., voting games in which each voter may vote "yes", "abstain", or vote "no"), we obtain three influence relations, and show that the strict component of each of them may be cyclical. The cyclicity of these relations contrasts with the transitivity of the unique influence relation of binary voting games. Weak conditions of anonymity are sufficient for each of them to be transitive. We also obtain a necessary and sufficient condition for each of them to be complete. Further, we characterize institutions for which the rankings induced by these relations, and the Banzhaf-Coleman and Shapley-Shubik power indices coincide. We argue that the extension of these relations to firms would be useful in efficiently allocating workers to different units of production. Applications to various forms of political and economic organizations are provided.
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