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The structure of unstable power mechanisms


  • Joseph Abdou



We study the structure of unstable power mechanisms. A power mechanism is modeled by an interaction form, the solution of which is called a settlement. By stability, we mean the existence of some settlement for any preference profile. Configurations that produce instability are called cycles. We introduce a stability index that measures the difficulty of emergence of cycles. Structural properties such as exactness, superadditivity, subadditivity and maximality provide indications about the type of instability that may affect the mechanism. We apply our analysis to strategic game forms in the context of Nash-like solutions or core-like solutions. In particular, we establish an upper bound on the stability index of maximal interaction forms.
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Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Abdou, 2012. "The structure of unstable power mechanisms," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 389-415, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:50:y:2012:i:2:p:389-415 DOI: 10.1007/s00199-010-0568-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abdou, Joseph, 2010. "A stability index for local effectivity functions," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 306-313, May.
    2. Donald Campbell & Jerry Kelly, 2009. "Gains from manipulating social choice rules," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(3), pages 349-371, September.
    3. Peleg, Bezalel, 2004. "Representation of effectivity functions by acceptable game forms: a complete characterization," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 275-287, May.
    4. Rosenthal, Robert W., 1972. "Cooperative games in effectiveness form," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 88-101, August.
    5. Abdou, J, 1995. "Nash and Strongly Consistent Two-Player Game Forms," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 24(4), pages 345-356.
    6. Abdou, J., 2000. "Exact stability and its applications to strong solvability," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 263-275, May.
    7. Boros, Endre & Gurvich, Vladimir, 2000. "Stable effectivity functions and perfect graphs," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 175-194, March.
    8. Eyal Winter & Bezalel Peleg, 2002. "original papers : Constitutional implementation," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 7(2), pages 187-204.
    9. Mizutani, Masayoshi & Hiraide, Yasuhiko & Nishino, Hisakazu, 1993. "Computational Complexity to Verify the Unstability of Effectivity Function," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 22(3), pages 225-239.
    10. Stefano Vannucci, 2008. "A coalitional game-theoretic model of stable government forms with umpires," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 12(1), pages 33-44, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Abdou, 2012. "Stability and index of the meet game on a lattice," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 41(4), pages 775-789, November.
    2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00633589 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Interaction form; Effectivity function; Stability index; Nash equilibrium; Strong equilibrium; Solvability; Acyclicity; Nakamura number; Collusion; C70; D71;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations


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