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Computing Classical Power Indices For Large Finite Voting Games


  • Leech, D.


Voting Power Indices enable the analysis of the distribution of power in a legislature or voting body in which different members have different numbers of votes. Although this approach to the measurement of power, based on co-operative game theory, has been known for a long time its empirical application has been to some extent limited, in part by the difficulty of computing the indices when there are many players. This paper presents new algorithms for computing the classical power indices, those of Shapley and Shubik (1954) and of Banzhaf (1963), which are essentially modifications of approximation methods due to Owen, and have been shown to work well in real applications.

Suggested Citation

  • Leech, D., 2000. "Computing Classical Power Indices For Large Finite Voting Games," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 579, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:579

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Widgren, Mika, 1994. "Voting power in the EC decision making and the consequences of two different enlargements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1153-1170, May.
    2. Dennis Leech, 1988. "The Relationship Between Shareholding Concentration and Shareholder Voting Power in British Companies: A Study of the Application of Power Indices for Simple Games," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(4), pages 509-527, April.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, April.
    4. Jan-Erik Lane & Sven Berg, 1999. "Relevance of Voting Power," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 11(3), pages 309-320, July.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:48:y:1954:i:03:p:787-792_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Guillermo Owen, 1972. "Multilinear Extensions of Games," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(5-Part-2), pages 64-79, January.
    8. Straffin, Philip Jr., 1994. "Power and stability in politics," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 32, pages 1127-1151 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dennis Leech & Miguel Manj├│n, 2002. "Corporate Governance in Spain (with an Application of the Power Indices Approach)," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 157-173, March.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


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