The Bicameral Postulates and Indices of a Priori Voting Power

Theory and Decision 44 (1):83-116 (1998)
If K is an index of relative voting power for simple voting games, the bicameral postulate requires that the distribution of K -power within a voting assembly, as measured by the ratios of the powers of the voters, be independent of whether the assembly is viewed as a separate legislature or as one chamber of a bicameral system, provided that there are no voters common to both chambers. We argue that a reasonable index – if it is to be used as a tool for analysing abstract, ‘uninhabited’ decision rules – should satisfy this postulate. We show that, among known indices, only the Banzhaf measure does so. Moreover, the Shapley–Shubik, Deegan–Packel and Johnston indices sometimes witness a reversal under these circumstances, with voter x ‘less powerful’ than y when measured in the simple voting game G1 , but ‘more powerful’ than y when G1 is ‘bicamerally joined’ with a second chamber G2 . Thus these three indices violate a weaker, and correspondingly more compelling, form of the bicameral postulate. It is also shown that these indices are not always co-monotonic with the Banzhaf index and that as a result they infringe another intuitively plausible condition – the price monotonicity condition. We discuss implications of these findings, in light of recent work showing that only the Shapley–Shubik index, among known measures, satisfies another compelling principle known as the bloc postulate. We also propose a distinction between two separate aspects of voting power: power as share in a fixed purse (P-power) and power as influence (I-power)
Keywords Banzhaf  Deegan–Packel  index of voting power  Johnston  paradoxes of voting power  Penrose  postulates for index of voting power  Shapley value  Shapley–Shubik  simple voting game  weighted voting game
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DOI 10.1023/A:1004914608055
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