Theoretical vs. Empirical Power Indices: Do Preferences Matter?

Badinger, Harald and Mühlböck, Monika and Nindl, Elisabeth and Reuter, Wolf Heinrich (2014) Theoretical vs. Empirical Power Indices: Do Preferences Matter? European Journal of Political Economy, 36. pp. 158-175. ISSN 1873-5703

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This paper investigates whether preference-based (empirical) power indices differ significantly from their preference-free (theoretical) counterparts. Drawing on the to date most comprehensive sample of EU Council votes (1993- 2011), we use item-response models to estimate the EU27 member states' preferences (ideal points) in a one-dimensional policy space. Their posterior distributions are then used for the calculation of empirical versions of the Banzhaf and the Shapley-Shubik index, invoking the concepts of connected coalitions and bloc voting. Our ideal point estimates indicate significant differences between member states' preferences, which often translate into significant differences between empirical and theoretical power under individual voting. However, the formation of voting blocs appears to offset differences in countries' ideal points as the bloc size grows. This result does not hold up for the Shapley-Shubik index, whose empirical variants differ from the theoretical one, both under individual and bloc voting. (authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: To see the final version of this paper please visit the publisher's website. Access to the published version requires a subscription.
Keywords: EU Council / Spatial Voting / Power Index
Classification Codes: JEL D72, C71, C72
Divisions: Departments > Volkswirtschaft > Internationale Wirtschaft
Version of the Document: Accepted for Publication
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 10:56
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2014 11:35
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