Public Choice

, Volume 151, Issue 3–4, pp 757–787 | Cite as

Axiomatizations of a positional power score and measure for hierarchies

  • René van den Brink
  • Frank Steffen
Open Access


The extant literature on positional power in hierarchies is mainly restricted to the analysis of power in terms of the authority structure. This is based upon the bare positions of actors and ignores the existence of decision-making mechanisms. The few studies, which also take into account decision-making mechanisms, are ‘membership-based’. In an earlier paper we demonstrated that such an approach is, in general, inappropriate. As a solution we suggested an ‘action-based’ approach and developed a power score and measure ascribing positional power to actors in hierarchies. In this paper we axiomatize this power score and measure and illustrate their applicability.


Hierarchies Decision-making mechanism Power Positional power Power score Power measure Binary voting Axiomatization 

JEL Classification

C79 D02 D71 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Econometrics and Tinbergen InstituteVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Management SchoolThe University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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