### Abstract

In a mutual control structure agents exercise control over each other. Typical examples occur in the area of corporate governance: firms and investment companies exercise mutual control, in particular by owning each others’ stocks. In this paper we formulate a general model for such situations. There is a fixed set of agents, and a mutual control structure assigns to each subset (coalition) the subset of agents controlled by that coalition. Such a mutual control structure captures direct

control. We propose a procedure in order to incorporate indirect control as well: if S controls T, and S and T jointly control R, then S controls R indirectly. This way, invariant mutual control structures result. Alternatively, mutual control can be described by vectors of simple games, called simple game

structures, each simple game describing who controls a certain player, and also those simple games can be updated in order to capture indirect control. We show that both approaches lead to equivalent invariant structures. In the second part of the paper, we axiomatically develop a class of power indices for invariant mutual control structures. We impose four axioms with a plausible interpretation in this framework, which together characterize a broad class of power indices based on dividends resulting both from exercising and from undergoing control. By adding an extra condition a unique power index is singled out. In this index, each player accumulates his Shapley-Shubik power index assignments from controlling other players, diminished by the sum of the Shapley-Shubik power index assignments to other players controlling him.

control. We propose a procedure in order to incorporate indirect control as well: if S controls T, and S and T jointly control R, then S controls R indirectly. This way, invariant mutual control structures result. Alternatively, mutual control can be described by vectors of simple games, called simple game

structures, each simple game describing who controls a certain player, and also those simple games can be updated in order to capture indirect control. We show that both approaches lead to equivalent invariant structures. In the second part of the paper, we axiomatically develop a class of power indices for invariant mutual control structures. We impose four axioms with a plausible interpretation in this framework, which together characterize a broad class of power indices based on dividends resulting both from exercising and from undergoing control. By adding an extra condition a unique power index is singled out. In this index, each player accumulates his Shapley-Shubik power index assignments from controlling other players, diminished by the sum of the Shapley-Shubik power index assignments to other players controlling him.

Original language | English |
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Place of Publication | Maastricht |

Publisher | Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 1 Jan 2013 |

### Publication series

Series | GSBE Research Memoranda |
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Number | 048 |

## Cite this

Karos, D., & Peters, H. J. M. (2013).

*Indirect control and power in mutual control structures*. Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics. GSBE Research Memoranda, No. 048 https://doi.org/10.26481/umagsb.2013048