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Fair Division Of Indivisible Items

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Author Info

  • Steven J. Brams
  • Paul H. Edelman
  • Peter C. Fishburn

    ()

Abstract

This paper analyzes criteria of fair division of a set of indivisible items among people whose revealed preferences are limited to rankings of the items and for whom no side payments are allowed. The criteria include refinements of Pareto optimality and envy-freeness as well as dominance-freeness, evenness of shares, and two criteria based on equally-spaced surrogate utilities, referred to as maxsum and equimax. Maxsum maximizes a measure of aggregate utility or welfare, whereas equimax lexicographically maximizes persons' utilities from smallest to largest. The paper analyzes conflicts among the criteria along with possibilities and pitfalls of achieving fair division in a variety of circumstances.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Theory and Decision.

Volume (Year): 55 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (09)
Pages: 147-180

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Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:55:y:2003:i:2:p:147-180

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100341

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Cited by:
  1. Budish, Eric & Cantillon, Estelle, 2010. "The Multi-unit Assignment Problem: Theory and Evidence from Course Allocation at Harvard," CEPR Discussion Papers 7641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. RAMAEKERS, Eve, . "Fair allocation of indivisible goods: the two-agent case," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2483, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Steven J. Brams & Todd R. Kaplan, 2002. "Dividing the Indivisible: Procedures for Allocating Cabinet Ministries to Political Parties in a Parliamentary System," Discussion Papers 0202, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  4. Dall'Aglio, Marco & Mosca, Raffaele, 2007. "How to allocate hard candies fairly," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 218-237, December.
  5. Antonio Nicolo' & Yan Yu, 2006. "Strategic Divide and Choose," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0022, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  6. Steven Brams & D. Kilgour & Christian Klamler, 2012. "The undercut procedure: an algorithm for the envy-free division of indivisible items," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 615-631, July.

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