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A simple procedure for finding equitable allocations of indivisible goods

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  • Dorothea Herreiner
  • Clemens Puppe

Abstract

The paper investigates how far a particular procedure, called the “descending demand procedure,” can take us in finding equitable allocations of indivisible goods. Both interpersonal and intrapersonal criteria of equitability are considered. It is shown that the procedure generally fares well on an interpersonal criterion of “balancedness”; specifically, the resulting allocations are Pareto-optimal and maximize the well-being of the worst-off individual. As a criterion of intrapersonal equitability, the property of envy-freeness is considered. To accommodate envy-freeness, a modification of the basic procedure is suggested. With two individuals, the modified procedure is shown to select the envy-free allocations that are balanced, i.e. the allocations that maximize the well-being of the worse-off individual among all envy-free allocations. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s003550100119
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 19 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 415-430

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:19:y:2002:i:2:p:415-430

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Cited by:
  1. Brams, Steven J. & Kilgour, D. Marc & Klamler, Christian, 2013. "Two-Person Fair Division of Indivisible Items: An Efficient, Envy-Free Algorithm," MPRA Paper 47400, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  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. Brams,S.L. & Kaplan,T.R., 2002. "Dividing the indivisible : procedures for allocating cabinet ministries to political parties in a parliamentary system," Working Papers 340, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical 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.

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