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Fair Division of Indivisible Items

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Author Info

  • Brams, S. J.
  • Eldelman, P. H.
  • Fishburn, P. C.

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 possibilities and pitfalls of achieving fair division in a variety of circumstances.

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File URL: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/9188/RR00-15.PDF
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University in its series Working Papers with number 00-15.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:00-15

Contact details of provider:
Postal: C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-8936
Fax: (212) 995-3932
Email:
Web page: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/object/econ.cvstarr.html
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Order Information:
Postal: C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012
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Related research

Keywords: FAIR DIVISION; ALLOCATION OF INDIVISIBLE ITEMS; PARETO OPTIMALITY; ENVY-FREENESS; LEXICOGRAPHIC MAXIMUM;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Brams, Steven J. & Kilgour, D. Marc & Klamler, Christian, 2009. "The undercut procedure: an algorithm for the envy-free division of indivisible items," MPRA Paper 12774, 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. Eric Budish & Estelle Cantillon, 2012. "The Multi-unit Assignment Problem: Theory and Evidence from Course Allocation at Harvard," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2237-71, August.
  5. Antonio Nicolo' & Yan Yu, 2006. "Strategic Divide and Choose," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0022, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  6. 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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