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Kantian Allocations

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Abstract

Several authors in the economics literature have referred to Kantian behavior, informally, as a kind of cooperation. We model this notion precisely, and define two kinds of Kantian allocation. An set of strategies by players is Kantian if, informally, no player would advocate that all players change their strategies in the 'same kind of way.' We prove existence and Pareto efficiency of Kantian allocations. The proportional solution in a production economy with a common access technology emerges as a special case. We study whether Kantian behavior can 'resolve' the prisoners' dilemma and the voting paradox. It turns out that Kant's categorical imperative only implies cooperation (solidaristic behavior) conditional upon the rewards to cooperation being sufficiently great, perhaps a sobering thought for philosophical Kantians who believe that Kant's categorical imperative implies a strong kind of solidarity.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d15b/d1582.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1582.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Scandinavian Journal of Economics (2010), 112(1): 1-24
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1582

Note: CFP 1323.
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Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
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Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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Keywords: Cooperative solution; Proportional solution; Voting paradox; Prisoners' dilemma; Kant; Categorical imperative;

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Cited by:
  1. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2006. "Robust Rational Turnout," Wallis Working Papers WP43, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.

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