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Individual Sense of Justice: A Utility Representation


  • Edi Karni

    () (Dept. of Economics, Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A.)

  • Zvi Safra

    () (Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, Israel)


We present an axiomatic model depicting the choice behavior of a self-interest seeking moral individual over random allocation procedures. Individual preferences are decomposed into a self-interest component and a component representing the individual's moral value judgment. Each component has a distinct utility representation, and the preference relation depicting the choice behavior is representable by a real-valued function defined on the components utilities. The utility representing the self-interest component is linear and the utility representing the individual's moral value judgment is quasi-concave. The addition of a hexagon condition implies that the utility representing the individual's preference is additively separable in the components utilities. Copyright The Econometric Society 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Edi Karni & Zvi Safra, 2002. "Individual Sense of Justice: A Utility Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 263-284, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:70:y:2002:i:1:p:263-284

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