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Fair division of indivisible items between two people with identical preferences: Envy-freeness, Pareto-optimality, and equity

Listed author(s):
  • Steven J. Brams


    (Department of Politics, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA Information Sciences Research, Room C227, AT&T Labs-Research, 180 Park Avenue, Florham Park, NJ 07932, USA)

  • Peter C. Fishburn


    (Department of Politics, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA Information Sciences Research, Room C227, AT&T Labs-Research, 180 Park Avenue, Florham Park, NJ 07932, USA)

This paper focuses on the fair division of a set of indivisible items between two people when both have the same linear preference order on the items but may have different preferences over subsets of items. Surprisingly, divisions that are envy-free, Pareto-optimal, and ensure that the less well-off person does as well as possible (i.e., are equitable) can often be achieved. Preferences between subsets are assumed to satisfy axioms of qualitative probability without implying the existence of additive utilities, which is treated as a special case. Algorithms that render fair division practicable are proposed, and their vulnerability to strategic manipulation is investigated.

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Article provided by Springer & The Society for Social Choice and Welfare in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 17 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 247-267

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:17:y:2000:i:2:p:247-267
Note: Received: 18 May 1998/Accepted: 2 March 1999
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