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Fair Division of Indivisible Items

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

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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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
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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