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Responsibility And Cross-Subsidization In Cost Sharing

  • Hervé MOULIN
  • Yves SPRUMONT

We propose two axiomatic theories of cost sharing with the common premise that agents demand comparable –though perhaps different– commodities and are responsible for their own demand. Under partial responsibility the agents are not responsible for the asymmetries of the cost function: two agents consuming the same amount of output always pay the same price; this holds true under full responsibility only if the cost function is symmetric in all individual demands. If the cost function is additively separable, each agent pays her stand alone cost under full responsibility; this holds true under partial responsibility only if, in addition, the cost function is symmetric. By generalizing Moulin and Shenker's (1999) Distributivity axiom to cost-sharing methods for heterogeneous goods, we identify in each of our two theories a different serial method. The subsidy-free serial method (Moulin, 1995) is essentially the only distributive method meeting Ranking and Dummy. The cross-subsidizing serial method (Sprumont, 1998) is the only distributive method satisfying Separability and Strong Ranking. Finally, we propose an alternative characterization of the latter method based on a strengthening of Distributivity.

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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 19-2002.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:19-2002
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  1. Bertil Tungodden, 2001. "Responsibility and Redistribution: The Case of First Best Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 545, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Sprumont, Yves, 1998. "Ordinal Cost Sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 126-162, July.
  3. Eric Friedman & Moulin, Herve, 1995. "Three Methods to Share Joint Costs or Surplus," Working Papers 95-38, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  4. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
  5. Dov Samet & Yair Tauman, 1981. "The Determination of Marginal-Cost Prices Under a Set of Axioms," Discussion Papers 476, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Sprumont, Yves, 1997. "Balanced egalitarian redistribution of income," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 185-201, June.
  7. Sprumont, Yves, 2000. "Coherent Cost-Sharing Rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 126-144, October.
  8. Moulin, Herve & Shenker, Scott, 1999. "Distributive and Additive Costsharing of an Homogeneous Good," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 299-330, May.
  9. Moulin, Herve, 1995. "On Additive Methods to Share Joint Costs," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 98-99, August.
  10. Moulin, Herve, 2002. "Axiomatic cost and surplus sharing," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 289-357 Elsevier.
  11. Moulin Herve & Shenker Scott, 1994. "Average Cost Pricing versus Serial Cost Sharing: An Axiomatic Comparison," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 178-201, October.
  12. Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1996. "Redistribution and compensation (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 343-355.
  13. Young, H Peyton, 1985. "Producer Incentives in Cost Allocation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 757-65, July.
  14. Koster, M.A.L. & Tijs, S.H. & Borm, P.E.M., 1998. "Serial cost sharing methods for multi-commodity situations," Other publications TiSEM 6633be50-672a-42f3-a966-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  15. Koster, Maurice & Tijs, Stef & Borm, Peter, 1998. "Serial cost sharing methods for multi-commodity situations," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 229-242, December.
  16. Thom Bezembinder & Hans Maassen, 2002. "Generating random weak orders and the probability of a Condorcet winner," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 517-532.
  17. Wang, YunTong, 1999. "The additivity and dummy axioms in the discrete cost sharing model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 187-192, August.
  18. Ori Haimanko, 2000. "Value theory without symmetry," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 451-468.
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521450669 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Fleurbaey Marc, 1995. "Three Solutions for the Compensation Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 505-521, April.
  21. Martin Shubik, 1962. "Incentives, Decentralized Control, the Assignment of Joint Costs and Internal Pricing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 8(3), pages 325-343, April.
  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521271943 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Moulin, Herve & Shenker, Scott, 1992. "Serial Cost Sharing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1009-37, September.
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