Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 723–749 | Cite as

Bidding for envy-freeness: A procedural approach to n-player fair-division problems

  • Claus-Jochen Haake
  • Matthias G. Raith
  • Francis Edward Su


We develop a procedure for implementing an efficient and envy-free allocation of m objects among n individuals with the possibility of monetary side-payments, assuming that players have quasi–linear utility functions. The procedure eliminates envy by compensating envious players. It is fully descriptive and says explicitly which compensations should be made, and in what order. Moreover, it is simple enough to be carried out without computer support. We formally characterize the properties of the procedure, show how it establishes envy-freeness with minimal resources, and demonstrate its application to a wide class of fair-division problems.


Utility Function Wide Class Computer Support Procedural Approach Minimal Resource 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claus-Jochen Haake
    • 1
  • Matthias G. Raith
    • 2
  • Francis Edward Su
    • 3
  1. 1. Institute of Mathematical Economics, University of Bielefeld, P.O. Box 100131, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany (e-mail:,
  2. 2. Department of Economics, University of Magdeburg, P.O. Box 4120, 39016 Magdeburg, Germany (e-mail:
  3. 3. Department of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA 91711, USA (e-mail:

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