Kantian Allocations

27 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2006

See all articles by John E. Roemer

John E. Roemer

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Date Written: September 2006

Abstract

Several authors in the economics literature have referred to Kantian behavior, informally, as a kind of cooperation. We model this notion precisely, and define two kinds of Kantian allocation. An set of strategies by players is Kantian if, informally, no player would advocate that all players change their strategies in the 'same kind of way.' We prove existence and Pareto efficiency of Kantian allocations. The proportional solution in a production economy with a common access technology emerges as a special case. We study whether Kantian behavior can 'resolve' the prisoners' dilemma and the voting paradox. It turns out that Kant's categorical imperative only implies cooperation (solidaristic behavior) conditional upon the rewards to cooperation being sufficiently great, perhaps a sobering thought for philosophical Kantians who believe that Kant's categorical imperative implies a strong kind of solidarity.

Keywords: Cooperative solution, Proportional solution, Voting paradox, Prisoners' dilemma, Kant, Categorical imperative

JEL Classification: C71, D63

Suggested Citation

Roemer, John E., Kantian Allocations (September 2006). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1582. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=931473

John E. Roemer (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5249 (Phone)
203-432-6196 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~jer39/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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