Individual sense of justice: A utility representation

Edi Karni, Zvi Safra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present an axiomatic model depicting the choice behavior of a self-interest seeking moral individual over random allocation procedures. Individual preferences are decomposed into a self-interest component and a component representing the individual's moral value judgment. Each component has a distinct utility representation, and the preference relation depicting the choice behavior is representable by a real-valued function defined on the components utilities. The utility representing the self-interest component is linear and the utility representing the individual's moral value judgment is quasi-concave. The addition of a hexagon condition implies that the utility representing the individual's preference is additively separable in the components utilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-284
Number of pages22
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Fairness
  • Moral preferences
  • Moral-value judgment
  • Random allocation procedures
  • Sense of justice
  • Utility representation


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