Moral sentiments and social choice

Edi Karni, Zvi Safra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine the implications, for social choice, of individuals having an intrinsic sense of fairness. Taking the viewpoint that social justice reflects the moral attitudes of the constituent members, we analyze the effect of the intensity of the individual sense of fairness on the solution of Nash bargaining over random allocation procedures. We use a stylized model of university admission policies to illustrate our approach. We show that even if social policies are ultimately determined by the bargaining power of the different groups, a society whose members have a common notion of fairness tends to implement fairer admission policies when the intensity of the sense of fairness of individual members increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-446
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Choice and Welfare
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2008


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