CFDP 1582

Kantian Allocations


Publication Date: September 2006

Pages: 26


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.


Cooperative solution, Proportional solution, Voting paradox, Prisoners’ dilemma, Kant, Categorical imperative

JEL Classification Codes:  C71, D63

See CFP: 1323