Hervé Moulin

Hervé Moulin is George A. Peterkin Professor of Economics at Rice University.

  • Fair Division and Collective Welfare

    Fair Division and Collective Welfare

    Hervé Moulin

    The concept of fair division is as old as civil society itself. Aristotle's "equal treatment of equals" was the first step toward a formal definition of distributive fairness. The concept of collective welfare, more than two centuries old, is a pillar of modern economic analysis. Reflecting fifty years of research, this book examines the contribution of modern microeconomic thinking to distributive justice. Taking the modern axiomatic approach, it compares normative arguments of distributive justice and their relation to efficiency and collective welfare.

    The book begins with the epistemological status of the axiomatic approach and the four classic principles of distributive justice: compensation, reward, exogenous rights, and fitness. It then presents the simple ideas of equal gains, equal losses, and proportional gains and losses. The book discusses three cardinal interpretations of collective welfare: Bentham's "utilitarian" proposal to maximize the sum of individual utilities, the Nash product, and the egalitarian leximin ordering. It also discusses the two main ordinal definitions of collective welfare: the majority relation and the Borda scoring method.

    The Shapley value is the single most important contribution of game theory to distributive justice. A formula to divide jointly produced costs or benefits fairly, it is especially useful when the pattern of externalities renders useless the simple ideas of equality and proportionality. The book ends with two versatile methods for dividing commodities efficiently and fairly when only ordinal preferences matter: competitive equilibrium with equal incomes and egalitarian equivalence. The book contains a wealth of empirical examples and exercises.

    • Hardcover $42.00 £31.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00

Contributor

  • Allocation in Networks

    Allocation in Networks

    Jens Leth Hougaard

    A comprehensive overview of networks and economic design, presenting models and results drawn from economics, operations research, and computer science; with examples and exercises.

    This book explores networks and economic design, focusing on the role played by allocation rules (revenue and cost-sharing schemes) in creating and sustaining efficient network solutions. It takes a normative approach, seeking economically efficient network solutions sustained by distributional fairness, and considers how different ways of allocating liability affect incentives for network usage and development. The text presents an up-to-date overview of models and results currently scattered over several strands of literature, drawing on economics, operations research, and computer science.

    The book's analysis of allocation problems includes such classic models from combinatorial optimization as the minimum cost spanning tree and the traveling salesman problem. It examines the planner's ability to design mechanisms that will implement efficient network structures, both in large decentralized networks and when there is user-agent information asymmetry. Offering systematic theoretical analyses of various compelling allocation rules in cases of fixed network structures as well as discussions of network design problems, the book covers such topics as tree-structured distribution systems, routing games, organizational hierarchies, the “price of anarchy,” mechanism design, and efficient implementation. Appropriate as a reference for practitioners in network regulation and the network industry or as a text for graduate students, the book offers numerous illustrative examples and end-of-chapter exercises that highlight the concepts and methods presented.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00