The rich legacy of EUR economist Jan Tinbergen needs updating. Besides a Nobel Prize in economics, having founded Dutch and international organisations, being active in policymaking and economic development, and having published influential works especially on econometrics, there is also this: Tinbergen has formulated the “no envy” fairness principle already in 1930, decades earlier than previously known. We published an English translation of his Mens en Maatschappij article in the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics.
H.C.K. Heilmann & S. Wintein (2022). No envy: a Nobel economist as a forerunner on fairness. Blogpost on Erasmus University Rotterdam, March 2022.
In their article ‘Liberal political equality implies proportional representation’, which was published in Social Choice and Welfare 33(4):617–627 in 2009, Eliora van der Hout and Anthony J. McGann claim that any seat-allocation rule that satisfies certain ‘Liberal axioms’ produces results essentially equivalent to proportional representation. We show that their claim and its proof are wanting. Firstly, the Liberal axioms are only defined for seat-allocation rules that satisfy a further axiom, which we call Independence of Vote Realization (IVR). Secondly, the proportional rule is the only anonymous seat-allocation rule that satisfies IVR. Thirdly, the claim’s proof raises the suspicion that reformulating the Liberal axioms in order to save the claim won’t work. Fourthly, we vindicate this suspicion by providing a seat-allocation rule which satisfies reformulated Liberal axioms but which fails to produce results essentially equivalent to proportional representation. Thus, the attention that their claim received in the literature on normative democratic theory notwithstanding, van der Hout and McGann have not established that liberal political equality implies proportional representation.
S. Wintein & H.C.K. Heilmann (2022). Liberal political equality does not imply proportional representation. Social Choice and Welfare.
Our chapter “Fairness and Fair Division” is forthcoming in The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Economics
Abstract. Fairness is important concept in Western philosophy and in economics alike. We review the so-called fair division theories in philosophy and economics that explore fairness as a distinct value concept. Philosophers build on John Broome’s influential account of fairness as the proportional satisfaction of claims. Economists analyze fair division via so-called claims problems and cooperative games. We show that these fair division theories in philosophy and economics promote an understanding of fairness as a substantive, local, and objective concept. We also suggest that philosophical and economic theories in this area have much to offer to one another.
‘Mathematical psychics’ was the name of the approach and the book by Edgeworth for a burgeoning scientific approach, also pioneered by Pareto, for that part of psychology on which economics rests. The nature of the subject of this approach raises the prospect that this approach can also be of interest to practitioners of other sciences related to psychology, which is why an attempt is made here to give an overview of the contents of this approach and some results already achieved with it in economics. In addition, some problems outside economics, narrowly construed, are indicated, for the solution of which one might also make fruitful use of mathematical psychology.
J. Tinbergen, H.C.K. Heilmann, S. Wintein, R. Hinz & E. Dekker (2021). Mathematical Psychology. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 14(1), 210-221.
The important ‘no-envy’ fairness criterion has typically been attributed to Foley (1967) and sometimes to Tinbergen (1946, 1953). We reveal that Jan Tinbergen introduced ‘no-envy’ as a fairness criterion in his article “Mathematiese Psychologie” published in 1930 in the Dutch journal Mens en Maatschappij and translated as “Mathematical Psychology” in 2021 in the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics. Our article accompanies the translation: we introduce Tinbergen’s 1930 formulation of the ‘no-envy’ criterion, compare it to other formulations, and comment on its significance for the fairness literature in philosophy and economics.
H.C.K. Heilmann & S. Wintein (2021). No envy: Jan Tinbergen on fairness. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 14(1), 222-245.
A short text on the very idea of fairness as proportional satisfaction of claims appeared (in Dutch) in the Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte:
S. Wintein & C. Heilmann (2020). Eerlijkheid: het proportionele-claims idee. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte, 112 (4), 494-498.
In a blogpost on Bij Nader Inzien, we ask the question “what is fairness?”, give a very short introduction to Broome’s account of fairness as proportionality to claims but also mention some problems with the concept of claims.
S. Wintein & H.C.K. Heilmann (2020). Ode: Fairness. Blogpost on Bij Nader Inzien, April 2020.
The refugee crisis poses obvious practical and political challenges: what are the local communities at whose shores thousands of migrants arrive to do? Ethical questions
however, pose themselves with the same urgency: Who has a duty to assist? And what does fairness require?
We participated in a forum on reactions to Ingrid Robeyns’ theory of limitarianism, published in the Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte. We argue that if richness is limited, the resources that are obtained by those that are deemed to rich need to be divided fairly.
S. Wintein & H.C.K. Heilmann (2017). Extreme Rijkdom Eerlijk Verdeeld. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte, 109 (4), 469-474.
In a blog post on Bij Nader Inzien, we argue that recent changes to the Dutch electoral system are unfair to smaller parties.
S. Wintein & H.C.K. Heilmann (2017). Eerlijkheid voor kleine partijen. Blogpost on Bij Nader Inzien, August 2017.