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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 7, 2020

Absence of Envy among “Neighbors” Can Be Enough

Chiara Donnini and Marialaura Pesce


We assume that the set of agents is decomposed into several classes containing individuals related each other in some way, for example groups of neighbors. We propose a new definition of fairness by requiring efficiency and envy-freeness only within each group. We identify conditions under which absence of envy among “neighbors” is enough to ensure fairness in the entire society. We also show that equal-income Walrasian equilibria are the only fair allocations according to our notion, deriving as corollaries the equivalence theorems of Zhou (1992) and Cato (2010). The analysis is conducted in atomless economies as well as in mixed markets.

Corresponding author: Chiara Donnini, Dipartimento di Studi Aziendali e Quantitativi, Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Naples, Italy, E-mail:

Article note: We are grateful to the audience of the XXVII European Workshop on General Equilibrium Theory in Paris and RGEA workshop 2018 in Vigo, where previous versions of this paper were presented. A special thank goes to Daniela Puzzello (the Editor), the anonymous referees, Achille Basile and Maria Gabriella Graziano for their useful comments and suggestions.


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Received: 2020-02-06
Accepted: 2020-03-31
Published Online: 2020-08-07

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