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An ordinal solution to bargaining problems with many players

By Zvi Safra and Dov Samet


Shapley proved the existence of an ordinal, symmetric and efficient solution for three-player bargaining problems. Ordinality refers to the covariance of the solution with respect to order-preserving transformations of utilities. The construction of this solution is based on a special feature of the three-player utility space: given a Pareto surface in this space, each utility vector is the ideal point of a unique utility vector, which we call a ground point for the ideal point. Here, we extend Shapley's solution to more than three players by proving first that for each utility vector there exists a ground point. Uniqueness, however, is not guaranteed for more than three players. We overcome this difficulty by the construction of a single point from the set of ground points, using minima and maxima of coordinates.Bargaining problems; Ordinal utility; Bargaining solutions

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