Daniel Hausman


In “Weighing Up Weighted Lotteries: Scarcity, Overlap Cases, and Fair Inequalities of Chance”, Gerard Vong addresses intriguing problems in which it is impossible to give an equal chance of receiving a good to a set of equal claimants, because goods can be distributed only via groups which have overlapping membership. Vong proposes a rule for distributing chances that he argues is sensitive to both comparative and absolute fairness. This comment discusses some formal difficulties with Vong’s proposal and argues that it is better to separate the two concerns and to allow the tradeoffs between them to depend on characteristics of the goods to be distributed.


Discussion Notes