Priority Classes and Weighted Constrained Equal Awards Rules for the Claims Problem

Karol Flores-Szwagrzak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We revisit the "claims problem" (O'Neill, 1982), where a group of individuals have claims on a resource but there is not enough of it to honor all of the claims. We characterize the rules satisfying three well-known invariance axioms: consistency, composition up, and claims truncation invariance. They are priority-augmented versions of the standard weighted constrained equal awards rules, also known as weighted gains methods (Moulin, 2000): individuals are sorted into priority classes; the resource is distributed among the individuals in the first priority class using a weighted constrained equal awards rule; if some of the resource is left over, then it is distributed among the individuals in the second priority class, again using a weighted constrained equal awards rule; the distribution carries on in this way until the resource is exhausted. Our characterization extends to a generalized version of the claims problem where there are multiple divisible and indivisible resources and individuals have claims on each of these.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Pages (from-to)36-55
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Claims truncation invariance
  • Composition up
  • Consistency

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