Imagine trying to divide a set of goods, X, with a friend. How would one go about doing so to minimize the sense of envy between the two parties? Among the fairest methods arises the “I Cut, You Choose” model which separates the two parties into a cutter and a chooser.
The Cutter divides the goods into two separate piles deemed equal
The Chooser then chooses from the two piles the cutter graciously chose
Because a set of goods cannot be easily monetized, like money or currency, the cutter’s subjective partiality will play a role in the division of said goods. Because the cutter views both piles as equal, the cutter will be content with either pile. Moreover, the chooser’s personal preference will play a role in which pile is perceived as more valuable. Whichever the chooser chooses, the cutter will not feel envious of the chooser’s half.
However simplistic this model is, it can prove useful at a crossroad between two parties. It is not perfect: if party A knows that party B values one item more, then party A may try and use this information to get a subjectively larger piece of the pie.
This method will also work for division of undesirable labor, such as errands.
Attempting to divvy up a pool of goods that are hard to monetize may cause issues with two parties valuing each item differently. With the the “I Cut, You Choose” method, envy can be minimized to produce two fair piles in the two parties’ eyes.