No Envy: Jan Tinbergen on Fairness

Conrad Heilmann*, Stefan Wintein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


The important ‘no-envy' fairness criterion has typically been attributed to Foley (1967) and sometimes to Tinbergen (1946, 1953). We reveal that Jan Tinbergen introduced ‘no-envy' as a fairness criterion in his article “Mathematiese Psychologie” published in 1930 in the Dutch journal Mens en Maatschappij and translated as “Mathematical Psychology” in 2021 in the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics. Our article accompanies the translation: we introduce Tinbergen's 1930 formulation of the ‘no-envy' criterion, compare it to other formulations, and comment on its significance for the fairness literature in philosophy and economics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-245
Number of pages24
JournalErasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors’ Note: We thank Erwin Dekker for bringing Jan Tinbergen’s (1930) article to our attention as well as for his invaluable comments on earlier drafts of this article. We thank Ruth Hinz for her excellent research assistance. We also thank Måns Abrahamson, Roger Backhouse, Annalisa Costella, Kristi Olson, William Peden, anonymous reviewers of EJPE, and the editors of EJPE for many important suggestions and comments. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the research project “Jan Tinbergen: The Thinker”, supported by Stichting Erasmus Trustfunds, the Erasmus Initiative “Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity”, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus School of Philosophy, and Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE).

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