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Optimal allocation without transfer payments

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  • Chakravarty, Surajeet
  • Kaplan, Todd R.

Abstract

Often an organization or government must allocate goods without collecting payment in return. This may pose a difficult problem either when agents receiving those goods have private information in regards to their values or needs. In this paper, we find an optimal mechanism to allocate goods when the designer is benevolent. While the designer cannot charge agents, he can receive a costly but wasteful signal from them. We find conditions for cases in which ignoring these costly signals by giving agents equal share (or using lotteries if the goods are indivisible) is optimal. In other cases, those that send the highest signal should receive the goods; however, we then show that there exist cases where more complicated mechanisms are superior. Also, we show that the optimal mechanism is independent of the scarcity of the goods being allocated.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 77 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-20

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:77:y:2013:i:1:p:1-20

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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Keywords: Mechanism design; Allocation;

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Cited by:
  1. Kos, Nenad & Messner, Matthias, 2013. "Incentive compatibility in non-quasilinear environments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 12-14.
  2. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "Optimal Mechanism Design without Money," Working Papers tecipa-481, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Todd R. Kaplan & Shmuel Zamir, 2014. "Advances in Auctions," Discussion Papers 1405, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  4. Kiho Yoon, 2009. "Mechanism Design with Expenditure Consideration," Discussion Paper Series 0903, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  5. Guo, Mingyu & Conitzer, Vincent, 2009. "Worst-case optimal redistribution of VCG payments in multi-unit auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 69-98, September.
  6. Gershkov, Alex & Moldovanu, Benny & Shi, Xianwen, 2013. "Optimal Voting Rules," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 417, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  7. Daniele Condorelli, 2009. "What money can't buy: allocations with priority lists, lotteries and queues," Discussion Papers 1482, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Kleiner, Andreas & Drexl, Moritz, 2013. "Why Voting? A Welfare Analysis," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79886, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  9. Condorelli, Daniele, 2012. "What money canʼt buy: Efficient mechanism design with costly signals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 613-624.

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