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The Combinatorial Assignment Problem: Approximate Competitive Equilibrium from Equal Incomes

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  • Eric Budish
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    Abstract

    This paper proposes a new mechanism for combinatorial assignment—for example, assigning schedules of courses to students—based on an approximation to competitive equilibrium from equal incomes (CEEI) in which incomes are unequal but arbitrarily close together. The main technical result is an existence theorem for approximate CEEI. The mechanism is approximately efficient, satisfies two new criteria of outcome fairness, and is strategyproof in large markets. Its performance is explored on real data, and it is compared to alternatives from theory and practice: all other known mechanisms are either unfair ex post or manipulable even in large markets, and most are both manipulable and unfair.

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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/664613
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/664613
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 119 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1061 - 1103

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/664613

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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    Cited by:
    1. Erlanson, Albin & Szwagrzak, Karol, 2014. "Strategy-proof package assignment," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 5/2014, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
    2. Franz Diebold & Haris Aziz & Martin Bichler & Florian Matthes & Alexander Schneider, 2014. "Course Allocation via Stable Matching," Business & Information Systems Engineering, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 97-110, April.
    3. Condorelli, Daniele, 2013. "Market and non-market mechanisms for the optimal allocation of scarce resources," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 582-591.
    4. Eric Budish & Estelle Cantillon, 2012. "The Multi-unit Assignment Problem: Theory and Evidence from Course Allocation at Harvard," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2237-71, August.
    5. Erel Segal-Halevi & Shmuel Nitzan, 2014. "Cake Cutting – Fair and Square," Working Papers 2014-01, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    6. Kojima, Fuhito, 2013. "Efficient resource allocation under multi-unit demand," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-14.

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