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Optimal Allocation without Transfer Payments

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  • Surajeet Chakravarty

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Todd R. Kaplan

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

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 or when discriminating among agents using known differences is not a viable option. In this paper, we …nd an optimal mechnnism 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 …nd conditions for 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. Finally, we show that the optimal mechanism is independent of the scarcity of the goods being allocated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 1004.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1004

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Related research

Keywords: mechanism design; efficient allocation; waiting lines; lotteries; all-pay auctions;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Yoon, Kiho, 2011. "Optimal mechanism design when both allocative inefficiency and expenditure inefficiency matter," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 670-676.
  2. 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.
  3. Condorelli, Daniele, 2012. "What money canʼt buy: Efficient mechanism design with costly signals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 613-624.
  4. 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.
  5. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "Optimal Mechanism Design without Money," Working Papers tecipa-481, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  6. Kaplan, Todd R & Zamir, Shmuel, 2014. "Advances in Auctions," MPRA Paper 54656, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. 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.
  8. Kos, Nenad & Messner, Matthias, 2013. "Incentive compatibility in non-quasilinear environments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 12-14.
  9. 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.

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