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A Characterization of Strategy-Proof Social Choice Functions for Economies with Pure Public Goods

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  • Salvador Barbera
  • Matthew Jackson

Abstract

We characterize strategy-proof social choice functions when individual have strictly quasi-concave, continuous and satiated utility functions on convex subsets |R^l, representing preferences for the provision of l pure public goods. When specialized to the case l=1, these assumptions amount to requiring that preferences are single peaked, and for such a domain there exists a wide class of strategy-proof social choice functions. These were studied by Moulin (1980) under additional assumptions. Our first results characterize the complete class, after an appropriate extension of the single-peakedness condition. The new characterization retains the flavor of Moulin's elegant representation theorem. For the general l-dimensional case, previous results have shown that there is no efficient, strategy-proof, nondictatorial social choice function, even within the domain restrictions under consideration [Border and Jordan (1983), Zhou (1991)]. In fact, Zhou's powerful results indicates that nondictatorial strategy-proof s.c.f.'s will have a range of dimension one. This allows us to conclude with a complete characterization of all strategy-proof s.c.f.'s on |R^l, because restrictions of preferences from our admissible class to one dimensional subsets satisfy the slightly generalized notion of single-peakedness that is used in our characterization for the case l=1. We feel that a complete knowledge of the class of strategy-proof mechanisms, in this as well as in other contexts, is an important step in the analysis of the trade-offs between strategy-proofness and other performance criteria, like efficiency.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 964.

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Date of creation: May 1991
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:964

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  1. Zhou, Lin, 1991. "Impossibility of Strategy-Proof Mechanisms in Economies with Pure Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 107-19, January.
  2. H. Moulin, 1980. "On strategy-proofness and single peakedness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 437-455, January.
  3. Barbera, S. & Peleg, B., 1988. "Strategy-Proof Voting Schemes With Continuous Preferences," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 91.88, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Zhou, L., 1989. "Impossibility Of Strategy-Proof Mechanisms For Economies With Pure Public Goods," Papers 343, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  5. Border, Kim C & Jordan, J S, 1983. "Straightforward Elections, Unanimity and Phantom Voters," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 153-70, January.
  6. Barbera, S. & Sonnenschein, H., 1988. "Voting By Quota And Committee," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 95-88, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  7. Gibbard, Allan, 1973. "Manipulation of Voting Schemes: A General Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 587-601, July.
  8. Salvador Barbera & Hugo Sonnenschein & Lin Zhou, 1990. "Voting by Committees," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 941, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Satterthwaite, Mark Allen, 1975. "Strategy-proofness and Arrow's conditions: Existence and correspondence theorems for voting procedures and social welfare functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-217, April.
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