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On the axiomatics of resource allocation: Interpreting the consistency principle

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  • William Thomson

    (University of Rochester)

Abstract

An allocation rule is consistent if the recommendation it makes for each problem “agrees” with the recommendation it makes for each associated reduced problem, obtained by imagining some agents leaving with their assignments. Some authors have described the consistency principle as a “fairness principle”. Others have written that it is not about fairness, that it should be seen as an “operational principle”. We dispute the particular fairness interpretations that have been offered for consistency, but develop a different and important fairness foundation for the principle, arguing that it can be seen as the result of adding “some” efficiency to a “post-application” and efficiency-free expression of solidarity in response to population changes. We also challenge the interpretations of consistency as an operational principle that have been given, but identify a sense in which such an interpretation can be supported. We review and assess the other interpretations of the principle, as “robustness”, “coherence”, and “reinforcement”.

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File URL: http://rcer.econ.rochester.edu/RCERPAPERS/rcer_573.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) in its series RCER Working Papers with number 573.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:573

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Postal: University of Rochester, Center for Economic Research, Department of Economics, Harkness 231 Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

Related research

Keywords: consistency principle; fairness principle; solidarity; punctual axiom; relational axiom; consistent extensions; converse consistency;

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  1. Serizawa, Shigehiro, 2002. "Inefficiency of Strategy-Proof Rules for Pure Exchange Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 219-241, October.
  2. Moreno-Ternero, Juan D. & Roemer, John E., 2012. "A common ground for resource and welfare egalitarianism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 832-841.
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Cited by:
  1. Rodrigo Velez, 2014. "Consistent strategy-proof assignment by hierarchical exchange," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 125-156, May.
  2. 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.

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