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A stochastic analysis of goods allocation by queuing and the prevention of violence


  • Amitrajeet A Batabyal

    () (Department of Economics, Rochester Institute of Technology)

  • Gamini Herath

    () (Monash University, Sunway Campus, Malaysia)


When demand for a good exceeds its supply, queuing mechanisms are commonly used to allocate the good in question to citizens. However, very long queues result in excessive wait times and this can lead to violence. As such, the purpose of this paper is to analyze two stochastic models of goods allocation with queuing and the possibility of violence. In the first model, there is no capacity constraint. Using this model, we compute the long run delay per citizen in allocating the pertinent good. Next, we discuss the computation of the equilibrium probabilities for our discrete-time Markov chain theoretic model. In the second model, we capture the violence aspect of the underlying story explicitly with a capacity constraint. Then, we compute the long run fraction of citizens who are not provided the relevant good and the long run fraction of time the good allocating public official is busy.

Suggested Citation

  • Amitrajeet A Batabyal & Gamini Herath, 2010. "A stochastic analysis of goods allocation by queuing and the prevention of violence," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(4), pages 3143-3151.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-10-00587

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amitrajeet Batabyal & Peter Nijkamp, 2004. "Favoritism in the Public Provision of Goods in Developing Countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(1), pages 1-10.
    2. Krishna B. Athreya & Mukul Majumdar, 2005. "A note on closing the windows: Some lessons from queuing theory," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 73-81.
    3. Amitrajeet A. Batabyal & Seung Jick Yoo, 2007. "Corruption, Bribery, and Wait Times in the Public Allocation of Goods in Developing Countries," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 507-517, August.
    4. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-781, August.
    5. Michael J. Pisani & José A. Pagán, 2003. "Sectoral Queuing in a Transitional Economy: The Case of Nicaragua in the 1990s," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(4), pages 571-597, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Batabyal, Amitrajeet A. & DeAngelo, Gregory J., 2012. "Goods allocation by queuing and the occurrence of violence: A probabilistic analysis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-7.

    More about this item


    Capacity Constraint; Goods Allocation; Queuing Mechanism; Scarcity; Violence;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods


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