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"Fair marriages": An impossibility


  • Klaus, Bettina


For marriage markets [Gale, D. and Shapley, L.S., 1962, College admissions and the stability of marriage, American Mathematical Monthly 69, 9-15.] so-called fair matchings do not always exist. We show that restoring fairness by using monetary transfers is not always possible: there are marriage markets where no amount of money can guarantee the existence of a fair allocation.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus, Bettina, 2009. ""Fair marriages": An impossibility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 74-75, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:105:y:2009:i:1:p:74-75

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1983. "Large Indivisibles: An Analysis with Respect to Price Equilibrium and Fairness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 939-954, July.
    2. Velez, Rodrigo A., 2016. "Fairness and externalities," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(1), January.
    3. Varian, Hal R., 1974. "Equity, envy, and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, September.
    4. Alkan, Ahmet & Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David, 1991. "Fair Allocation of Indivisible Goods and Criteria of Justice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1023-1039, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Litsa Alexandra & Maguet Jean-Fran├žois, 2012. "College Choice Mechanism: The Respect of the Vagueness of Choices," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201202, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    2. Boudreau, James W. & Knoblauch, Vicki, 2014. "What price stability? Social welfare in matching markets," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 27-33.
    3. Maria Laura Pesce, 2011. "Are Asymmetrically Informed Agents Envious?," CSEF Working Papers 292, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

    More about this item


    Efficiency Fairness Marriage markets Envy-freeness;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement


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