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Efficient assignment respecting priorities

  • Ehlers, Lars
  • Erdil, Aytek

A widespread practice in assignment of heterogeneous indivisible objects is to prioritize some recipients over others depending on the type of the object. Leading examples include assignment of public school seats, and allocation of houses, courses, or offices. Each object comes with a coarse priority ranking over recipients. Respecting such priorities constrains the set of feasible assignments, and therefore might lead to inefficiency, highlighting a tension between respecting priorities and Pareto efficiency. Via an easily verifiable criterion, we fully characterize priority structures under which the constrained efficient assignments do not suffer from such welfare loss, and the constrained efficient rule (CER) is indeed efficient. We also identify the priority structures for which the CER is singleton-valued and group strategy-proof.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 145 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 1269-1282

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:3:p:1269-1282
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. EHLERS, Lars & KLAUS, Bettina, 2005. "Consistent House Allocation," Cahiers de recherche 08-2005, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  2. Aytek Erdil & Haluk Ergin, 2008. "What's the Matter with Tie-Breaking? Improving Efficiency in School Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 669-89, June.
  3. Ehlers, Lars & Klaus, Bettina, 2006. "Efficient priority rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 372-384, May.
  4. Ergin, Haluk I., 2000. "Consistency in house allocation problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 77-97, August.
  5. Haluk I. Ergin, 2002. "Efficient Resource Allocation on the Basis of Priorities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2489-2497, November.
  6. Chambers, Christopher P., 2004. "Consistency in the probabilistic assignment model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 953-962, December.
  7. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 368-371, May.
  8. Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Pathak, Parag Abishek & Roth, Alvin E., 2009. "Strategy-Proofness Versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the NYC High School Match," Scholarly Articles 11077572, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Shapley, Lloyd & Scarf, Herbert, 1974. "On cores and indivisibility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 23-37, March.
  10. Kesten, Onur, 2006. "On two competing mechanisms for priority-based allocation problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 155-171, March.
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