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Decomposing random mechanisms

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  • Pycia, Marek
  • Ünver, M. Utku

Abstract

Random mechanisms have been used in real-life situations for reasons such as fairness. Voting and matching are two examples of such situations. We investigate whether the desirable properties of a random mechanism survive decomposition of the mechanism as a lottery over deterministic mechanisms that also hold such properties. To this end, we represent properties of mechanisms–such as ordinal strategy-proofness or individual rationality–using linear constraints. Using the theory of totally unimodular matrices from combinatorial integer programming, we show that total unimodularity is a sufficient condition for the decomposability of linear constraints on random mechanisms. As two illustrative examples we show that individual rationality is totally unimodular in general, and that strategy-proofness is totally unimodular in some individual choice models. We also introduce a second, more constructive approach to decomposition problems, and prove that feasibility, strategy-proofness, and unanimity, with and without anonymity, are decomposable in non-dictatorial single-peaked voting domains. Just importantly, we establish that strategy-proofness is not decomposable in some natural problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Pycia, Marek & Ünver, M. Utku, 2015. "Decomposing random mechanisms," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 21-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:61:y:2015:i:c:p:21-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmateco.2015.06.002
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    1. repec:eee:gamebe:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:413-435 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:joecth:v:68:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-018-1149-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Lars EHLERS & Dipjyoti MAJUMDAR & Debasis MISHRA & Arunava SEN, 2016. "Continuity and Incentive Compatibility in Cardinal Voting Mechanisms," Cahiers de recherche 04-2016, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    4. Chatterji, Shurojit & Sen, Arunava & Zeng, Huaxia, 2016. "A characterization of single-peaked preferences via random social choice functions," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), May.
    5. Gaurav, Abhishek & Picot, Jérémy & Sen, Arunava, 2017. "The decomposition of strategy-proof random social choice functions on dichotomous domains," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 28-34.
    6. Shurojit Chatterji & Arunava Sen & Huaxia Zeng, 2014. "A CHaracterization of Single-Peaked Preferences via Random Social Choice Functions," Working Papers 13-2014, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Random mechanisms; Total unimodularity; Single-peaked preferences; Individual rationality; Strategy-proofness; Universal truthfulness;

    JEL classification:

    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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