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Rationing a Commodity Along Fixed Paths


  • Moulin, Hervé


A private commodity is divided among agents with single peaked preferences over their share. A rationing method elicits individual peaks (demands); if the commodity is overdemanded (resp. underdemanded), no agent receives more (resp. less) than his peak. A fixed path rationing method allocates an overdemanded "good" along a path independent of individual demands, except that an agent receives exactly his demand if it is below the path-generated share. An underdemanded "bad" is allocated along another such path, except that an agent who demands more than his path-generated share receives exactly his peak. We consider four properties of allocation mechanisms: efficiency, strategyproofness, resource monotonicity, and consistency. Together, these axioms characterize precisely the set of fixed path rationing methods. The result holds when the commodity is infinitely divisible and when it comes in indivisible units.

Suggested Citation

  • Moulin, Hervé, 1998. "Rationing a Commodity Along Fixed Paths," Working Papers 98-01, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:98-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomson, William, 1995. "Population-Monotonic Solutions to the Problem of Fair Division When Preferences Are Single-Peaked," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(2), pages 229-246, March.
    2. Barbera, Salvador & Jackson, Matthew O. & Neme, Alejandro, 1997. "Strategy-Proof Allotment Rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-21, January.
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    4. Thomson William, 1994. "Consistent Solutions to the Problem of Fair Division When Preferences Are Single-Peaked," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 219-245, August.
    5. Barbera, Salvador & Jackson, Matthew O, 1995. "Strategy-Proof Exchange," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 51-87, January.
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    8. H. Moulin, 1980. "On strategy-proofness and single peakedness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 437-455, January.
    9. Sonmez, Tayfun, 1994. "Consistency, monotonicity, and the uniform rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 229-235, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bergantiños, Gustavo & Massó, Jordi & Neme, Alejandro, 2015. "The division problem under constraints," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 56-77.
    2. Ehlers, Lars, 2002. "On Fixed-Path Rationing Methods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 472-477, October.
    3. Ergin, Haluk I., 2000. "Consistency in house allocation problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 77-97, August.
    4. Friedman, Eric J., 2002. "Strategic properties of heterogeneous serial cost sharing," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 145-154, November.
    5. Erlanson, Albin & Flores-Szwagrzak, Karol, 2015. "Strategy-proof assignment of multiple resources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 137-162.
    6. Stovall, John E., 2014. "Collective rationality and monotone path division rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 1-24.
    7. Bochet, Olivier & İlkılıç, Rahmi & Moulin, Hervé, 2013. "Egalitarianism under earmark constraints," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 535-562.
    8. Bochet, Olivier & Sakai, Toyotaka, 2010. "Secure implementation in allotment economies," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 35-49, January.
    9. Papai, Szilvia, 2007. "Exchange in a general market with indivisible goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 208-235, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General


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