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Markovian assignment rules

  • Francis Bloch

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)

  • David Cantala

    (El Colegio de Mexico - El Colegio de México)

We analyze dynamic assignment problems where agents successively receive different objects (positions, offices, etc.). A finite set of n vertically differentiated indivisible objects are assigned to n agents who live n periods. At each period, a new agent enters society, and the oldest agent retires, leaving his object to be reassigned. We define independent assignment rules (where the assignment of an object to an agent is independent of the way other objects are allocated to other agents), efficient assignment rules (where there does not exist another assignment rule with larger expected surplus), and fair assignment rules (where agents experiencing the same circumstances have identical histories in the long run). When agents are homogenous, we characterize efficient, independent and fair rules as generalizations of the seniority rule. When agents draw their types at random, we prove that independence and efficiency are incompatible, and that efficient and fair rules only exist when there are two types of agents. We characterize two simple rules (type-rank and type-seniority) which satisfy both efficiency and fairness criteria in dichotomous settings.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00356304.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00356304
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  2. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2008. "The Dynamic Pivot Mechanism," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1672R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Dec 2009.
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  12. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu, 2009. "Dynamic Revenue Maximization with Heterogeneous Objects: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 168-98, August.
  13. Sönmez, Tayfun & Ünver, M. Utku, 2010. "House allocation with existing tenants: A characterization," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 425-445, July.
  14. William Thomson, 2007. "Fair Allocation Rules," RCER Working Papers 539, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  16. Cantala, David, 2004. "Restabilizing matching markets at senior level," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-17, July.
  17. David Cantala & Francisco Sánchez, 2008. "Welfare and stability in senior matching markets," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 369-392, March.
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