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"Fair Marriages:" An Impossibility

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  • Bettina-Elisabeth Klaus

    () (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)

Abstract

For the classical marriage model (introduced in Gale and Shapley, 1962) efficiency and envy-freeness are not always compatible, i.e., fair matchings do not always exist. However, for many allocation of indivisible goods models (see Velez, 2008, and references therein), fairness can be restored if a sufficiently large amount of money is available for distribution/compensation as well. Interpreting the agents as the objects to be allocated, one might try to restore fairness for marriage markets in a similar fashion. We prove that there are marriage markets where no amount of money can guarantee the existence of a fair allocation.

Suggested Citation

  • Bettina-Elisabeth Klaus, 2008. ""Fair Marriages:" An Impossibility," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-053, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-053
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Fair marriages are impossible
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-11-12 16:59:00

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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

    Keywords

    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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