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"Fair Marriages:" An Impossibility

  • Bettina-Elisabeth Klaus

    ()

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

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.

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Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 09-053.

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Length: 5 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-053
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  1. Alkan, Ahmet & Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David, 1991. "Fair Allocation of Indivisible Goods and Criteria of Justice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1023-39, July.
  2. Varian, Hal R., 1974. "Equity, envy, and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, September.
  3. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1983. "Large Indivisibles: An Analysis with Respect to Price Equilibrium and Fairness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 939-54, July.
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