On Stable and Efficient Mechanisms for Priority-Based Allocation Problems
24 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2017 Last revised: 19 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 6, 2020
For school choice (priority-based allocation) problems, when the priority structure is acyclic, the associated student-proposing deferred acceptance algorithm is Pareto efficient and group strategy-proof (Ergin, 2002). We reveal a hidden iterative removal structure behind such deferred acceptance algorithms. A nonempty set of students is called a top fair set (TFS) if when all students apply to their most preferred schools and all schools accept the best applicants up to their quotas, students in the set are always accepted, regardless of other students’ preferences. We provide an elimination process to find the maximal TFS, if any TFS exists. We show that for any priority structure, iterative removal of TFS is equivalent to the associated deferred acceptance algorithm if and only if the latter is a Pareto efficient mechanism.
Keywords: Deferred Acceptance Algorithm, Pareto Efficiency, School Choice, Stability, Strategy-proofness
JEL Classification: C78, D61, D78, I20
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