Equity in Dynamic Matching: Extreme Waitlist Policies

22 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2022

See all articles by Afshin Nikzad

Afshin Nikzad

University of Southern California, Department of Economics

Philipp Strack

Yale, Department of Economics

Date Written: January 10, 2022

Abstract

Waitlists are commonly used to allocate scarce resources such as organs. Waitlist policies attempt to ensure fairness toward agents who wait longer by assigning them priority points (`a la first-come first-served). We show that such point systems can lead to severe inequality across the agents’ assignment probabilities, unless they use randomization. In our large-market model, we prove that deterministic point systems lead to a more unequal allocation than any other rule that respects earlier arrivals, an axiom that institutes fairness toward agents with longer waits. Among the policies abiding by this axiom, we show that service in random order leads to the most equal allocation.

Suggested Citation

Nikzad, Afshin and Strack, Philipp, Equity in Dynamic Matching: Extreme Waitlist Policies (January 10, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4007681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4007681

Afshin Nikzad (Contact Author)

University of Southern California, Department of Economics ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90066
United States

HOME PAGE: http://afshin-nikzad.com

Philipp Strack

Yale, Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

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