Equity in Dynamic Matching: Extreme Waitlist Policies
22 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2022
Date Written: January 10, 2022
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.
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