A Solomonic Solution to Ownership Disputes: Theory and Applications

16 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2022

See all articles by Joshua S. Gans

Joshua S. Gans

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; NBER

Richard Holden

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Date Written: November 24, 2022

Abstract

This paper examines mechanisms that can resolve ownership disputes where the agents involve know who the legitimate owner is but others do not. The mechanism proposed is called ``Solomonic" because it resolves the biblical dispute facing King Solomon over the true mother of a baby. The mechanism involves two stages of messages (claims) and yields truthful revelation using only ordinal restrictions on preferences. Due to its simplicity, we show how the mechanism can be applied to the problems of Twitter impersonation, domain name disputes, blockchain front-running and blockchain forks.

Keywords: subgame perfect implementation, front-running, mechanism design, ownership, dispute resolution

JEL Classification: D02, K11

Suggested Citation

Gans, Joshua S. and Holden, Richard, A Solomonic Solution to Ownership Disputes: Theory and Applications (November 24, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4285733 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4285733

Joshua S. Gans (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.joshuagans.com

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Richard Holden

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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