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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Essays on fair, efficient, and incentive-compatible resource and cost allocation
by Athanassoglou, Stergios, Ph.D., Columbia University, 2008, 159; 3333482
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation develops and analyzes resource and cost allocation mechanisms, which, within certain modeling frameworks for an economy, produce outcomes that meet axiomatic criteria of efficiency and fairness. An equally important goal is to ensure that these procedures provide incentives for people to reveal private information, such as their preferences or valuations, truthfully. The main technical tools that we employ derive from game theory and discrete optimization, in particular mechanism design and network flows.

We investigate allocation mechanisms in four distinct economic environments. In Chapter 2 we study a generalization of the well-known Shapley-Scarf housing markets and develop an allocation mechanism that satisfies ordinal efficiency, individual rationality, and no justified envy. In addition, we show that in this more general model strategyproofness is incompatible with ordinal efficiency and individual rationality. In Chapter 3 we focus on minimum cost spanning tree games and provide an axiomatic characterization of Bird's rule in terms of efficiency, core-selection, tree invariance, and merge-proofness. In Chapter 4, we study partnership dissolution mechanisms under the novel assumption that agents act as maximum-regret minimizers. We analyze two intuitive classes of mechanisms and derive the regret-optimizing behavior that they induce. On a more general level, we display the limitations that ex-post efficiency and ex-post individual rationality impose on our mechanism design problem. In Chapter 5, we develop a dynamic framework for the repeated allocation of a scarce resource. We analyze priority-based mechanisms, which aim to mitigate allocation inequities that may build over time, and we describe the equilibrium behavior that they give rise to.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sethuraman, Jay
School: Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 69/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economic theory, Operations research
Keywords: Cost allocation, Game theory, Resource allocation
Publication Number: 3333482
ISBN: 978-0-549-85604-7
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