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House allocation with fractional endowments

Athanassoglou, Stergios and Sethuraman, Jay (2010): House allocation with fractional endowments. Forthcoming in: International Journal of Game Theory

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This paper studies a generalization of the well known house allocation problem in which agents may own fractions of different houses summing to an arbitrary quantity, but have use for only the equivalent of one unit of a house. It departs from the classical model by assuming that arbitrary quantities of each house may be available to the market. Justified envy considerations arise when two agents have the same initial endowment, or when an agent is in some sense disproportionately rewarded in comparison to her peers. For this general model, an algorithm is designed to find a fractional allocation of houses to agents that satisfies ordinal efficiency, individual rationality, and no justified envy. The analysis extend to the full preference domain. Individual rationality, ordinal efficiency, and no justified envy conflict with weak strategyproofness. Moreover, individual rationality, ordinal efficiency and strategyproofness are shown to be incompatible. Finally, two reasonable notions of envy-freeness, no justified envy and equal-endowment no envy, conflict in the presence of ordinal efficiency and individual rationality. All of the impossibility results hold in the strict preference domain.

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