Speaker:     Arkadii Slinko
Affiliation: The University of Ackland
Title:       Swensson’s theorem and its failed generalisations
Date:        Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014
Time:        5:00 pm
Location:    Room 412, Science Centre (303)

Swensson’s theorem is one of the many impossibility theorems in mathematical economics. These impossibility theorems give you an idea of what is possible and what is impossible to achieve. Imagine that you have to allocate state houses to families who need them and that those families have preferences on the set of houses. What should the allocation mechanism be? Swensson (1999) proved that if we impose just three simple desirable properties on the allocation mechanism we will be left only with a serial disctatorship under which a random queu (permutation) will be chosen and each family will be asked to choose their house when their term in the queue comes.

During Piotr Skowron’s visit in January we tried to generalise Swensson’s theorem to more general class of mechanisms called social assignment rules. We produced a bunch of counterexamples instead. In my talk I will prove Swensson’s theorem and present our counterexamples.