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Regular version of the site

Article

Efficient Lottery Design

Social Choice and Welfare. 2017. Vol. 48. No. 1. P. 31-57.
Kesten O., Kurino M., Nesterov A. S.

There has been a surge of interest in stochastic assignment mechanisms that have proven to be theoretically compelling thanks to their prominent welfare properties. Contrary to stochastic mechanisms, however, lottery mechanisms are commonly used in real life for indivisible goods allocation. To help facilitate the design of practical lottery mechanisms, we provide new tools for obtaining stochastic improvements in lotteries. As applications, we propose lottery mechanisms that improve upon the widely used random serial dictatorship mechanism and a lottery representation of its competitor, the probabilistic serial mechanism. The tools we provide here can be useful in developing welfare-enhanced new lottery mechanisms for practical applications such as school choice.