Efficiency and Fairness in Random Resource Allocation and Social Choice

Date: May 26, 2022
Time: 4:00 pm
Room: DBH 4011
Speaker: Federico Echenique 

We study efficiency in general collective choice problems when agents have ordinal preferences, and randomization is allowed. We establish the equivalence between welfare maximization and ex-ante efficiency for general domains, and relate ex-ante efficiency with ex-post efficiency, characterizing when the two notions coincide. We also propose a new general notion of fairness that is applicable in any social choice environment, not only in resource allocation. Our results have implications for well-studied mechanisms including random serial dictatorship and a number of specific environments, including the dichotomous, single-peaked, and social choice domains.

Authors: Federico Echenique, Joseph Root and Fedor Sandomirskiy


Federico Echenique’s research focuses on understanding economic models of agents and markets. He is interested in determining the testable implications of models and the relationship between different theoretical models and the data possibly used to testing them. He is also studying fairness and efficiency in discrete allocation problems, such as two-sided matching markets and one-sided object allocation. Echenique is active in research at the intersection of economics and computer science.

Echenique is Licenciado en Economía from the Universidad de la República in Uruguay and holds a PhD in economics from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining the Caltech faculty, he was an assistant professor at the Universidad de la República from 2000 to 2002 and an assistant professor at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires from 2001 to 2002. He served on the editorial boards for the American Economic ReviewEconometricaThe Economic JournalEconomic Theory, and the Journal of Economic Theory, and he is currently a co-editor of Theoretical Economics. Echenique is also a fellow of the Econometric Society.

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