, Volume 72, Issue 4, pp 509-523
Date: 01 Jul 2011

A revealed preference analysis of solutions to simple allocation problems

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We interpret solution rules on a class of simple allocation problems as data on the choices of a policy maker. We analyze conditions under which the policy maker’s choices are (i) rational (ii) transitive-rational, and (iii) representable; that is, they coincide with maximization of a (i) binary relation, (ii) transitive binary relation, and (iii) numerical function on the allocation space. Our main results are as follows: (i) a well-known property, contraction independence (a.k.a. IIA) is equivalent to rationality; (ii) every contraction independent and other-c monotonic rule is transitive-rational; and (iii) every contraction independent and other-c monotonic rule, if additionally continuous, can be represented by a numerical function.