Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 31–57 | Cite as

Efficient lottery design

  • Onur KestenEmail author
  • Morimitsu Kurino
  • Alexander S. Nesterov
Original Paper


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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Onur Kesten
    • 1
    Email author
  • Morimitsu Kurino
    • 2
  • Alexander S. Nesterov
    • 3
  1. 1.Tepper School of BusinessCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering, Information and SystemsUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.WZBBerlinGermany

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