Individually Rational Strategy-Proof Social Choice with Exogenous Indifference Sets
We consider a social choice problem where individual rationality is required. The status quo belongs to the outcome space, and the selected alternative must be weakly better than the status quo for everybody. If the mechanism designer has no knowledge of the alternatives, we obtain a negative result: any individually rational (IR) and strategy-proof (SP) mechanism can choose at most one alternative (besides the status quo), regardless of the preferences. To overcome this negative result, we consider a domain where the alternatives have a known structure, i.e., an agent is indifferent between the status quo and a subset of the outcomes. This set is exogenously given and public information. This assumption is natural if the social choice involves the participation of agents. For example, consider a group of people organizing a trip where participation is voluntary. We can assume each agent is indifferent between the trip plans in which she does not participate and the status quo (i.e., no trip). In this setting, we obtain more positive results: we develop a class of mechanisms called Approve and Choose mechanisms, which are IR and SP, and can choose multiple alternatives as well as the status quo.
This work was partially supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 24220003 and 15H02751, and JSPS Program for Advancing Strategic International Networks to Accelerate the Circulation of Talented Researchers.
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