Two axiomatic approaches to the probabilistic serial mechanism

Tadashi Hashimoto, Daisuke Hirata, Onur Kesten, Morimitsu Kurino, M. Utku Ünver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the problem of assigning a set of indivisible objects to a set of agents when monetary transfers are not allowed and agents reveal only ordinal preferences, but random assignments are possible. We offer two characterizations of the probabilistic serial mechanism, which assigns lotteries over objects. We show that it is the only mechanism that satisfies non-wastefulness and ordinal fairness, and the only mechanism that satisfies sd-efficiency, sd-envy-freeness, and weak invariance or weak truncation robustness (where "sd" stands for first-order stochastic dominance).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-277
Number of pages25
JournalTheoretical Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Ordinal fairness
  • Probabilistic serial
  • Random assignment
  • Sd-efficiency
  • Sd-envy-freeness
  • Weak invariance
  • Weak truncation robustness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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