Stochastically arriving objects (e.g. transplant organs, public housing units) often are allocated via waiting lists exhibiting deferral rights: agents may decline offers, keeping their position in line. We consider the welfare implications of bestowing or constraining such rights, concluding that their desirability depends—in opposite ways—on agents' risk-aversion and impatience. Under risk-aversion, uninfluenced deferral rights typically enhance welfare. Under discounting some restrictions on deferral rights can benefit all agents joining the list. In a stylized “organ spoilage” model our results demonstrate that policy evaluations should not be based solely on throughput metrics (e.g. organ utilization rates) that ignore such preference characteristics.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Economic Theory|
|State||Published - Jul 2021|
- Dynamic assignment
- Waiting lists
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics