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Barcelona GSE Working Paper No. 598

Title: Two Necessary Conditions for Strategy-Proofness: on What Domains are they also Sufficient?
Authors: Salvador Barberà, Dolors Berga, Bernardo Moreno
Date: 14-12-2011
Keywords: strategy-proofness, reshuffling invariance, monotonicity, intertwined domains
JEL Codes: D71
A social choice function may or may not satisfy a desirable property depending on its domain of definition. For the same reason, different conditions may be equivalent for functions defined on some domains, while different in other cases. Understanding the role of domains is therefore a crucial issue in mechanism design. We illustrate this point by analyzing the role of different conditions that are always related, but not always equivalent to strategy-proofness. We define two very natural conditions that are necessary for strategy-proofness: monotonicity and reshuffling invariance. We remark that they are not always sufficient. Then, we identify a domain condition, called intertwinedness, that ensures the equivalence between our two conditions and that of strategy-proofness. We prove that some important domains are intertwined: those of single-peaked preferences, both with public and private goods, and also those arising in simple models of house allocation. We prove that other necessary conditions for strategy-proofness also become equivalent to ours when applied to functions defined on intertwined domains, even if they are not equivalent in general. We also study the relationship between our domain restrictions and others that appear in the literature, proving that we are indeed introducing a novel proposal.
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