Strategy-proofness in private good economies with linear preferences: An impossibility result

Wonki Jo Cho, William Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider the problem of allocating a social endowment of private goods among a group of n agents with linear preferences. We search for rules that satisfy three standard requirements. First is (Pareto-)efficiency. Second is the fairness requirement of “equal treatment of equals” (in welfare terms). Third is the incentive requirement of “strategy-proofness”: no agent should ever benefit from misrepresenting their preferences. We show that no such rule exists. A variety of domains have been explored and similar negative results have been proved but one would have hoped that the domain of linear preferences is sufficiently narrow to allow for some positive results. Our result dashes such hopes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1012-1017
Number of pages6
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Efficiency
  • Equal treatment of equals
  • Impossibility
  • Linear preferences
  • Strategy-proofness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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