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Title page for ETD etd-05312017-074836

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Van der Linden, Martin Jean Christian
Author's Email Address martin.van.der.linden@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-05312017-074836
Title Mr
Degree PhD
Department Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
John A. Weymark Committee Chair
Eun Jeong Heo Committee Member
Myrna Wooders Committee Member
Paul H. Edelman Committee Member
  • Matching
  • Jury Selection
  • Strategic Simplicity
Date of Defense 2017-04-23
Availability unrestricted
In Chapter 1, I provide new impossibility results for the problem of selecting

a committee of a fixed number of members out of a set of candidates in the presence of veto power. I show that even limited veto power makes many committee

selection mechanisms of interest manipulable. This applies in particular (i) to

mechanisms the range of which contains a degenerate lottery in which a committee is chosen for sure and (ii) to mechanisms that are constructed from extensive

game forms with a finite number of strategies. These impossibilities hold on a

large set of domains including the domain of additive preferences and even when

probabilistic mechanisms are allowed.

In Chapter 2, I introduce the dominance threshold, a new measure of strategic

complexity based on “level-k” thinking. I use this measure to compare mechanisms used in practice to select juries in jury trials. In applying this measure,

I overturn some commonly held beliefs about which jury selection mechanisms

are strategically simple. In particular, I show that sequential mechanisms tend to

be strategically simpler than mechanisms that involve simultaneous moves: By

generating imperfect information games, simultaneous mechanisms increase the

amount of guesswork needed to determine optimal strategies.

In Chapter 3, I show that, in the context of one-to-one two-sided matching, the

deferred acceptance mechanism cannot be improved upon in terms of manipulability in the sense of Pathak and S¨onmez (2013) or Arribillaga and Mass´o (2015)

without compromising stability. I also identify conflicts between manipulability

and fairness. Stable mechanisms that minimize the set of individuals who match

with their least preferred achievable mate are shown to be maximally manipulable

among the stable mechanisms. These mechanisms are also more manipulable than

the deferred acceptance mechanism. I identify a similar conflict between fairness

and manipulability in the case of the median stable mechanisms.

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