A mechanism design approach to allocating central government funds among regional development agencies
To allocate central government funds among regional development agencies we look for mechanisms that satisfy three important criteria: efficiency (individual and coalitional) strategy proofness (a.k.a. dominant strategy incentive compatibility) and fairness. We show that only a uniform mechanism satisfies all three. We also show that all efficient and strategy proof mechanisms must function by assigning budget sets to the agencies and letting them freely choose their optimal bundle. In choosing these budget sets the agencies' private information has to be taken into account in a particular way. The only way to additionally satisfy a weak fairness requirement (regions with identical preferences should be treated equally) is to assign all agencies the same budget set as does the uniform mechanism. Finally and maybe more importantly we show that the central government should not impose constraints on how much to fund an activity (e.g. by reserving some funds only for a particular activity): otherwise there are no efficient strategy proof and fair mechanisms no matter how small these constraints are.
SourceReview of Economic Design
KeywordsRegional development agencies