The Acceptability of Lotteries in Allocation Problems: a Choice-Based Approach


We report the results of two experiments on the social acceptability of random devices in allocation mechanisms. A majority of subjects do not opt for a lottery if they can rationalize an alternative mechanism as non-random. It is, however, possible to design a payoff-equivalent mechanism to the lottery that is more acceptable. Our results shed light on the real-world reliance on obscure criteria in allocation problems where lotteries seem to be simpler and more efficient.

Lancaster University Management School – Economic Working Paper Series
Elias Bouacida
Elias Bouacida
M.J. Dormer Postdoctoral Fellow

My research interest include decision theory, behavioral and experimental economics.