How to allocate rooms in a rented space in the fairest fashion?
July 26, 2005 10:18 AM Subscribe
A house with 7 rooms of varying quality is being split between 7 college students. The rent is a fixed amount. The students place differeng importance on the value of their money vs. the size of the rooms they will get. What is the best method of allocating the rooms so that everyone is optimally happy?
posted by shivohum to Human Relations (38 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Disclaimer: I'm a complete novice at economics, but thought it would be interesting to see how it might be applied to solve a day-to-day problem, which is, I might add, real.
Not everyone agrees on which rooms have the highest quality.
I realize that optimal utility can be measured several different ways -- is there a method that would optimize for the most salient possibilities, i.e.:
-sum of the utilities
-maximizing the minimum utility
-maximizing the median utility
When I say method I mean an actual way these rooms could be allocated. For example, one such possibility is a room auction where rooms are auctioned off one by one and the total rent remaining to be divided lessened by the winning amount each time. But then in which order should the rooms be auctioned, given that not everyone agrees about which rooms are the best rooms to have?
Or perhaps first, second, third, etc. choices of rooms should be auctioned off? What might be the problems with that system?
Any help would be appreciated. This is a real problem, by the way, not just an academic exercise!