On the Shapley-Scarf Economy: The Case of Multiple Types of Indivisible Goods
We study a generalization of Shapley-Scarf's (1974) economy in which multiple types of indivisible goods are traded. We show that many of the distinctive results from the Shapley-Scarf economy do not carry over to this model, even if agents' preferences are strict and can be represented by additively separable utility functions. The core may be empty. The strict core, if nonempty, may be multi-valued, and might not coincide with the set of competitive allocations. Furthermore, there is no Pareto efficient, individually rational, and strategy-proof social choice rule. We also show that the core may be empty in the class of economies with a single type of indivisible good and agents consuming multiple units, even if no complementarity exists among the goods.
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