Smith and Rawls Share a Room


We consider one-to-one matching (roommate) problems in which agents (students) can either be matched as pairs or remain single. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we review a key result for roommate problems (the "lonely wolf" theorem) for which we provide a concise and elementary proof. Second, and related to the title of this paper, we show how the often incompatible concepts of stability (represented by the political economist Adam Smith) and fairness (represented by the political philosopher John Rawls) can be reconciled for roommate problems.
Published as: Smith and Rawls Share a Room: Stability and Medians in Social Choice and Welfare , Vol. 35, No. 4, 647--667, January, 2010