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Towards a Fair Distribution Mechanism for Asylum

Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK
Games 2017, 8(4), 41;
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics, Morality, and Game Theory)
It has been suggested that the distribution of refugees over host countries can be made more fair or efficient if policy makers take into account not only numbers of refugees to be distributed but also the goodness of the matches between refugees and their possible host countries. There are different ways to design distribution mechanisms that incorporate this practice, which opens up a space for normative considerations. In particular, if the mechanism takes countries’ or refugees’ preferences into account, there may be trade-offs between satisfying their preferences and the number of refugees distributed. This article argues that, in such cases, it is not a reasonable policy to satisfy preferences. Moreover, conditions are given which, if satisfied, prevent the trade-off from occurring. Finally, it is argued that countries should not express preferences over refugees, but rather that priorities for refugees should be imposed, and that fairness beats efficiency in the context of distributing asylum. The framework of matching theory is used to make the arguments precise, but the results are general and relevant for other distribution mechanisms such as the relocations currently in effect in the European Union. View Full-Text
Keywords: refugees; distribution mechanism; asylum policy; relocation; market design; matching theory refugees; distribution mechanism; asylum policy; relocation; market design; matching theory
MDPI and ACS Style

Van Basshuysen, P. Towards a Fair Distribution Mechanism for Asylum. Games 2017, 8, 41.

AMA Style

Van Basshuysen P. Towards a Fair Distribution Mechanism for Asylum. Games. 2017; 8(4):41.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Van Basshuysen, Philippe. 2017. "Towards a Fair Distribution Mechanism for Asylum" Games 8, no. 4: 41.

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