Martin Osborne; Ariel Rubinstein

Published On


Page Range

pp. 105–120


  • English

Print Length

15 pages

A jungle

This chapter studies a society consisting of a set of individuals and a set of houses. Each house can accommodate only one person and each person can occupy only one house. Different people may have different preferences over the houses, but everyone prefers to occupy any house than to be homeless.

This chapter analyzes a model in which the assignment of houses is determined by the individuals’ strengths; the concepts of property and ownership do not exist. A person who wants to occupy a house currently occupied by a weaker person can do so simply by presenting herself to the current occupant. The process is orderly: everyone knows everyone else’s strength, and on seeing that a stronger person wants to occupy her house, a person vacates it without a fight, which she knows she would lose.


Martin J. Osborne

Professor Emeritus of Economics at University of Toronto

Ariel Rubinstein

Emeritus in School of Economics at Tel Aviv University
Professor of Economics at New York University