The V AMMCS International Conference

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | August 18-23, 2019

AMMCS 2019 Plenary Talk

Claims Problems, a Progress Report

William Thomson (University of Rochester)

When a firm goes bankrupt, how should its liquidation value be divided among its creditors? More generally, when a group of people have claims on a resource but there isn't enough of it to fully honor all of these claims, what should be done? The literature on the ``adjudication of conflicting claims, which builds upon fascinating examples from antiquity and medieval times, has experienced a considerable development in the last few years. I will provide a short introduction to it and give a progress report on the recent research on the subject. The approach I will follow is mainly axiomatic. It starts with the formulation of elementary properties of allocation rules and seeks to understand the implications of these properties, when imposed in various combinations.
William Thomson is the Elmer B. Milliman professor of Economics at the University of Rochester. He has also taught at the University of Min- nesota, Harvard University, the University of Caen, and the Paris School of Economics. He is the author of over one hundred articles and several books including, Axiomatic Theory of Bargaining with a Variable Number of Agents (Cambridge University Press, 1989), co-authored with T. Lensberg, A guide for the Young Economist (M.I.T. Press, 2001; 2nd edition, 2011; translated into four languages), How to Divide when There isn’t enough: from Aristo- tle, the Talmud, and Maimonides to the Axiomatics of Resource Allocation (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Consistent Allocation Rules (Cambridge University Press, 2019). He has been the Ph.D advisor of over 50 students. He has served on the board of editors of numerous journals, and was editor- in-chief of the International Journal of Game Theory. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Fellow of the Society for Economic Theory, and a Fel- low of the Game Theory Society. He was President of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare in 2004-2006. His research deals with cooperative game theory, in particular bargaining theory, and the normative and strategic anal- ysis of resource allocation problems, with a focus on fairness and incentive compatibility.