Centralized refugee matching mechanisms with hierarchical priority classes

DOI link to open access article: Centralized refugee matching mechanisms with hierarchical priority classes

Dilek Sayedahmed

Journal of Mechanism and Institution Design
Volume 7, issue 1, pages 71-111 (December 2022)
doi: 10.22574/jmid.2022.12.003


This study examines the refugee reallocation problem by modeling it as a two-sided matching problem between countries and refugees. Based on forced hierarchical priority classes, I study two interesting refugee matching algorithms to match refugees with countries. Axioms for fairness measures in resource allocation are presented by considering the stability and fairness properties of the matching algorithms. Two profiles are explicitly modeled---country preferences and forced prioritization of refugee families by host countries. This approach shows that the difference between the profiles creates blocking pairs of countries and refugee families owing to the forced hierarchical priority classes. Since the forced priorities for countries can cause certain refugees to linger in a lower priority class in every country, this study highlights the importance of considering refugees' preferences. It also suggests that a hierarchical priority class-based approach without category-specific quotas can increase countries' willingness to solve the refugee reallocation problem.

Keywords: Stability, deferred acceptance algorithm, refugee studies.

JEL Classification Numbers: D47, C78, D78, I30.