Popular Support for Balancing Equity and Efficiency in Resource Allocation: A Case Study in Online Advertising to Increase Welfare Program Awareness

by   Allison Koenecke, et al.

Algorithmically optimizing the provision of limited resources is commonplace across domains from healthcare to lending. Optimization can lead to efficient resource allocation, but, if deployed without additional scrutiny, can also exacerbate inequality. Little is known about popular preferences regarding acceptable efficiency-equity trade-offs, making it difficult to design algorithms that are responsive to community needs and desires. Here we examine this trade-off and concomitant preferences in the context of GetCalFresh, an online service that streamlines the application process for California's Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). GetCalFresh runs online advertisements to raise awareness of their multilingual SNAP application service. We first demonstrate that when ads are optimized to garner the most enrollments per dollar, a disproportionately small number of Spanish speakers enroll due to relatively higher costs of non-English language advertising. Embedding these results in a survey (N = 1,532) of a diverse set of Americans, we find broad popular support for valuing equity in addition to efficiency: respondents generally preferred reducing total enrollments to facilitate increased enrollment of Spanish speakers. These results buttress recent calls to reevaluate the efficiency-centric paradigm popular in algorithmic resource allocation.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


Automatic Resource Allocation in Business Processes: A Systematic Literature Survey

For delivering products or services to their clients, organizations exec...

Optimal Resource Allocation for Serverless Queries

Optimizing resource allocation for analytical workloads is vital for red...

Deep Learning based Wireless Resource Allocation with Application to Vehicular Networks

It has been a long-held belief that judicious resource allocation is cri...

Efficiency in Random Resource Allocation and Social Choice

We study efficiency in general collective choice problems when agents ha...

Welfare Measure for Resource Allocation with Algorithmic Implementation: Beyond Average and Max-Min

In this work, we propose an axiomatic approach for measuring the perform...

Balancing Fairness and Efficiency in an Optimization Model

Optimization models generally aim for efficiency by maximizing total ben...

Regularized Online Allocation Problems: Fairness and Beyond

Online allocation problems with resource constraints have a rich history...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset