Main Article Content
In the assignment problem, the goal is to assign indivisible items to agents who have ordinal preferences, efficiently and fairly, in a strategyproof manner. In practice, first-choice maximality, i.e., assigning a maximal number of agents their top items, is often identified as an important efficiency criterion and measure of agents' satisfaction. In this paper, we propose a natural and intuitive efficiency property, favoring-eagerness-for-remaining-items (FERI), which requires that each item is allocated to an agent who ranks it highest among remaining items, thereby implying first-choice maximality. Using FERI as a heuristic, we design mechanisms that satisfy ex-post or ex-ante variants of FERI together with combinations of other desirable properties of efficiency (Pareto-efficiency), fairness (strong equal treatment of equals and sd-weak-envy-freeness), and strategyproofness (sd-weak-strategyproofness). We also explore the limits of FERI mechanisms in providing stronger efficiency, fairness, or strategyproofness guarantees through impossibility results.