This question was motivated by the comments to Dual of Zorn's Lemma?

Let's denote by the Dual Schroeder-Bernstein theorem (DSB) the statement

For any sets $A$ and $B$, if there are surjections from $A$ onto $B$ and from $B$ onto $A$, then there is a bijection between them.

In set theory without choice, assume that the Dual Schroeder-Bernstein theorem holds. Does it follow that choice must hold as well?

I strongly suspect this is open, though I would be glad to be proven wrong in this regard. In all models of ZF without choice that I have examined, DSB fails. This really does not say much, as there are plenty of models I have not looked at. In any case, I don't see how to even formlate an approach to show the consistency of DSB without AC.

The only reference I know for this is Bernhard Banaschewski, Gregory H. Moore, *The dual Cantor-Bernstein theorem and the partition principle*, Notre Dame J. Formal Logic **31 (3)**, (1990), 375–381. In this paper it is shown that a strengthening of DSB does imply AC, namely, that whenever there are surjections $f:A\to B$ and $g:B\to A$, then there is a bijection $h:A\to B$ contained in $f\cup g^{-1}$. (Note that the usual Schroeder-Bernstein theorem holds -without needing choice- in this fashion.)

The *partition principle* is the statement that whenever there is a surjection from $A$ onto $B$, then there is an injection from $B$ into $A$. As far as I know, it is open whether this implies choice, or whether DSB implies the partition principle. Clearly, the reverse implications hold.

If you are interested in natural examples of failures of DSB in some of the usual models, Benjamin Miller wrote a nice note on this, available at his page.

**Added Sep. 21. [Edited Aug. 14, 2012]** It may be worthwhile to point out what is known, beyond the Banaschewski-Moore result mentioned above.

Assume DSB, and suppose $x$ is equipotent with $x\sqcup x$. Then, if there is a surjection from $x$ onto a set $y$, we also have an injection from $y$ into $x$. (So we have a weak version of the partition principle.) This *idemmultiple hypothesis* that $x\sqcup x$ is equipotent to $x$, for all infinite sets $x$, is strictly weaker than choice, as shown in Gershon Sageev, *An independence result concerning the axiom of choice*, Ann. Math. Logic 8 (1975), 1–184, MR0366668 (51 #2915).

Also, as indicated in Arturo Magidin's answer (and the links in the comments), H. Rubin proved that DSB implies that any infinite set contains a countable subset.