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Ambiguous beliefs and mechanism design

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  • Bodoh-Creed, Aaron L.
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    Abstract

    This paper develops a payoff equivalence theorem for mechanisms with ambiguity averse participants with preferences of the Maxmin Expected Utility (MEU) form (Gilboa and Schmeidler, 1989). We use our payoff equivalence result to explicitly characterize the revenue maximizing private value auction mechanism for agents with arbitrary forms of ambiguous beliefs. We also show that the revenue ranking between first and second price auctions is sensitive to the form of ambiguity aversion. Our payoff equivalence techniques allow us to study the constrained efficient, budget balanced bilateral trade mechanism and show that increased ambiguity improves the efficiency of the mechanism. In addition, we characterize the revenue maximizing, efficient bilateral trade mechanism and show that heightened ambiguity lowers ex ante budget deficits.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

    Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 518-537

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:75:y:2012:i:2:p:518-537

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

    Related research

    Keywords: Ambiguity aversion; Mechanism design; Auction theory;

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    References

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    1. John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979. "Optimal Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 152, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Kin Chung Lo, 1998. "Sealed bid auctions with uncertainty averse bidders," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-20.
    3. Salo, Ahti A & Weber, Martin, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion in First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 123-37, September.
    4. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
    5. Bose, Subir & Ozdenoren, Emre & Pape, Andreas, 2006. "Optimal auctions with ambiguity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 411-438, December.
    6. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    7. Itzhak Gilboa & Massimo Marinacci, 2011. "Ambiguity and the Bayesian Paradigm," Working Papers 379, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    8. Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981. "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Discussion Papers 469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    9. Truman F. Bewley, 1986. "Knightian Decision Theory: Part 1," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 807, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    10. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    11. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
    12. Levin, Dan & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2004. "Auctions with uncertain numbers of bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 229-251, October.
    13. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Subir Bose & Suresh Mutuswami, 2012. "Bilateral Bargaining in an Ambiguous Environment," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/10, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    2. Björn Bartling & Nick Netzer, 2014. "An externality-robust auction: theory and experimental evidence," ECON - Working Papers 153, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Lang, Matthias & Wambach, Achim, 2013. "The fog of fraud – Mitigating fraud by strategic ambiguity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 255-275.
    4. Bettina Klose & Paul Schweinzer, 2012. "Auctioning risk: The all-pay auction under mean-variance preferences," ECON - Working Papers 097, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2014.
    5. Björn Bartling & Nick Netzer, 2014. "An Externality-Robust Auction: Theory and Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 4771, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Bettina Klose & Paul Schweinzer, 2012. "Auctioning risk: The all-pay auction under mean-variance preferences," Discussion Papers 12/32, Department of Economics, University of York.

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