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The communication cost of selfishness

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  • Fadel, Ronald
  • Segal, Ilya
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    Abstract

    We consider how many bits need to be exchanged to implement a given decision rule when the mechanism must be ex post or Bayesian incentive compatible. For ex post incentive compatibility, the communication protocol must reveal enough information to calculate monetary transfers to the agents to motivate them to be truthful (agents' payoffs are assumed to be quasilinear in such transfers). For Bayesian incentive compatibility, the protocol may need to hide some information from the agents to prevent deviations contingent on the information. In both settings with selfish agents, the communication cost can be higher than in the case in which the agents are honest and can be relied upon to report truthfully. The increase is the "communication cost of selfishness." We provide an exponential upper bound on the increase. We show that the bound is tight in the Bayesian setting, but we do not know this in the ex post setting. We describe some cases where the communication cost of selfishness proves to be very low.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

    Volume (Year): 144 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 1895-1920

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:144:y:2009:i:5:p:1895-1920

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

    Related research

    Keywords: Communication complexity Algorithmic mechanism design Bayesian incentive compatibility Ex post incentive compatibility Sequential and simultaneous communication protocols Information sets;

    References

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    1. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
    2. Melumad, Nahum & Mookherjee, Dilip & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1992. "A theory of responsibility centers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 445-484, December.
    3. Grigorieva,Elena & Herings,P. Jean-Jacques & Müller,Rudolf & Vermeulen,Dries, 2002. "The private value single item bisection auction," Research Memorandum 051, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    4. Segal, Ilya, 2007. "The communication requirements of social choice rules and supporting budget sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 341-378, September.
    5. Reichelstein, Stefan, 1984. "Incentive compatibility and informational requirements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 32-51, October.
    6. Sushil Bikhchandani & Shurojit Chatterji & Ron Lavi & Ahuva Mu'alem & Noam Nisan & Arunava Sen, 2006. "Weak Monotonicity Characterizes Deterministic Dominant-Strategy Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 1109-1132, 07.
    7. Nisan, Noam & Segal, Ilya, 2006. "The communication requirements of efficient allocations and supporting prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 192-224, July.
    8. Forges, Francoise, 1990. "Equilibria with Communication in a Job Market Example," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 375-98, May.
    9. Dilip Mookherjee, 2006. "Decentralization, Hierarchies, and Incentives: A Mechanism Design Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(2), pages 367-390, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Babaioff, Moshe & Blumrosen, Liad & Schapira, Michael, 2013. "The communication burden of payment determination," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 153-167.
    2. Grigorieva, Elena & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Müller, Rudolf & Vermeulen, Dries, 2011. "Inefficiency of equilibria in digital mechanisms with continuous valuations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 541-544.
    3. Blumrosen, Liad & Feldman, Michal, 2013. "Mechanism design with a restricted action space," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 424-443.
    4. Kos, Nenad, 2012. "Communication and efficiency in auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 233-249.

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