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Optimal search, learning and implementation

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  • Gershkov, Alex
  • Moldovanu, Benny

Abstract

We characterize the incentive compatible, constrained efficient policy (“second-best”) in a dynamic matching environment, where impatient, privately informed agents arrive over time, and where the designer gradually learns about the distribution of agentsʼ values. We also derive conditions on the learning process ensuring that the complete-information, dynamically efficient allocation of resources (“first-best”) is incentive compatible. Our analysis reveals and exploits close, formal relations between the problem of ensuring implementable allocation rules in our dynamic allocation problems with incomplete information and learning, and between the classical problem, posed by Rothschild (1974) [20], of finding optimal stopping policies for search that are characterized by a reservation price property.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 147 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 881-909

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:3:p:881-909

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

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Keywords: Dynamic mechanism design; Learning; Optimal stopping;

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References

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  1. S. Christian Albright, 1977. "A Bayesian Approach to a Generalized House Selling Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(4), pages 432-440, December.
  2. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Sharma, Sunil, 1996. "Optimal search with learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-3), pages 333-359.
  3. Thomas Kittsteiner & Benny Moldovanu, 2005. "Priority Auctions and Queue Disciplines That Depend on Processing Time," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(2), pages 236-248, February.
  4. Kohn, Meir G. & Shavell, Steven, 1974. "The theory of search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 93-123, October.
  5. Cyrus Derman & Gerald J. Lieberman & Sheldon M. Ross, 1972. "A Sequential Stochastic Assignment Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(7), pages 349-355, March.
  6. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu, 2009. "Learning about the Future and Dynamic Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1576-87, September.
  7. Jehiel, Phillipe & Moldovanu, Benny, 1999. "Efficient Design with Interdependent Valuations," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-74, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  8. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
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  10. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2007. "Dynamic Marginal Contribution Mechanism," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1616, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Riley, John & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-89, May.
  12. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 689-711, July/Aug..
  13. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2000. "Efficient Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 341-388, May.
  14. repec:wop:humbsf:2000-72 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Ruqu Wang & Yongmin Chen, 1999. "Learning buyers' valuation distribution in posted-price selling," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 417-428.
  16. Michael Rothschild, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown: A Summary," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 1, pages 293-294 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Morgan, Peter B, 1985. "Distributions of the Duration and Value of Job Search with Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1199-1232, September.
  18. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  19. Ilya Segal, 2003. "Optimal Pricing Mechanisms with Unknown Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 509-529, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Maarten Janssen & Paul Pichler & Simon Weidenholzer, 2009. "Sequential Search with Incompletely Informed Consumers: Theory and Evidence from Retail Gasoline Markets," Vienna Economics Papers 0914, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  2. Gershkov, Alex & Moldovanu, Benny, 2013. "Non-Bayesian optimal search and dynamic implementation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 121-125.

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