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Dynamic Mechanism Design: Incentive Compatibility, Profit Maximization and Information Disclosure

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Author Info

  • Alessandro Pavan
  • Ilya Segal
  • Juuso Toikka

Abstract

This paper examines the problem of how to design incentive-compatible mechanisms in environments in which the agents' private information evolves stochastically over time and in which decisions have to be made in each period. The environments we consider are fairly general in that the agents' types are allowed to evolve in a non-Markov way, decisions are allowed to affect the type distributions and payoffs are not restricted to be separable over time. Our first result is the characterization of a dynamic payoff formula that describes the evolution of the agents' equilibrium payoffs in an incentive-compatible mechanism. The formula summarizes all local first-order conditions taking into account how current information affects the dynamics of expected payoffs. The formula generalizes the familiar envelope condition from static mechanism design: the key difference is that a variation in the current types now impacts payoffs in all subsequent periods both directly and through the effect on the distributions of future types. First, we identify assumptions on the primitive environment that guarantee that our dynamic payoff formula is a necessary condition for incentive compatibility. Next, we specialize this formula to quasi-linear environments and show how it permits one to establish a dynamic "revenue-equivalence" result and to construct a formula for dynamic virtual surplus which is instrumental for the design of optimal mechanisms. We then turn to the characterization of sufficient conditions for incentive compatibility. Lastly, we show how our results can be put to work in a variety of applications that include the design of profit-maximizing dynamic auctions with AR(k) values and the provision of experience goods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 84.

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Length: 84 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:84

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Related research

Keywords: dynamic mechanisms; asymmetric information; stochastic processes; incentives;

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Cited by:
  1. Daniel F. Garrett & Alessandro Pavan, 2012. "Managerial Turnover in a Changing World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(5), pages 879 - 925.
  2. Stéphane Auray & Thomas Mariotti & Fabien Moizeau, 2011. "Dynamic regulation of quality," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(2), pages 246-265, 06.
  3. LiCalzi, Marco & Pavan, Alessandro, 2005. "Tilting the supply schedule to enhance competition in uniform-price auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 227-250, January.
  4. Daniel Garrett & Alessandro Pavan, 2009. "Dynamic Managerial Compensation: a Mechanism Design Approach," Discussion Papers 1491, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2006. "Socially Optimal Coordination: Characterization and Policy Implications," NBER Working Papers 12778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Said, Maher, 2008. "Auctions with Dynamic Populations: Efficiency and Revenue Maximization," MPRA Paper 11456, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Deb, Rahul, 2008. "Optimal Contracting Of New Experience Goods," MPRA Paper 9880, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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