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Optimal Search, Learning and Implementation

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  • Alex Gershkov
  • Benny Moldovanu

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 agents' 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 [19], of finding optimal stopping policies for search that are characterized by a reservation price property .

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp543.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp543

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  1. 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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  3. Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 1998. "Efficient Design with Interdependent Valuations," Discussion Papers 1244, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. 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.
  5. P. Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1998. "Efficient Auctions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1857, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  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. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Välimäki, 2007. "Dynamic Marginal Contribution Mechanism," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000300, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  11. Ilya Segal, 2003. "Optimal Pricing Mechanisms with Unknown Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 509-529, June.
  12. Kittsteiner, Thomas & Moldovanu, Benny, 2004. "Priority Auctions and Queue Disciplines that Depend on Processing Time," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 5, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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  16. 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.
  17. Ruqu Wang & Yongmin Chen, 1999. "Learning buyers' valuation distribution in posted-price selling," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 417-428.
  18. S. Christian Albright, 1977. "A Bayesian Approach to a Generalized House Selling Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(4), pages 432-440, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Gershkov, Alex & Moldovanu, Benny, 2013. "Non-Bayesian optimal search and dynamic implementation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 121-125.
  2. 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.

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