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Robustly Ranking Mechanisms

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  • Tilman Borgers
  • Doug Smith

Abstract

For a mechanism designer with an objective such as welfare we propose a method for robustly ranking mechanisms. The method is based on eliminating weakly dominated strategies only, and thus does not require any assumptions about agents' beliefs about each other except full support. We illustrate the usefulness of this method in two examples: bilateral trading and voting. In both examples we show that there are mechanisms that are ranked by our method above dominant strategy mechanisms. These examples question the literature's focus on dominant strategy mechanisms in cases when such mechanisms yield undesirable outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Tilman Borgers & Doug Smith, 2012. "Robustly Ranking Mechanisms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 325-329, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:325-29
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.3.325
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bergemann, Dirk & Morris, Stephen, 2011. "Robust implementation in general mechanisms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-281, March.
    2. Borgers Tilman, 1994. "Weak Dominance and Approximate Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 265-276, October.
    3. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2009. "Robust Implementation in Direct Mechanisms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1175-1204.
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    Cited by:

    1. Börgers, Tilman & Smith, Doug, 2014. "Robust mechanism design and dominant strategy voting rules," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), May.
    2. Neeman, Zvika & Pavlov, Gregory, 2013. "Ex post renegotiation-proof mechanism design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 473-501.
    3. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:613-631 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Penta, Antonio, 2015. "Robust dynamic implementation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 280-316.
    5. Čopič, Jernej & Ponsatí, Clara, 2016. "Optimal robust bilateral trade: Risk neutrality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 276-287.

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