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Multidimensional mechanism design: Revenue maximization and the multiple-good monopoly

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  • Manelli, Alejandro M.
  • Vincent, Daniel R.

Abstract

The seller of N distinct objects is uncertain about the buyer’s valuation for those objects. The seller’s problem, to maximize expected revenue, consists of maximizing a linear functional over a convex set of mechanisms. A solution to the seller’s problem can always be found in an extreme point of the feasible set. We identify the relevant extreme points and faces of the feasible set. With N = 1, the extreme points are easily described providing simple proofs of well-known results. The revenue-maximizing mechanism assigns the object with probability one or zero depending on the buyer’s report. With N > 1, extreme points often involve randomization in the assignment of goods. Virtually any extreme point of the feasible set maximizes revenue for a well-behaved distribution of buyer’s valuations. We provide a simple algebraic procedure to determine whether a mechanism is an extreme point.
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Suggested Citation

  • Manelli, Alejandro M. & Vincent, Daniel R., 2007. "Multidimensional mechanism design: Revenue maximization and the multiple-good monopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 153-185, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:137:y:2007:i:1:p:153-185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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