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Optimal search, learning and implementation

  • Gershkov, Alex
  • Moldovanu, Benny

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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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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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 2001. "Efficient Design with Interdependent Valuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1237-59, September.
  4. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  5. S. Bikhchandani & S. Sharma, 1990. "Optimal Search with Learning," UCLA Economics Working Papers 580, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Välimäki, 2007. "Dynamic Marginal Contribution Mechanism," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000300, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2000. "Efficient Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 341-388, May.
  9. S. Christian Albright, 1977. "A Bayesian Approach to a Generalized House Selling Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(4), pages 432-440, December.
  10. Kohn, Meir G. & Shavell, Steven, 1974. "The theory of search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 93-123, October.
  11. Cyrus Derman & Gerald J. Lieberman & Sheldon M. Ross, 1972. "A Sequential Stochastic Assignment Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(7), pages 349-355, March.
  12. Rosenfield, Donald B. & Shapiro, Roy D., 1981. "Optimal adaptive price search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-20, August.
  13. 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..
  14. Ilya Segal, 2003. "Optimal Pricing Mechanisms with Unknown Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 509-529, June.
  15. 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.
  16. 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..
  17. Ruqu Wang & Yongmin Chen, 1999. "Learning buyers' valuation distribution in posted-price selling," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 417-428.
  18. 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.
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