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Obvious manipulations

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  • Troyan, Peter
  • Morrill, Thayer

Abstract

A mechanism is strategy-proof if agents can never profitably manipulate it, in any state of the world; however, not all non-strategy-proof mechanisms are equally easy to manipulate - some are more “obviously” manipulable than others. We propose a formal definition of an obvious manipulation in which agents compare worst cases to worst cases and best cases to best cases. We show that a profitable manipulation is obvious if and only if it can be identified as profitable by a cognitively limited agent who is unable to engage in contingent reasoning, as in Li (2017). Finally, we show that this system of categorization is both tractable and intuitively appealing by classifying common non-strategy-proof mechanisms as either obviously manipulable (OM) or not obviously manipulable (NOM).

Suggested Citation

  • Troyan, Peter & Morrill, Thayer, 2020. "Obvious manipulations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 185(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:185:y:2020:i:c:s002205311830629x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2019.104970
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Troyan, Peter & Delacrétaz, David & Kloosterman, Andrew, 2020. "Essentially stable matchings," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 370-390.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Obvious strategy-proofness; Incentives; Manipulability; Mechanism design;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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