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A characterization of efficient, bayesian incentive compatible mechanisms


  • Steven R. Williams

    () (Department of Economics, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL 61820, USA)


A mechanism that is both efficient and incentive compatible in the Bayesian-Nash sense is shown to be payoff-equivalent to a Groves mechanism at the point in time when each agent has just acquired his private information. This equivalence result simplifies the question of whether or not an efficient, Bayesian incentive compatible mechanism can satisfy other desired objectives, for the search for an appropriate mechanism can be restricted to the family of Groves mechanisms. The method is used to extend the result of Myerson and Satterthwaite on the inefficiency of bilateral bargaining to a multilateral setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven R. Williams, 1999. "A characterization of efficient, bayesian incentive compatible mechanisms," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 14(1), pages 155-180.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:14:y:1999:i:1:p:155-180 Note: Received: June 30, 1997; revised version: May 22, 1998

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Viral Acharya & Jing-zhi Huang & Marti Subrahmanyam & Rangarajan Sundaram, 2006. "When does Strategic Debt-service Matter?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 29(2), pages 363-378, October.
    2. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Mella-Barral, Pierre & Perraudin, William, 1997. " Strategic Debt Service," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 531-556, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • 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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