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Deterministic versus Stochastic Mechanisms in Principal--Agent Models

  • Roland Strausz

    ()

    (Free University of Berlin, Department of Economics)

This paper shows that, contrary to what is generally believed, decreasing concavity of the agent's utility function with respect to the screening variable is not sufficient to ensure that stochastic mechanisms are suboptimal. The paper demonstrates, however, that they are suboptimal whenever the optimal deterministic mechanism exhibits no bunching. This is the case for most applications of the theory and therefore validates the literature's usual focus on deterministic mechanisms.

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File URL: http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/%7Elsbester/papers/stoch.pdf
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Paper provided by Departmental Working Papers in its series Papers with number 020.

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Handle: RePEc:bef:lsbest:020
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  1. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
  4. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Richard Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 344-362, Autumn.
  6. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
  7. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-67, March.
  8. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  9. Page, F H, Jr, 1991. "Optimal Contract Mechanisms for Principal-Agent Problems with Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 323-38, October.
  10. Green, Jerry & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1977. "Characterization of Satisfactory Mechanisms for the Revelation of Preferences for Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 427-38, March.
  11. Strausz, Roland, 2003. "Deterministic mechanisms and the revelation principle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 333-337, June.
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