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Efficient Compromising

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  • Tilman Börgers
  • Peter Postl

Abstract

Two agents have to choose one of three alternatives. Their ordinal rankings of these alternatives are commonly known among them. The rankings are diametrically opposed to each other. Ex-ante efficiency requires that they reach a compromise, that is choose the alternative which they both rank second, if and only if the weighed sum of their von Neumann Morgenstern utilities from this alternative exceeds the weighted sum of utilities when either agent's most preferred alternative is chosen. We assume that the von Neumann Morgenstern utilities from this alternative exceeds the weighted sum of utilities when either agent's most preferred alternative is chosen. We ssume that the von Neumann Morgenstern utilities of the middle ranked alternative are independent and identically distributed, privately observed random variables, and ask whether there are incentive compatible decision rules which elicit utilities and implement efficient decisions. We show that no such decision rules exist if the distribution of agents' types has a density with full support. We also study the problem of finding second-best decision rules in our set-up, and explain how this problem differs from more familiar second-best problems. We give analytical and numberical insights into the nature of second-best rules. The compromise problem studied in this paper is closely related to a public goods problem in which individual agents face a liquidity constraint, but no participation constraint needs to be satisfied.

Suggested Citation

  • Tilman Börgers & Peter Postl, 2008. "Efficient Compromising," Discussion Papers 06-11R, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:06-11r
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yaron Azrieli & Semin Kim, 2014. "Pareto Efficiency And Weighted Majority Rules," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 1067-1088, November.
    2. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester & Rosa Ferrer, 2006. "On the justice of voting systems," Economics Working Papers 987, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Giles, Adam & Postl, Peter, 2014. "Equilibrium and effectiveness of two-parameter scoring rules," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-52.
    4. Schmitz, Patrick W. & Tröger, Thomas, 2012. "The (sub-)optimality of the majority rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 651-665.
    5. Núñez, Matías & Laslier, Jean-François, 2015. "Bargaining through Approval," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 63-73.
    6. Fang, Hanming & Norman, Peter, 2005. "Overcoming Participation Constraints," Microeconomics.ca working papers norman-05-04-22-05-35-30, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2005.
    7. Rosar, Frank, 2015. "Continuous decisions by a committee: Median versus average mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 15-65.
    8. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "Optimal Mechanism Design without Money," Working Papers tecipa-481, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    9. Börgers, Tilman & Smith, Doug, 2014. "Robust mechanism design and dominant strategy voting rules," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), May.
    10. Mishra, Debasis, 2016. "Ordinal Bayesian incentive compatibility in restricted domains," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 925-954.
    11. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2017. "Optimal Voting Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 688-717.
    12. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2010. "Inefficiencies on linking decisions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 34(3), pages 471-486, March.
    13. Postl, Peter, 2013. "A ‘divide and choose’ approach to compromising," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 204-209.
    14. Hafalir, Isa & Miralles, Antonio, 2015. "Welfare-maximizing assignment of agents to hierarchical positions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 253-270.
    15. Semin Kim, 2016. "Ordinal Versus Cardinal Voting Rules: A Mechanism Design Approach," Working papers 2016rwp-94, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    16. Lars EHLERS & Dipjyoti MAJUMDAR & Debasis MISHRA & Arunava SEN, 2016. "Continuity and Incentive Compatibility in Cardinal Voting Mechanisms," Cahiers de recherche 04-2016, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    17. EHLERS, Lars & MAJUMDAR, Dipjyoti & MISHRA, Debasis & SEN, Arunava, 2016. "Continuity and incentive compatibility," Cahiers de recherche 2016-04, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    18. Susanne Goldlücke & Thomas Tröger, 2018. "Assigning an unpleasant task without payment," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_003_2018, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    arbitration; mechanism design without transferrable utility;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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