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Efficiency in Repeated Trade with Hidden Valuations

  • Susan Athey
  • David Miller

We analyze the extent to which efficient trade is possible in an ongoing relationship between impatient agents with hidden valuations (i.i.d. over time), restricting attention to equilibria that satisfy ex post incentive constraints in each period. With ex ante budget balance, efficient trade can be supported in each period if the discount factor is at least one half. In contrast, when the budget must balance ex post, efficiency is not attainable, and furthermore for a wide range of probability distributions over their valuations, the traders can do no better than employing a posted price mechanism in each period. Between these extremes, we consider a "bank'' that allows the traders to accumulate budget imbalances over time, but only within a bounded range. We construct non-stationary equilibria that allow traders to receive payoffs that approach efficiency as their discount factor approaches one, while the bank earns exactly zero expected profits. For some probability distributions there exist equilibria that yield exactly efficient payoffs for the players and zero profits for the bank, but such equilibria require high discount factors.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 784828000000000256.

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Date of creation: 15 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000256
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  1. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K. & Maskin, E., 1989. "The Folk Theorem With Inperfect Public Information," Working papers 523, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. McAfee, R Preston & Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Correlated Information and Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 395-421, March.
  3. Susan Athey & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2004. "The optimal degree of discretion in monetary policy," Staff Report 326, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Tymon Tatur, 2005. "On the Trade off Between Deficit and Inefficiency and the Double Auction with a Fixed Transaction Fee," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 517-570, 03.
  5. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
  7. Stephen Morris & Dirk Bergemann, 2004. "Robust Mechanism Design," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm380, Yale School of Management.
  8. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GERARD-VARET, Louis-André, . "Incentives and incomplete information," CORE Discussion Papers RP 354, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
  10. Hagerty, Kathleen M. & Rogerson, William P., 1987. "Robust trading mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 94-107, June.
  11. Jeffrey C. Ely & Kim-Sau Chung, 2002. "Ex-Post Incentive Compatible Mechanism Design," Discussion Papers 1339, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Matthew O Jackson & Hugo F Sonnenschein, 2007. "Overcoming Incentive Constraints by Linking Decisions -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 241-257, 01.
  13. Jonathan Levin & Susan Athey, 2001. "The Value of Information in Monotone Decision Problems," Working Papers 01003, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  14. Taub, Bart, 1994. "Currency and Credit Are Equivalent Mechanisms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(4), pages 921-56, November.
  15. Swinkels, Jeroen M, 2001. "Efficiency of Large Private Value Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 37-68, January.
  16. Satterthwaite, Mark & Shneyerov, Artyom, 2008. "Convergence to perfect competition of a dynamic matching and bargaining market with two-sided incomplete information and exogenous exit rate," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 435-467, July.
  17. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
  18. Mark A. Satterthwaite & Steven R. Williams, 2002. "The Optimality of a Simple Market Mechanism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1841-1863, September.
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