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Dynamic Marginal Contribution Mechanism




We consider truthful implementation of the socially efficient allocation in a dynamic private value environment in which agents receive private information over time. We propose a suitable generalization of the Vickrey-Clarke-Groves mechanism, based on the marginal contribution of each agent. In the marginal contribution mechanism, the ex post incentive and ex post participations constraints are satisfied for all agents after all histories. It is the unique mechanism satisfying ex post incentive, ex post participation and efficient exit conditions. We develop the marginal contribution mechanism in detail for a sequential auction of a single object in which each bidders learn over time her true valuation of the object. We show that a modified second price auction leads to truthtelling.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2007. "Dynamic Marginal Contribution Mechanism," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1616, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1616

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ilya Segal & Susan Athey, 2007. "Designing Efficient Mechanisms for Dynamic Bilateral Trading Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 131-136, May.
    2. Benjamin Edelman & Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2007. "Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second-Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 242-259, March.
    3. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 2003. "Dynamic common agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 23-48, July.
    4. Xavier Freixas & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 173-191.
    5. Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
    6. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    7. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2000. "Efficient Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 341-388.
    8. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-631, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gershkov, Alex & Moldovanu, Benny, 2012. "Optimal search, learning and implementation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 881-909.
    2. Deb, Rahul, 2008. "Optimal Contracting Of New Experience Goods," MPRA Paper 9880, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Benny Moldovanu & Alex Gershkov, 2008. "The Trade-off Between Fast Learning and Dynamic Efficiency," 2008 Meeting Papers 348, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Said, Maher, 2008. "Information Revelation and Random Entry in Sequential Ascending Auctions," MPRA Paper 7160, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Vickrey-Clarke-Groves mechanism; Pivot mechanism; Ex post equilibrium; Marginal contribution; Multi-armed bandit; Bayesian learning;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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