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Dynamic Mechanisms without Money

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Abstract

We analyze the optimal design of dynamic mechanisms in the absence of transfers. The designer uses future allocation decisions as a way of eliciting private information. Values evolve according to a two-state Markov chain. We solve for the optimal allocation rule, which admits a simple implementation. Unlike with transfers, efficiency decreases over time, and both immiseration and its polar opposite are possible long-run outcomes. Considering the limiting environment in which time is continuous, we show that persistence hurts.

Suggested Citation

  • Yingni Guo & Johannes Horner, 2015. "Dynamic Mechanisms without Money," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1985, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1985
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    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d19/d1985.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Bruno Biais & Thomas Mariotti & Guillaume Plantin & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2007. "Dynamic Security Design: Convergence to Continuous Time and Asset Pricing Implications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 345-390.
    3. Doepke, Matthias & Townsend, Robert M., 2006. "Dynamic mechanism design with hidden income and hidden actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 235-285, January.
    4. Miralles, Antonio, 2012. "Cardinal Bayesian allocation mechanisms without transfers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 179-206.
    5. Fernandes, Ana & Phelan, Christopher, 2000. "A Recursive Formulation for Repeated Agency with History Dependence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 223-247, April.
    6. Daniel Garrett & Alessandro Pavan, 2014. "Dynamic Managerial Compensation: On the Optimality of Seniority-based Schemes," Discussion Papers 1579, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    7. R. Vijay Krishna & Giuseppe Lopomo & Curtis R. Taylor, 2013. "Stairway to heaven or highway to hell: Liquidity, sweat equity, and the uncertain path to ownership," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(1), pages 104-127, March.
    8. Townsend, Robert M, 1982. "Optimal Multiperiod Contracts and the Gain from Enduring Relationships under Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1166-1186, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bergemann, Dirk & Pavan, Alessandro, 2015. "Introduction to Symposium on Dynamic Contracts and Mechanism Design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 679-701.
    2. Hafalir, Isa & Miralles, Antonio, 2015. "Welfare-maximizing assignment of agents to hierarchical positions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 253-270.
    3. Brett Green & Curtis R. Taylor, 2016. "Breakthroughs, Deadlines, and Self-Reported Progress: Contracting for Multistage Projects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3660-3699, December.
    4. He, Wei & Li, Jiangtao, 2016. "Efficient dynamic mechanisms with interdependent valuations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 166-173.
    5. Smolin, Alex, 2017. "Dynamic Evaluation Design," MPRA Paper 84133, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Rohit Lamba & Ilia Krasikov, 2017. "A Theory of Dynamic Contracting with Financial Constraints," 2017 Meeting Papers 1544, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Dirk Bergemann & Alessandro Pavan, 2015. "Introduction to JET Symposium Issue on "Dynamic Contracts and Mechanism Design"," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2016, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Frankel, Alexander, 2016. "Discounted quotas," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 396-444.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mechanism design; Principal-Agent; Token mechanisms;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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