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The Relevance of Private Information in Mechanism Design

  • Zvika Neeman


A number of recent results in mechanism design literature show that in virutally all mechanism design environments of interest, as long as agents' private information is correlated. It is possible to design mechanisms that leave agents with arbitrarily small information rents. Thus, while agents may possess exclusive private information, it is irrelevant for the purpose of normative economic analysis, since it is still always possible to implement any outcome as if the agent's private information was commonly known. This paper presents a critique of these results.

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Paper provided by Boston University - Industry Studies Programme in its series Papers with number 0093.

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Date of creation: Sep 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:bostin:0093
Contact details of provider: Postal: Boston University, Industry Studies Program; Department of Economics, 270 Bay Road, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.
Phone: 617-353-4389
Fax: 617-353-4449
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  1. Brandenburger Adam & Dekel Eddie, 1993. "Hierarchies of Beliefs and Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 189-198, February.
  2. Robert, Jacques, 1991. "Continuity in auction design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 169-179, October.
  3. Robert Aumann & Adam Brandenburger, 2014. "Epistemic Conditions for Nash Equilibrium," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Language of Game Theory Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games, chapter 5, pages 113-136 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Martimort, David, 1998. "Mechanism Design with Collusion and Correlation," IDEI Working Papers 81, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1992. "Regulation by Duopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 507-33, Fall.
  6. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 2001. "Efficient Design with Interdependent Valuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1237-59, September.
  7. McAfee, R Preston & Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Correlated Information and Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 395-421, March.
  8. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1985. "Optimal Selling Strategies under Uncertainty for a Discriminating Monopolist When Demands Are Interdependent," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 345-61, March.
  9. Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
  10. Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1990. "Asymmetric Information Bargaining Problems with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 351-67, July.
  11. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
  12. Al-Najjar, Nabil I. & Smorodinsky, Rann, 2000. "Pivotal Players and the Characterization of Influence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 318-342, June.
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