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Informational Size and Incentive Compatibility with Aggregate Uncertainty

  • Richard McLean


    (Department of Economics, Rutgers University)

  • Andrew Postlewaite


    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

In McLean and Postlewaite (2002), we analyzed pure exchange economies with asymmetrically informed agents. We defined a notion of informational size and showed that, when the aggregate information of all agents resolves nearly all the uncertainty regarding the state of nature, the conflict between incentive compatibility and (ex post) efficiency can be made small if agents have sufficiently small informational size. This paper investigates the relationship between informational size and efficiency for the case in which nontrivial aggregate uncertainty is present, i.e., when significant uncertainty about the world persists even when the information of all agents is known. We prove the existence of incentive compatible, individually rational and nearly ex post efficient allocations without assuming negligible aggregate uncertainty when agents have small informational size relative to informational variability. We further show that the conflict between incentive compatibility and efficiency asymptotically vanishes when an economy is replicated.

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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 03-003.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2001
Date of revision: 23 Jan 2003
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:03-003
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  1. Richard McLean & Andrew Postlewaite, . "Informational Size and Incentive Compatibility," Penn CARESS Working Papers 7f6ff09d59945e06909ce4fa4, Penn Economics Department.
  2. McAfee, R Preston & Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Correlated Information and Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 395-421, March.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Gul, Faruk & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Asymptotic Efficiency in Large Exchange Economies with Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1273-92, November.
  6. Postlewaite, Andrew & Schmeidler, David, 1986. "Implementation in differential information economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 14-33, June.
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