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Keeping the Agents in the Dark: Private Disclosures in Competing Mechanisms

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  • Attar, Andrea
  • Campioni, Eloisa
  • Mariotti, Thomas
  • Pavan, Alessandro

Abstract

We study games in which several principals contract with several privately-informed agents. We show that enabling the principals to engage in contractible private disclosures – by sending private signals to the agents about how the mechanisms will respond to the agents’ messages – can significantly affect the predictions of such games. Our first result shows that private disclosures may generate equilibrium outcomes that cannot be supported in any game without private disclosures, no matter the richness of the message spaces and the availability of public randomizing devices. The result thus challenges the canonicity of the universal mechanisms of Epstein and Peters (1999). Our second result shows that equilibrium outcomes of games without private disclosures need not be sustainable when private disclosures are allowed. The result thus challenges the robustness of the “folk theorems” of Yamashita (2010) and Peters and Troncoso-Valverde (2013). These findings call for a novel approach to the analysis of competing-mechanism games.

Suggested Citation

  • Attar, Andrea & Campioni, Eloisa & Mariotti, Thomas & Pavan, Alessandro, 2021. "Keeping the Agents in the Dark: Private Disclosures in Competing Mechanisms," TSE Working Papers 21-1227, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Dec 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:125751
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Attar, Andrea & Campioni, Eloisa & Mariotti, Thomas & Piaser, Gwenaël, 2021. "Competing mechanisms and folk theorems: Two examples," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 79-93.
    2. Peters, Michael, 2001. "Common Agency and the Revelation Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1349-1372, September.
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    10. Attar, Andrea & Campioni, Eloisa & Piaser, Gwenaël, 2019. "Private communication in competing mechanism games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 258-283.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incomplete Information; Competing Mechanisms; Private Disclosures; Signals; Universal Mechanisms; Folk Theorems;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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