Optimal Dynamic Allocation: Simplicity through Information Design
52 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2020 Last revised: 29 Jul 2021
Date Written: February 15, 2020
We study dynamic nonmonetary markets where objects are allocated to unit-demand agents with private types. An agent’s value for an object is supermodular in her type and the quality of the object, and her payoff is quasilinear in her waiting cost. We identify the welfare-maximizing mechanism in the class of direct-revelation mechanisms that elicit agents’ types and assign them to objects over time. When the social planner can design the information disclosed to the agents about the objects, this mechanism can be implemented by a first-come first-served wait-list with deferrals. The optimal disclosure policy pools adjacent object types. Moreover, the hazard rate of the distribution of the agents’ types determines the structure of the optimal disclosure policy, when the agents’ utility function is separable. A single-peaked (single-dipped) hazard rate leads to the optimality of a lower censorship (upper censorship) policy.
JEL Classification: C78, D47
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation