Robust Mechanism Design

56 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2003

See all articles by Dirk Bergemann

Dirk Bergemann

Yale University - Cowles Foundation - Department of Economics; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Stephen Morris

Princeton University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2003

Abstract

The mechanism design literature assumes too much common knowledge of the environment among the players and planner. We relax this assumption by studying implementation on richer type spaces, with more higher order uncertainty.

We study the "ex post equivalence" question: When is interim implementation on all possible type spaces equivalent to requiring ex post implementation on the space of payoff types? We show that ex post equivalence holds when the social choice correspondence is a function and in simple quasi-linear environments. When ex post equivalence holds, we identify how large the type space must be to obtain the equivalence. We also show that ex post equivalence fails in general, including in quasi-linear environments with budget balance.

For quasi-linear environments, we provide an exact characterization of when interim implementation is possible in rich type spaces. In this environment, the planner can fully extract players' belief types, so the incentive constraints reduce to conditions distinguishing types with the same beliefs about others' types but different payoff types.

Keywords: Mechanism Design, Common Knowledge, Universal Type Space, Interim Equilibrium, Ex-post Equilibrium, Dominant Strategies

JEL Classification: C79, C82

Suggested Citation

Bergemann, Dirk and Morris, Stephen Edward, Robust Mechanism Design (May 2003). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1421. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=412497

Dirk Bergemann

Yale University - Cowles Foundation - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States
203-432-3592 (Phone)
203-432-2128 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.yale.edu/~dirk/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Stephen Edward Morris (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

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