nep-mic New Economics Papers
on Microeconomics
Issue of 2020‒02‒24
seven papers chosen by
Jing-Yuan Chiou
National Taipei University

  1. On Selecting the Right Agent By Salvador Barberà; Geoffroy de Clippel; Alejandro Neme; Kareen Rozen
  2. Efficient Incentives in Social Networks: Gamification and the Coase Theorem By Daske, Thomas
  3. Bargaining over Contingent Contracts Under Incomplete Information By Geoffroy de Clippel; Jack Fanning; Kareen Rozen
  4. Information disclosure in group contests with endogenous entry By Luke Boosey; Philip Brookins; Dmitry Ryvkin
  5. Recurrent Preemption Games By Hitoshi Matsushima
  6. Intertemporal Price Discrimination in Sequential Quantity-Price Games By James D. Dana Jr.; Kevin R. Williams
  7. Anti-conformism in the Threshold Model of Collective Behavior By Michel Grabisch; Fen Li

  1. By: Salvador Barberà; Geoffroy de Clippel; Alejandro Neme; Kareen Rozen
    Abstract: Each period, a principal must assign one of two agents to a new task. Profit is stochastically higher when the agent is qualified for the task, but the principal cannot observe qualification. Her only decision is which of the two agents to assign, if any, given the public history of selections and profits, but she cannot commit to any rule. While she maximizes expected discounted profits, each agent maximizes his expected discounted selection probabilities. We fully characterize when the principal’s firstbest payoff is attainable in equilibrium, and identify a simple, belief-free, strategy profile achieving this first-best whenever feasible. Additionally, we provide a partial characterization of the case with many agents and discuss how our analysis extends to other variations of the game.
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Daske, Thomas
    Abstract: This study explores mechanism design for networks of interpersonal relationships. Agents' social (more or less altruistic or spiteful) preferences and private payoffs are all subject to asymmetric information; utility is quasi-linear. Remarkably, the asymmetry of information about agents' social preferences can be operationalized to satisfy agents' participation constraints. The main result is a constructive proof of the Coase theorem, in its typical mechanism-design interpretation, for networks of at least three agents: If endowments are sufficiently large, any such network can resolve any given allocation problem with a budget-balanced mechanism that is Bayesian incentive-compatible, interim individually rational, and ex-post Pareto-efficient. The endogenously derived solution concept is interpreted as gamification: Resolve the agents' allocation problem with an efficient social-preference robust mechanism; attract agents' participation by complementing this mechanism with a budget-balanced game that operates on their social preferences and provides them with a platform to live out their propensities to cooperate or compete.
    Keywords: mechanism design,social preferences,gamification,Coase theorem
    JEL: C72 C78 D62 D82
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Geoffroy de Clippel; Jack Fanning; Kareen Rozen
    Abstract: We study bargaining over contingent contracts in problems where private information becomes public or verifiable when the time comes to implement the agreement. We suggest a simple, two-stage game that incorporates important aspects of bargaining. We characterize equilibria in which parties always reach agreement, and study their limits as bargaining frictions vanish. We show that under mild regularity conditions, all interim-efficient limits belong to Myerson (1984)’s axiomatic solution. Furthermore, all limits must be interim-efficient if equilibria are required to be sequential. Results extend to other bargaining protocols.
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Luke Boosey (Department of Economics, Florida State University); Philip Brookins (Department of Economics, University of South Carolina); Dmitry Ryvkin (Department of Economics, Florida State University)
    Abstract: We study contests among groups of individuals where each player endogenously decides whether or not to participate in competition as a member of their group. Within-group aggregation of effort is best-shot, i.e., each group's performance is determined by the highest investment among its members. We consider a generalized all-pay auction setting, in which the group with the highest performance wins the contest with certainty. Players' values for winning are private information at the entry stage, but may be disclosed at the competition stage. We compare three disclosure policies: (i) no disclosure, when the number of entrants remains unknown and their values private; (ii) within-group disclosure, when this information is disclosed within each group but not across groups; and (iii) full disclosure, when the information about entrants is disclosed across groups. For the benchmark case of contests between individuals, we show that information disclosure always leads to a reduction in aggregate investment. However, this is no longer true in group contests: Within-group disclosure unambiguously raises aggregate investment, while the effect of full disclosure is ambiguous.
    Keywords: group contest, best shot, endogenous entry, information disclosure
    JEL: C72 D82
    Date: 2020–02
  5. By: Hitoshi Matsushima (Hitoshi Matsushima)
    Abstract: I consider a new model of an infinitely repeated preemption game with random matching, termed the recurrent preemption game, wherein each player’s discount factor depends on whether she wins the current game. This model describes sequential strategic technology adoptions in which a company becomes outdated by failing to maintain a position at the forefront of innovation. Assuming incomplete information about the presence of a rival, I clarify how the prominence of the innovator’s dilemma influences the degree of excessive competition in preemption. I also reveal interesting properties demonstrated by the unique symmetric Nash equilibrium of the recurrent preemption game.
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: James D. Dana Jr. (Northwestern University); Kevin R. Williams (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: This paper develops an oligopoly model in which firms first choose capacity and then compete in prices in a series of advance-purchase markets. We show that when the elasticity of demand falls across periods, strong competitive forces prevent firms from utilizing intertemporal price discrimination. We then enrich the model by allowing firms to use inventory controls, or sales limits assigned to individual prices. We show that competing firms can profitably use inventory controls. Thus, although typically viewed as a tool to manage demand uncertainty, we show that inventory controls can also facilitate price discrimination in oligopoly.
    Keywords: Capacity-pricing games, Intertemporal price discrimination, Oligopoly models, Inventory controls
    JEL: D21 D43 L13
    Date: 2018–06
  7. By: Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Fen Li (Department of Entomology - Michigan State University [East Lansing] - Michigan State University System)
    Abstract: We provide a detailed study of the threshold model, where both conformist and anti-conformist agents coexist. Our study bears essentially on the convergence of the opinion dynamics in the society of agents, i.e., finding absorbing classes, cycles, etc. Also, we are interested in the existence of cascade effects, as this may constitute a undesirable phenomenon in collective behavior. We divide our study into two parts. In the first one, we basically study the threshold model supposing a fixed complete network, where every one is connected to every one, like in the seminal work of Granovetter. We study the case of a uniform distribution of the threshold, of a Gaussian distribution, and finally give a result for arbitrary distributions, supposing there is one type of anti-conformist. In a second part, we suppose that the neighborhood of an agent is random, drawn at each time step from a distribution. We distinguish the case where the degree (number of links) of an agent is fixed, and where there is an arbitrary degree distribution. We show the existence of cascades and that for most societies, the opinion converges to a chaotic situation.
    Keywords: threshold model,anti-conformism,absorbing class,opinion dynamics
    Date: 2019

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