Designing Economic Mechanisms

Designing Economic Mechanisms

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Leonid Hurwicz, Stanley Reiter
Cambridge University Press, 2006-05-22
EAN 9780521836418, ISBN10: 0521836417

Paperback, 356 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm

A mechanism is a mathematical structure that models institutions through which economic activity is guided and coordinated. There are many such institutions; markets are the most familiar ones. Lawmakers, administrators and officers of private companies create institutions in order to achieve desired goals. They seek to do so in ways that economize on the resources needed to operate the institutions, and that provide incentives that induce the required behaviors. This book presents systematic procedures for designing mechanisms that achieve specified performance, and economize on the resources required to operate the mechanism. The systematic design procedures are algorithms for designing informationally efficient mechanisms. Most of the book deals with these procedures of design. When there are finitely many environments to be dealt with, and there is a Nash-implementing mechanism, our algorithms can be used to make that mechanism into an informationally efficient one. Informationally efficient dominant strategy implementation is also studied. Leonid Hurwicz is the Nobel Prize Winner 2007 for The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, along with colleagues Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson, for his work on the effectiveness of markets.

'Economic mechanism design has both theoretical and practical importance. This book, by two founders of the field, provides a wonderful guide for those who would design mechanisms. It is a major achievement, providing deep insights based on the authors' experience and wisdom. It should be required reading for all.' John Ledyard, California Institute of Technology 'This book shows how a mechanism designer, given the organization's goal, can construct a decentralized mechanism, wherein no agent directly reveals private information and yet, through message exchanges that are minimal (in an appropriate sense), enough information is gathered so that goal-fulfilling actions can be taken.' Thomas A. Marschak, University of California, Berkeley 'In this masterly and important book, Leonid Hurwicz, the founder of the theory of mechanism design, and Stanley Reiter, a leading pioneer in the field, consolidate their long-standing collaboration on how to design mechanisms that achieve society's allocational goals.' Eric Maskin, Nobel Laureate, Princeton University 'The introduction to economic theory of mechanism design, the formal analysis of economic institutions, is one of the most important developments in economics in the last half century. This book both describes and extends the state of understanding in a large and important segment of mechanism design and will define the frontier of the area for some time to come.' Andrew Postlewaite, University of Pennsylvania 'This book's innovative techniques can be useful for finding feasible solutions in both theoretical and applied statistical multivariable optimization problems.' Stan Lipovetsky, Technometrics