DP12240 Dynamic Mechanism Design: An Introduction

Author(s): Dirk Bergemann, Juuso Välimäki
Publication Date: August 2017
Keyword(s): Bandit Auctions, Dynamic Mechanism Design, Dynamic Pivot Mechanism, Information Management, Sequential Screening
JEL(s): D44, D82, D83
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12240

We provide an introduction into the recent developments of dynamic mechanism design with a primary focus on the quasilinear case. First, we describe socially optimal (or efficient) dynamic mechanisms. These mechanisms extend the well known Vickrey-Clark-Groves and D'Aspremont-Gérard-Varet mechanisms to a dynamic environment. Second, we discuss results on revenue optimal mechanism. We cover models of sequential screening and revenue maximizing auctions with dynamically changing bidder types. We also discuss models of information management where the mechanism designer can control (at least partially) the stochastic process governing the agent's types. Third, we consider models with changing populations of agents over time. This allows us to address new issues relating to the properties of payment rules. After discussing related models with risk-averse agents, limited liability, and different performance criteria for the mechanisms, we conclude by discussing a number of open questions and challenges that remain for the theory of dynamic mechanism design.