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Overcoming Incentive Constraints by Linking Decisions

Matthew O. Jackson and Hugo F. Sonnenschein
Econometrica
Vol. 75, No. 1 (Jan., 2007), pp. 241-257
Published by: The Econometric Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4123113
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Overcoming Incentive Constraints by Linking Decisions
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Abstract

Consider a Bayesian collective decision problem in which the preferences of agents are private information. We provide a general demonstration that the utility costs associated with incentive constraints become negligible when the decision problem is linked with a large number of independent copies of itself. This is established by defining a mechanism in which agents must budget their representations of preferences so that the frequency of preferences across problems mirrors the underlying distribution of preferences, and then arguing that agents' incentives are to satisfy their budget by being as truthful as possible. We also show that all equilibria of the linking mechanisms converge to the target utility levels. The mechanisms do not require transferable utility or interpersonal comparisons of utility, and are immune to manipulations by coalitions.

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