Presenter: Alon Eden
Topic: Private Interdependent Valuations
The EconCS Group holds an Economics and Computer Science research seminar each semester.
We consider the single-item interdependent value setting, where there is a single item sold by a monopolist, n buyers, and each buyer has a private signal s_i describing a piece of information about the item. Additionally, each bidder i has a valuation function v_i(s_1,\ldots,s_n) mapping the (private) signals of all buyers into a positive real number representing their value for the item. This setting captures scenarios where the item’s information is asymmetric or dispersed among agents, such as in competitions for oil drilling rights, or in auctions for art pieces. Due to the increased complexity of this model compared to the standard private values model, it is generally assumed that each bidder’s valuation function v_i is public knowledge to the seller or all other buyers. But in many situations, the seller may not know the bidders’ valuation functions—how a bidder aggregates signals into a valuation is often their private information. In this talk, I will present mechanisms that guarantee approximately-optimal social welfare while satisfying ex-post incentive compatibility and individually rationality for the case where the valuation functions are private to the bidders, and thus may be strategically misreported to the seller.
Based on a joint work with Kira Goldner (BU) and Shuran Zheng (Harvard).