A Network Solution to Robust Implementation: the Case of Identical but Unknown Distributions

Authors: Mariann Ollár and Antonio Penta

Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 90, No 5, 2517–2554, October, 2023

We study robust mechanism design in environments in which agents commonly believe that others’ types are identically distributed, but we do not assume that the actual distribution is common knowledge, nor that it is known to the designer. First, we characterize all incentive compatible transfers under these assumptions. Second, we characterize the conditions under which full implementation is possible via direct mechanisms, that only elicit payoff relevant information, and the transfer schemes which achieve it whenever possible. The full implementation results obtain from showing that the problem can be transformed into one of designing a network of strategic externalities, subject to suitable constraints which are dictated by the incentive compatibility requirements.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona School of Economics Working Paper 1248