Ordinal Bayesian incentive compatibility in random assignment model

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Review of Economic Design


We explore the consequences of weakening the notion of incentive compatibility from strategy-proofness to ordinal Bayesian incentive compatibility (OBIC) in the random assignment model. If the common prior of the agents is the uniform prior, then a large class of random mechanisms are OBIC with respect to this prior—this includes the probabilistic serial mechanism. We then introduce a robust version of OBIC: a mechanism is locally robust OBIC if it is OBIC with respect all independent and identical priors in some neighborhood of a given independent and identical prior. We show that every locally robust OBIC mechanism satisfying a mild property called elementary monotonicity is strategy-proof. This leads to a strengthening of the impossibility result in Bogomolnaia and Moulin (J Econ Theory 100:295–328, 2001): if there are at least four agents, there is no locally robust OBIC and ordinally efficient mechanism satisfying equal treatment of equals.

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Open Access, Green

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