Paper # Author Title
We formulate a notion of stable outcomes in matching problems with one-sided asymmetric information. The key conceptual problem is to formulate a notion of a blocking pair that takes account of the inferences that the uninformed agent might make. We show that the set of stable outcomes is nonempty in incomplete-information environments, and is a superset of the set of complete-information stable outcomes. We then provide sufficient conditions for incomplete-information stable matchings to be efficient. Lastly, we define a notion of price-sustainable allocations and show that the set of incomplete-information stable matchings is a subset of the set of such allocations. Download Paper
A large literature uses matching models to analyze markets with two-sided heterogeneity, studying problems such as the matching of students to schools, residents to hospitals, husbands to wives, and workers to firms. The analysis typically assumes that the agents have complete information, and examines core outcomes. We formulate a notion of stable outcomes in matching problems with one-sided asymmetric information. The key conceptual problem is to formulate a notion of a blocking pair that takes account of the inferences that the uninformed agent might make from the hypothesis that the current allocation is stable. We show that the set of stable outcomes is nonempty in incomplete information environments, and is a superset of the set of complete-information stable outcomes. We provide sufficient conditions for incomplete-information stable matchings to be efficient. Download Paper
Technological progress is typically a result of trial-and-error research by competing firms. While some research paths lead to the innovation sought, others result in dead ends. Because firms benefit from their competitors working in the wrong direction, they do not reveal their dead-end findings. Time and resources are wasted on projects that other firms have already found to be dead ends. Consequently, technological progress is slowed down, and the society benefits from innovations with delay, if ever. To study this prevalent problem, we build a tractable two-arm bandit model with two competing firms. The risky arm could potentially lead to a dead end and the safe arm introduces further competition to make firms keep their dead-end findings private. We characterize the equilibrium in this decentralized environment and show that the equilibrium necessarily entails significant efficiency losses due to wasteful dead-end replication and a flight to safety - an early abandonment of the risky project. Finally, we design a dynamic mechanism where firms are incentivized to disclose their actions and share their private information in a timely manner. This mechanism restores efficiency and suggests a direction for welfare improvement. Download Paper
In many real world negotiations, from wage contract bargaining to product liability disputes, the bargaining parties often interact repeatedly and have the option of seeking outside judgement. This paper studies a model of repeated bargaining with a third party to analyze how and why bargaining postures endogenously evolve over time. A privately informed long-lived player bargains with a sequence of short-lived players, one at a time. Should the players fail to reach an agreement, an unbiased yet imperfect third party is called upon to make a judgement. The uninformed short-lived players learn through two channels: observed behavior of the informed player (\soft" information) and, if any, verdicts of the third party (\hard" information).  The long-lived player wants to guard his private information by bargaining tough but at the expense of more information disclosure from the third party. As a result of the strategic use of these two sources of information, the players' bargaining postures change as the uninformed players' beliefs evolve. Interestingly, as third party information becomes more precise, the players adopt tough bargaining postures for a wider range of beliefs. Many repeated bargaining problems can be analyzed in this framework. In particular, the equilibrium dynamics provide an explanation for the puzzling contrast between the bargaining postures of Merck and Pfizer in their recent high-profile product liability litigations. The results also help us understand several other phenomena documented in the related literature. Download Paper