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The
Theory of
Imp lementation
in
Nash
Equilibrium:
A
Survey
Eric
S. Maskin
Number 333
October
1983
massachusetts
institute of
technology
50 memorial drive
Cambridge, mass. 02139
The Theory of Implementation in Nash Equilibrium:
A Survey
Eric S. Maskin
Number 333 October 1983
D11
The Theory of Implementation in Nash Equilibrium:/
A Survey-
Eric S. ^skin
MIT
To appear in Social Goals and Social Organization: Volume in Memory of
Elishe Pazner, Cambridge University Press.
June, 1985
Revised October, 1983
Financial support from the KSF and the A. P. Sloan Foundation is gratefully
acknowledged. I wish to thank David Schmeidler and Hugo Sonnenschein for
helpful comments.
The Theory of Implementation in Nash Equilibrium: A Survey
The theory of implementation concerns the problem of designing game
forms (sometimes called "mechanisms" or "outcome functions") the equilibria
of which have properties that are desirable according to a specified
criterion of social welfare called a social choice rule . A game form, in
effect, decentralizes decision-making. The social alternative is selected
by the joint actions of all individuals in society rather than by a central
planner.
Formally, a social choice rule assigns a set of alternatives to each
profile of preferences (or other characteristics) that individuals in
society might have; the set consists of the "welfare optima" relative to the
preference profile. A game form is a rule that specifies an alternative (or
outcome ) for each configuration of actions that individuals take. A game
form implements (technically, fully implements) a social choice rule if, for
each possible profile of preferences, the equilibrium outcomes of the game
form coincide with the welfare optima of the social choice rule. Of course,
the equilibrium set depends on the particular solution concept being used.
Implementation theory has considered a variety of solution concepts,
including equilibrium in dominant strategies, Bayesian equilibrium, and Hash
equilibrium. Other chapters of this volume treat the first two equilibrium
concepts. In the .main, this article is confined to implementation in Nash
equilibrium, although it relates this theory to those of other solution
concepts, dominant strategies in particular.
Nash equilibrium is the noncooperative solution concept par excellence ,
and so it is not surprising that implementation theory should have employed
it extensively. Nonetheless, one reason often advanced for the desirability
of decentralization is that information is incomplexe, and so it may seem
strange to use a solution concept of complete information (I am
distinguishing here between Mash equilibrium in its original sense, c.f.
Nash (1950), and the incomplete information extension due to Harsanyi
(1967), commonly called "Bayesian equilibrium"). There are at least three
alternative justifications for so doing.
First, as the work of Hurwicz (1972) and Groves and Ledyard (1977) at
least implicitly assumes , a Nash equilibrium can be viewed as a stationary
point of an iterative adjustment process. In such a process, players may
have incomplete information but continually revise their actions imtil a
point is reached where unilateral deviation no longer pays. Such a point is
a Nash equilibrium-
There are several difficulties with this interpretation. If an
individual believes that others play "naively" in the sense of always
adjusting their actions optimally, assuming that the distribution of current
actions will continue to prevail, then it will, in general, pay him to act
as a Stackelberg leader and allow others to adapt to an action that he does
not adjust. But if one or more players attempt to behave as Stackelberg
leaders, there is no longer any reason to suppose that a stationary point of
the process is a Nash equilibrium.
There are two cases where we might be able to rule out such Stackelberg
behavior. One is where society is sufficiently large so that one
individual's effect on others is slight enough as to have no appreciable
effect on their actions. In that case, the individual would best play in
"Hash-like" fashion (see, for example, Roberts and Postlewaite (1976)). The
other is where the individual believes that any given iteration is the last
(at least with very high probability), in which event, from his perspective.
there is no opportunity for influencing future behavior.
Clearly, though, these cases are highly restrictive. When they do not
apply, we cannot expect naive behavior. But if all individuals are
"sophisticated" then each must realize that, when adjusting his action, he
may affect others' (probabilistic) beliefs about his preferences. Since
these beliefs, in turn, may affect their behavior, individuals may, again,
be induced to behave in a non-Nash-like way.
The second reason for using Nash equilibrium is more satisfactory game
theoretically. There are many circumstances where the planner (game form -
designer) can be thought of as having highly incomplete information, whereas
individuals themselves are well-informed. For example, the individuals may
be firms that are experts in research and development and know a great deal
about each other, whereas the planner may be the government, who knows next
to nothing about R&D but wants to influence firms' behavior. Alternatively,
the planner might be a "constitution-designer," who must devise the
procedural rules (the game form) by which committee members make decisions
long in advance of any particular application. Indeed, the planner may not
literally exist as a physical entity; rather he may simply stand for the
committee as a whole. But, by the time, any particular decision has to be
made, committee members may be well aware of each other's preferences.
In either of these two examples, Hash equilibrium is the appropriate
solution concept. • It is important in the examples that individuals have
good information about each other; otherwise, Bayesian rather than Hash
equilibrium pertains. It is equally necessary that the planner have poor
information; otherwise, he could simply impose a welfare optimal social
alternative by fiat.
Finally, implementation in Nash equilibrium may be thought of as a
positive theory. To the extent that the theory can characterize the set of
implementable social choice rules, it can predict the kinds of outcomes that
can rise as equilibria of already existing (complete information) games.
This article is divided into nine sections. The first introduces
notation and the basic concepts. The second presents the fundamental
theorem characterizing the set of implementable social choice rules. This
theorem is cast in terms of two properties, monotonicity and weak no veto
power. Section 3 discusses the so-called "revelation principle" with
respect to implementation in Nash equilibrium and several other equilibrium
concepts. We clarify the relevance for Nash implementation of the
principle, as usually stated, and propose an alternative formulation.
Section 4 discusses the connection between implementability and several
common properties of social choice rules, viz., weak no veto power,
neutrality, and individual rationality. Section 5 exposits the relationship
between Nash and dominant strategy implementation. Section 6 treats
implementation in a much-studied special case, where preferences are of a
"quasilinear" form.
Through Section 6, all analysis assumes noncooperative behavior on the
part of individuals. Section 7, however, allows for collusion and studies
implementation in strong equilibrium. Section 8 considers an implementation
concept, double implementation, that accommodates both noncooperative and
cooperative behavior simultaneously. Finally, Section 9 briefly discusses
two concepts related to Nash implementation.
1 . Notation and Basic Concepts
Let A be a set of social alternatives (A can be either finite or
infinite). A utility function, u, on A is a real-valued function
u: A -^ R,
where R denotes the real numbers. Let U. be the set of all utility-
functions. For each i ■= 1,...,n, let U. be a subset of U . . Then, an n-
person social choice rule (SCR) on (U,,...,U ) is a correspondence
f : U,x. ..xU ■»■ A.^
1 n
For any profile (u,,...,u ) of utility functions, one interprets
f(u. ,...,u ) (sometimes called the choice set and which we assume to be
nonempty) as the set of welfare otpimal alternatives. Common examples of
social choice rules include the Pareto correspondence, which selects all
Pareto optima corresponding to a given profile, and the Condorcet
correspondence, which selects all alternatives for which a majority does not
prefer some other alternative. Notice that, in principle, we allow the SCR
to select two different choice sets for two utility profiles that correspond
to the same preference orderings. That is, the choice set may depend on
cardinal properties of utility functions. This flexibility will be
eliminated below when we discuss implementation. However, our formulation
enables the ordinal nature of an implementable SCR to be proved (albeit
trivially) rather than postulated.
Given action spaces S. ,...,S for each individual, an n-person game
form g is a mapping
g: S.X.. .xs ->■ A.
^ 1 n
If individuals 1 through n play the action configuration (s.,...,s ), the
outcome is alternative g(s,,...,E ).
For a game form g, let NE (u. ,...,u ) be the set of Nash equilibrium
& I 11
■'■ In this chapter we shall suppose throughout that preferences alone
constitute the relevant data about individuals. See the chapter by
Postlewaite in this volume for a treatment that allows for other information
(e.g., endowments) as well.
outcomes corresponding to the profile (u , ...,u ). Slightly diverging from
the terminology of Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979), we shall say that
the game form g weakly implements the SCR f in Nash equilibrium if, for
every (u^,...,u^) e U^x..,xU^
(1) NE (u,,...,u ) is nonempty
(2) NE (u.,...,u )Cf(u.,...,u ).
g 1 n — 1 n
Thus, if g weakly implements f, an equilibrium always exists, and all
equilibria lie in the social choice set.
Requirements (l) and (2) are, by now, the standard requirements in
Nash-implemenxation theory. We shall see below, however, that the analogue
of (2) is not always imposed in the corresponding theories for other
solution concepts.
If for all (u. ....jU ) c U.X...XU and all a c f(u<,...,u ) there
1 ' n 1 n ^ 1 ' ' n
exists a game form g that weakly implements f and for which
a e NE (u, ,...,u ), then we say that f is implementable (in Nash
equilibrium). The difference between weak and ordinary implementability is
that the latter requires every element of every choice set to arise as a
Hash equilibrium of some implementing game form. An ostensibly still
stronger requirement is that a single game form yield all these equilibria.'
We shall say that the game form g fully implements the SCR f if for all
(u^,.-.,u^) E U^x...xu^,
(3) NE(u^,...,u^)' = f(u^,...,u^).
We shall see below (Section 4) that, in fact, implementability and full
implementability are equivalent.
2. The Fundamental Characterization Theorem
To characterize those SCR's that are implementable, we must first
define two properties of SCR's. We shall argue that the first of these is
in many circumstances extremely weak.
7
Weak No Veto Pover : An SCR f sat^-sfies weak no veto power if, for all
(u u ) e U,x...xU and a e A, a e f(u. ,...,u ) whenever there exists i
^ 1 n 1 n I n
such that for all i * ± and all b e A u.(a) _> u (b).
In words, an SCR satisfies weak no veto power if whenever all
individuals except possibly one agree that an alternative is top-ranked -
i.e., no other alternative is higher in their preference orderings - then
that alternative is in the social choice set; the remaining individual
cannot veto it. The hypothesis that the alternative be top-ranked is what
distinguishes this property from other no veto conditions and what makes it
so weak. Indeed, in many circumstances the hypothesis cannot be satisfied
at all. Suppose, for example, that we equate a social alternative with an
allocation of goods across consumers. Assume also that at least one of
these goods is a divisible private good that all individuals find desirable.
Then no two individuals will agree that any given alternative is top-ranked,
since each would like all the private good to himself. Thus if there are at
.least three individuals, our weak no veto power condition is satisfied
vacuously.
Our other condition is considerably stronger, although quite standard.
It sometimes goes under the name "strong positive association" (see Muller
and Satterthwaite (l977) and Moulin and Peleg (1982)).
Monotonicity : An SCR f is monotonic if, for all (u. , . . . ,u ), (u. ,...,u ) e
U. X...XU and a z ^, a z f (u. , — ,u ) whenever (i) a e f (u. , . . . ,u ) and,
(ii) for all b e A and i, u.(a) >_ u.(b) implies u.(a) >_ u.(b).
In words, an SCR is monotonic if, whenever an alternative a is in the
choice set for a profile of preferences, and then those preferences are
8
altered in a way such that a does not fall in anyone's preference ordering
relative to any other alternative, it remains in the choice set.
Clearly, monotonicity is a purely ordinal property, and an SCR that
satisfies it will reflect only ordinal properties of utility functions.
That is, if, for all i, u. = h. o u. , where h. : R ->■ R is strictly
increasing, then a monotonic f satisfies f(u,,...,u ) «= f(u,...,u ). Thus
1 n n
monotonicity rules out the interpersonal comparisons inherent in, say,
utilitarianism or the Rawlsian difference principle. Moreover, as we shall
see below (see section 5), it amounts to something very close to
independence of irrelevant alternatives in the sense of Arrow (1951 )•
Nonetheless it is satisfied by such common SCR's as the Pareto and Condorcet
correspondences and, in economic contexts, by the correspondence that
selects core allocations.
Monotonicity does not require that all Pareto optimal alternatives be
in the choice set (the Condorcet correspondence is a covmterexample) , but,
if f is onto A, it does imply that a subset of Pareto optimal alternatives
is in the choice set, namely, those that are top-ranked by all individuals:
LeTTiTTip 1 : Suppose that f is monotonic and onto A. For any (u, ,...u ) e
U.>'...xU and a e A if, for all b and i, u.(a) > u.(b), then a e
1 n '2.-2.
f(u^ ,...,u^).
Proof : Because, by assumption, f is onto A, there exists (u-,...,u ) e
Ux.-.xU such that a c f(u, ,...,u ). If, for all i and b, u.(a) > u.(b),
1 n 1 n 1—1
then, from monotonicity, a t f(u', ,...,u ).
Q.E.D.
We can now state the fundamental characterization result.
Theorem 1 : (Maskin (1977)): Suppose that f is an n-person SCR. If f is
implementable in Nash equilibrium, then it is monotonic. Furthermore, if
n > 3 and f satisfies weak no veto power and monotonicity, then it is fully
implementable .
Proof : To see that implementability implies monotonicity, suppose that f is
not monotonic. Then there exist (u.,...,u ) and (u,,...,u ) e U, x. . . xU and
in 1 n 1 n
a E A such that a c f(u,,...,u ) and, for all b e A and all i,
In
(4) u^(a) >_ u^(b) implies u^(a) >_ u^(b)
but
(5) a / f(u^ , .. -fU^) .
Now, if f is implementable, there exists a game form g: S, >«...xS ->• A and a
configuration of strategies (s*,...,s*) such that g(s*, . . . ,s*) = a and
(s*,...,s*) is a Nash equilibrium for profile (u.,...,u ). But from (4),
(Et,...,s*) is also E Hash equilibrium for (u>,...,u ), which, in view of
(5), contradicts (2). Hence, f is not implementable.
Ve only sketch the proof that weak no veto power and monotonicity imply
that f is fully implementable. For the omitted details see Maskin (1977).
For any a e A and u. e U. let
L(a,u.) = {b E A|u.(a) >_ u.(b)}.
L(a,u. ) is the lower contour set of u. at a, i.e., the set of alternatives
1 1
that someone with 'utility fxinction u. does not prefer to a. For each i, let
(6) S^ = {(u^ , . . . ,u^,a) I (u^ , .. . ,u^) E U^x.,.xU^ and a e f(u^ , .. . ,u^) } .
10
That is, each player's action consists of announcing a profile of utility-
functions and an alternative that is in the choice set with respect to that
profile. Define g: S.x...xS -^ A so that:
(7) if s^ ■= ... = s^ = (u^ ,.. .,Uj^,a), then g(s^,...,s^) = a;
(8) if B . = (u.,...,u ,a) for all 2*1, then
{b c A|b = g(s^,7_^), s^ e S^} «= L(a,u^)2
and
(9) if, for given i, there exist j and k, with j ^ i * k, such that "b .t "b ,
then
{b z A|b = g(s^,B_^), 8^ E S^} = A.
That there exist game forms satisfying conditions (6)-(9) is demonstrated in
Maskin (1977). ¥e claim that any such game form fully implements f.
To see this, first choose (u<,...,u ) e U, >^. . . xU and a e f(u<,...,u ).
' 1 n 1 n 1 n
From (7), if all individuals take the action (u, ,...,u ,a), the outcome is
1 n
a. Furthermore if (u,,...,u ), in fact, are individuals' utility functions,
then, from (8), each individual cannot obtain an alternative he prefers to a
by varying his action unilaterally. Hence, all individuals'
taking the action (u, ,...,u ,a) is a Hash equilibirum for the profile
(u. , . . . ,u ). This establishes that for all (u. , . . . ,u ), f(u, ,...,u )^
NE^(u. ,...,u ).
g 1 n
To establish the opposite inclusion, suppose that (s,,...,e ) is a Nash
equilibirum of g for the profile (u, ,...,u ) and that a = g(B>,...,E ). We
■The notation "g(s.,s .)" is shorthand for g(E>,...,E. . ,s. ,e. _^. , • . . ,e ) .
11
must establish that a e f(u^,...,u ). There are three cases to consider:
(a) s, " ... " s ; (p) there exist i and action s such that for all j ^ i
s^. = s but B. * s; and (y) all other configurations.
Consider case (a) first. Suppose that b. " (u.,...,u ,a) for all i.
We have already observed that, from (7) and (8), g(s,,...,B ) *= a and that
(s. ,...,B ) is a Nash equilibrium for the profile (u, ,...,u ). For any i
consider b such that u.(a) _>. u.(b), i.e., such that b e L(a,u.). Prom (8)
there exists s. e S. such that g(B.,E .) " b. Hence u.(a) >_u.(b);
otherwise, s. could not be an equilibrium action for utility function u. ,
contrary to our assumption. Therefore, the hypotheses of the monotonicity
condition are satisfied, and we conclude that a t f(u,,...,u ), as required.
Kext, consider case (p). Suppose that, for all j * i, s. «=
(u^,...,u ,a) and that s. t (u^,...,u ,a). Since, for each k * i, s, ^ b.
and n >_ 5i (9) implies that, for all j * i and all b e A, there exists
s. E S. such that g(s.,s .) = b. Hence, because (s.,...,s ) was assumed to
be a Hash equilibrium for (u. ,...,u ), we can conclude that u.(a) _> u.(b)
for all j '' i and all b e A. Our weak no veto power condition then implies
that a E f(u, ,...,u ), as reauired.
In
Finally, in case (y), for all i, there exist j. and k, with j ;' i i^ k,
12
such that B. t s, . Hence, as in case (p), weak no veto power implies that
a e f(u.,...,u ), completing the proof.
Q.E.S.
The proof of Theorem 1 is constructive. Given an SCR satisfying weak
no veto power and monotonicity, we produce a game form that fully implements
it. It may be helpful to summarize the construction in words. An action
consists of announcing a profile of utility functions and an alternative
that is in the choice set for that profile. Condition (7) says that if all
individuals announce the same profile (u. ,...,u ) and alternative a, then a
is the outcomme. Condition (8) says that if all individuals but one play
the same action (u^,...,u ,a), then, by varying his action, the remaining
individual can "trace out" the entire lower contour set corresponding to the
utility function the others announce for him and to the alternative that
they announce. Condition (9) stipulates that if, in a configuration of
actions, two individuals' actions differ, then any third individual can
trace out the entire set A by varying his action.
As we have noted, the Pareto correspondence is monotonic Also, it
obviously satisfies weak no veto power. Theorem 1 implies, therefore, that
the Pareto correspondence is implementable for n 2. 3, even when the U.'s are
unrestricted (i.e., equal to U.)- This result, however, does not obtain
when n = 2, as Theorem 2 demonstrates.
Pareto Optimality : An SCR f: U. x — xU ->• A is Pareto optimal if for all
(u. ,...,u ) E UX...XU and all a c f (u, , — ,u ) , a is weakly Pareto optimal
1 n 1 n In
with respect to (u.,...,u ), i.e., there does not exist b e A such that, for
all i, u. (b) > u. (a) .
Dictatorship: An SCR f: U x...xU -*■ A is dictatorial if there exists an
*- 1 n
13
individual i such that, for all (u. ,...,u ) e U. x.,.xU and all a e A, u.(a)
I n 1 n 1
>_u.(b) for all b e A if a e f(u.,...,u ). That is, an SCR is dictatorial
if there exists an individual (the dictator) who always gets his way.
Theorem 2 ; Let f: U. x U. -*• A be a two-person, Pareto optimal SCR. Then f
is implementable in Nash equilibrium if and only- if f is dictatorial.
Proof : See Maskin (1977) and Hurwicz and Schmeidler (1978).
The hypothesis that the U. 's are equal to U is crucial to the validity
of Theorem 2. As we shall see in Section 7, many two-person, Pareto
optimal, and nondictatorial SCR's on restricted domains are implementable.
Given a set of SCR's satisfying the hjrpotheses of Theorem 1, we can
generate new implementable SCR's:
Corollary to Theorem 1 : For n >_ 3, suppose that {f^jfj,-..} is a sequence
of n-person monotonic SCR's. Then, if one of the f.'s satisfies no veto
CD
power (_/ f. is fully implementable in Nash eauilibrium, and if each of f.'s
i=1 ^ * ^
satisfies weak no veto power (1 f. is fully implementable (assuming /O
i=1 ^
f.(u. ,...,u ) is nonempty for all profiles)
i=1 ^ i=1
Proof: The proof simDly consists of verifying that [^ f. and /^ f. both
i=1 ^ i=1 ^
satisfy monotonicity, that [^ f . satisfies weak no veto power if one of
i=1 ^
CD
f.'s does, and that^ .'_!. f. satisfies weak no veto power if all the f.'s do.
14
3. The Revelation Principle
Let us temporarily broaden the idea of an SCR. Rather than limiting
its domain to sets of utility functions, we shall define it to be a
correspondence on 9, x...x0 where 0. is individual i's space of possible
1 n 1
"characteristics." A characteristic 9. not only describes i's preferences,
but perhaps also his endowment, information about others, and whatever else
might be relevant.
Suppose that the SCR f: Q>x...x0 ->■ A is weakly implemented by a game
form g: S.x...xS -*■ A according to some noncooperative solution concept.
Thus we require the analogues of (l) and (2) to hold for the solution
concept under consideration. Because the solution concept is
noncooperative, we can write each individual's equilibrium action as a
function st(e.) of his characteristic. Hence, for all profiles (9. ,...,9 ),
(s*(9, ) , . . . ,s*(9 ) ) is an equilibrium. Now, define the induced game form
linn
g*: 0,x...xe -*■ A
I n
so that, for all (9,,..., 9 ),
1 n
e*(e^,...,9^) = g(s*(e^),...,s*(9^)).
Notice , that for all (9.,..., 6 ), the actions (9,,..., 9 ) constitute an
1 n 1 n
equilibrium^ for the profile (9.,..., 9 ) and that, furthermore,
g*(9,,...,9 ) E f(9,,...,9 ). This is the revelation principle (see Gibbard
(1973), Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979), Myerson (1979), (1982), and
(1983) and the references cited in this last paper): the observation that
^Actually this assertion is a bit too strong. It is true only for solution
concepts that have the property that an individual's best action does not
change when one deletes from the action spaces of other individuals all
actions that are never equilibirum actions for any possible characteristic
they might have. This property holds for dominant strategy, Bayesian, and
Nash equilibrium, but not for, say, maximin equilibrium. However it does
hold for a modified version of maximin equilibrium (see Dasgupta, Hammond,
and Maskin (1979)).
15
if a game form implements an SCR, then there exists a "direct revelation"
game form whose action spaces coincide with the characteristic spaces and
which has the properties that (1 ) playing one's true characteristic is
always an equilibrium action and (2) such a "truth-telling" equilibrium is
in the choice set.
Although the revelation principle is a useful technical device, we must
stress that g* does not necessarily implement f. That is because, although
g*(9,,...,9 ) is in the choice set for (G, ,...,G ), there may be other
equilibrivim outcomes that are not, even if g (the original game form) does
implement f. .
Thus, we cannot conclude from the revelation principle that all one
ever need consider are direct revelation game forms. Unfortunately, one may
draw that incorrect conclusion from reading much of the literature on
implementation in dominant and Bayesian equilibria. For the most part, this
literature has implicitly used an implementation concept different from (the
analogue of) (l) and (2), viz., namely "truthful implementation"** which
requires only that the truthful equilibrium of a direct revelation game form
be in the choice set. Although the connection between truthful and ordinary
implementation has been (partially) elucidated for the case of dominant
strategy equilibrium, almost nothing is known about it for Bayesian
equilibrium. In any case, the Nash implementation theory is the sole
implementation literature where much attention has been given to the issue
of multiple equilibria.. Indeed that is the aspect that lends the literature
interest, since for any SCR, it is extremely easy to contruct a direct
revelation game form for which, for each profile, the truthful equilibrium
^See Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979), Laffont and Maskin ( 1982a), and
Sections 5 and 6 below. '
16
IS in the choice set. All we have to do is satisfy (7), which is possible
for anj;; SCR.
There _is, nonetheless, a version of the revelation principle that is
consistent with our definition of Nash implementation. When Nash
equilibrium is the solution concept, an individual needs to know not just
his own preferences but the preferences of everyone else in order to
determine his equilibrium action. Therefore, in the framework of Sections 1
and 2, a characteristic of an individual is an entire profile of utility
functions. Indeed, if instead we interpreted individual i's characteristic
to be u. alone, we would, in effect, be requiring dominant strategies (see
Theorem 7.1.1 of Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979))-
Notice that having individuals announce utility profiles is,
essentially, what the game forms in the proof of Theorem 1 do (individuals
also announce alternatives, but that is only because f may be multivalued;
if f were single- valued, the strategy spaces could be taken to be
U^x...xU ). Thus these game forms may be thought of as ones of direct
I n
revelation. Now, as we shall see in Section 4, not all implementable SCE's
satisfy weak no veto power. Therefore, Theorem 1 does not quite completely
characterize the set of implementable SCE's. Nevertheless, the kind of game
form constructed in the proof, only slightly modified, is capable of fully
implementing any SCE that can be implemented at all. Thus, in this sense,
we need consider only a "canonical" class of SCE's.
Suppose that f is an implementable SCR. For each i and u. e U. let
N.(u.) = {a e A| there exists u . such that, for all j * i and all b e A,
u.(a) > u.(b) but a i f (u, , . . . ,u )}. That is, the set K.(u.) consists of
2—2 ' \ n 11
17
all the alternatives a that individual i can veto if he has utility function
u. even if a is a top-ranked alternative for everyone else. Clearly, N.Cu.)
is empty if f satisfies weak: no veto power. As in the proof of Theorem 1,
let
(6). S^ = {.(.U|,^. ..„,Uj^,a) |(u^ , .. .,Uj^) e U^x...xU^ and a e f (u^ , . . . ,u^) } .
Define g: S x,..xs -»• A to satisfy (7),
(8*) if s . = (u.,...,u ,a) for all i * 1, then
{b E A|b = g(s^,B_^), s^ e S^} ■= L(a,u^) - K^(a,u^),
where M.(a,u.) = {b e aI there exists u. e U. such that b e N.(u.) and u.(b)
11 11 111
>^u.(c) for all c e L(a,u.)}, and
(9*) if, for given i, there exist j and k, with j ^ i ^^^ k, such that S. t
S, , then
k
{b E A| b = g(s^,B_^), B^ E S^} = A - ?,
where P = {a e aI there exists (u>,...,u ) such that u.(a) > u.(b) for all i
' in 1—1
and b but a / f(u. ,...,u )}. From Lemma 1, if a e P, then a is not in the
/ ' n
range of f. Therefore P is empty if f is onto A. To see that such a
construction is possible, see Maskin (1977)-
Condition (8*) says that if all individuals but i take the same action
(u.,...,u ,a), then, by varying his action, i can trace out the lower
contour set corresponding to u. and a except for those alternatives b for
which there exists a profile (u^,...,u ) such that (a) b is top-ranked by
all individuals other than i, (p) individual i (with utility funciton u. )
18
prefers b to all alternatives in the lower contour set corresponding to
L(a,u.), and (y) t is not in the choice set corresponding to (u, , . . , iT ).
1 in
Condition (9*) requires that if, in a configuration of actions, two
individuals' actions differ, then any third individual, by varying his
action, can trace out the entire set A except for those alternatives a for
which there exists a profile in which a is top-ranked by everyone but not in
the choice set.
Theorem 3 : The Revelation Principle: Suppose that, for n >_ 5. f is an n-
person SCR that is implementable in Nash equilibrium. Then a game form
satisfying (6), (7), (8*), and (9*) exists. Furthermore, f is fully
implementable by any such game form.
For the details of the proof, see Maskin (1977). Here we give only an
indication of the idea behind the proof by way of an example.
The construction in Theorem 1 will not serve to implement all
implementable SCE's. This is because an implementable SCR may fail to
satisfy weak no veto power (however some implementable SCE's that violate
weak no veto power can be implemented by the Theorem 1 construction, e.g.,
the individual rationality correspondence of Section 4 below). For example,
consider the SCR f that chooses alternative c as optimal unless c is Pareto
dominated. If b Pareto dominates c, b is chosen, unless a, in turn, Pareto
dominates b, in which case a is chosen. This SCR is clearly monotonic, but
it does not satisfy weak no veto power because if individuals 2 and 3 (in a
three-person society) both prefer a to b and b to c, and individual 1
prefers b to a and a to c, then b is chosen, even though two out of three
individuals top-rank a. Moreover, the construction of Theorem 1 does not
implement the SCR.
19
To see this, suppose, for instance, that individuals' preferences are
as just described. However, suppose, in the Theorem 1 construction, that
individuals 2 and 3 both play the strategy consisting of announcing the
profile
'"-^^ -_1_ -2 5 " -
b c c
(*) c a a
abb
and the alternative c If individual 1 does the same, then the outcome is
c, since this is the f-optimal alternative. By playing some alternative
strategy s', furthermore, individual 1 can obtain alternative a, since a
lies in the lower contour set of 1 's preference ordering as specified by
(*). Individual 1 cannot, however, obtain alternative b. Therefore, a
strategy triple where individual 1 plays s' and individuals 2 and 3 each
play (*) is a Nash equilibrium with respect to individuals' (true)
preferences. Because the corresponding outcome, a, is not optimal for those
preferences, we conclude that the game form does not implement f.
However, f _is_ implementable by a game form satisfying (6), (7), (8*),
and (9*)' Specifically, (8*) guarantees that a non-optimal equilibrium as
above cannot arise because, starting from a configuration where all
individuals play the same strategy, an individual cannot trace out the whole
lower contour set and, in particular, cannot obtain, for any profile of
preference, any alternative that is top-ranked by all others and, within his
lower contous set, top-ranked for him. Thus, in the example, if individuals
2 and 3 play (*), individual 1 cannot obtain a (in this example, we did not
have to invoke (9*), which applies only to SCE's that permit non-Pareto
optimal outcomes).
20
Notice that Theorem 3 establishes that implementability implies full
implementability, as we claimed earlier. The theorem can be used to extend
the corollary to Theorem 1 to the case of SCR's that do not necessarily
satisfy weak no veto power.
Corollary 1 : Suppose that, for n 2i 3, f]^,f2f-»' is a sequence of monotonic
SCE's. Suppose one of the f.'s is implementable in Nash equilibrium. Then
CD
(^ f. is implementable also.
<^
It remains an open question whether (^ f . is necessarily
i=1 ^
implementable. However, a case in which the intersection of two
implementable SCR's ±s_ implementable is where one of the f. 's is the Pareto
correspondence .
Corollary 2 : Por n 2. 3, i^ ^i is an implementable SCR and ^2 i^ ''-^^ Pareto
correspondence, then f, /if, is implementable if it is nonempty for all
profiles.
Closely related to Corollary 2 is the observation that the "Pareto
frontier" of an implementable SCE is implementable.
Pareto Frontier of an SCR ; The Pareto frontier of an SCR f is the SCR
PF(f)(u^ ,...,-u^) = {a e f(u^ ,...,u^)lfor all b e f(u^ ,---,u^), u^(a) >_ u^(b)
for some i} .
Corollary 3 '- For n 2. 3, if f is an implementable SCR, then the Pareto
frontier PF(f) is .also implementable.
The proofs of Corollaries 1-3 are straightforward applications of
Theorem 3 (see Maskin (l977)).
21
4. No Veto Power, Individual Rationality, and Neutrality
We have already mentioned that weak no veto power is not necessary for
implementability. One prominent example of an implementable SCR that
violates this property is the individual rationality correspondence. Let Bq
be an element of A. We interpret &q to be the "status quo • " The individual
rationality correspondence, ■f-r-Tji selects all alternatives that weakly Pareto
dominate a^, i.e.
fjp(u^ , ...,u^) ■= {a E A|u^(a) >_ u^C^q) for all i).
Clearly, f-T, does not satisfy weak no veto power on all domains of utility
IK
functions, because every individual must be guaranteed at least the utility
he derives from a^ . Nonetheless it is a simple matter to fully implement
f^Tj. For instance, the construction of Theorem 1 will do the trick. For a
simpler example, let S. = A for all i. Define the game form g: S.x...xS ->■
A so that
s, if E^ = ... = s^
(10) g(s^,...,s^) = <
a.Q, otherwise
That is, each individual chooses an alternative as an action. If the
alternatives agree, the common alternative is the outcome; otherwise, Bq is
the outcome. It is immediate that g fully implements f-pn- Notice that this
is true even for n = 2.
The SCR f jTj iB implementable not only by itself but in conjunction with
other implementable SCR's.
Corollary 4 to Theorem 3 : Suppose that, for n >_ 5, f is an n-person SCR
that is implementable. Then f I IfTu ^s implementable too.
The individual rationality correspondence is highly "non-neutral"; it
treats the alternative ap very differently from all others. But, just as it
is imDlementable , so is anv neutral and monotonic SCR.
22
Neutrality : An SCR f: U x...xU ♦ A is neutral if for any permutation u:
A -* A and any profile (u. ,...,u )
f(u, n,...,u Ti) = 11 f(u,,...,u ).
in In
Neutrality simply says that an alternative's labelling is irrelevant.
Notice that in the formal statement, we have defined f on the unrestricted
domain. This is to ensure that f is defined on the permutation profile
(u. ii,...,u on). The following result is another simple application of
Theorem 3-
Theorem 4 (Maskin (1977)): For n >^ 3, an n-person SCR that is monotonic and
neutral is implementable in Nash equilibrium.
Theorem 4 and Corollary 4 raise the question of whether weak no veto
power is a redundant condition for implementability when n >_ 3» In fact,
the following example demonstrates that it is not, by exhibiting a three-
person monotonic SCR that is not implementable.
Example 1 (Maskin (1977)) A nonimplementable, monotonic SCR: Let n = 3 and
A = {a,b,c}. For each i, let U. consist of all utility functions
corresponding to strict preference orderings (i.e., u. (a) = u. (b) implies a
= b). Define the SCR f: U^ x U2 x U3 -^ A so that for all (u^Uj^Ug) e U^^ x
U2 X U3 and all x, y e A, x e f(u2,U2,U3) if and only if
(11) X is Pareto optimal
(12) if X E {a,b} u^(x) > u^(y) for all y * x
(13) if X = c, there exists y c A such that u^(x) > u,(y).
It is easy to see that f is monotonic. Choose (u*,Up,;i^), (uf*,U2*»u¥*) ,
and ( u*** , u^** , u?** ) e U^ x U2 x Ug so that
u*(b) > u*(c) > u*(a)
u*(c) > u*(a) > u|(b)
u*(c) > u*(a) > u*(b)
3 3 3
23
u**(a) > u^(b) > u|»(c)
u**(c) > u^(b) > u**(a)
u**(c) > u»*(a) > u|*(b)
U***^^?)"^ u***(a) > uf**(c)
u^(a) > u***(b) > u^(c)
u?**(a) > u?**(b) > u***(c).
Then
(U) f(u»,u*,u*) - {b,c}
(15) f(u^,u|*,u^) = {a}
(16) f(u***,u***,u*^) •= {b}.
If f is implement able, there erists a weakly implementing game form g: Sj^ ^
S2 >< S3 •*• A and a vector of actions (sj^jSjrSj) such that g(B2,B2,B3) •= c and
(s^.SjtSg) is a Nash equilibrium for the profile (utjuS.u?) • Because u1^(b)
> ut(c), there does not exist sV t S. such that g(B'',B_,s_) = b. If there
exists s' E S, such that g(s',Sp,s_) = a, then (s',s„,s_) is a Nash
equilibrium for (u"?**,ut**,u?**) , contradicting (16). If there does not
exist s[ E S, with g(s',Sp,s_) = a, then (s.,Sp,s_) is an equilibirum for
(u**,u**,u?*) , contradicting (15)« Hence f is not implementable .
5- Nash versus DoTninnnt Strategy Implementation
A dominant strategy ie an action that an individual is willing to take
regardless of the actions of others. Formally, we have
Dominant Strategy : In a game form g: S>x...xS -»- A, an action s. is a
dominant strategy for individual i with utility function u. if for all s. e
S . and s . E n S .
24
The definition of implementability in dominant strategies is analogous
to that for Nash equilibrium. The game form g: S. x. . . xS -►A weakly-
implements the SCR f if for all profiles (u,,...,u )
(17) DSE (u.,...,u ) is nonempty.
and
(18) DSE (u^ ,.. .,u^) C f(u^ ,...,u^),
where DSE (u. ,...,u ) consists of all dominant strategy equilibium outcomes
corresponding to (u,,...,u ). If ( 18) is an equality, g fully implements f.
As we suggested in Section 3. however, the literature on dominant
strategies has emphasized not this definition but rather the concept of
truthful implementation. For dominant strategies, a direct revelation game
form is a mapping
g: U X. . .xU -^ A.
''In
The game form g truthfully implements f in dominant strategies if, for all
(u. ,...,u ), the actions (u. ,...,u ) constitute a dominant strategy
in. In
equilibrium with respect to the utility functions (u. ,...,u ) and
g(u^,...,u^) t f(u^ , ...,u^).
Clearly, if f is weakly implemenxable in dominant strategies, it is
truthfully implementable. However, it is eas/ to give examples where the
converse does not hold (e.g.. Example 4-. 1.2 in Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin
(1979))' Nonetheless, there is an important case in which we can deduce the
converse; viz., where the U. 's contain only strict preferences.
Lemma_2: Suppose the U. 's contain only strict preferences. If the SCE f :
U.X...XU ->■ A is truthfully implementable, then it is weakly implementable
in dominant strategies.
25
Proof ; See Daegupta, Hammond and Maskin (1979)'
?or much of the rest of this section, we vlll concentrate on SCH'e that
are single-valued, i.e., whose choice sets contain only a single element.
For such sen's (denoted "SSCR's" for Bingl»-valued social choice rules) we
can characterize tinithful implementabillty in terms independent person-by-
person monotonicity.
Independent Person-by-Person Honotonicity (IPM) ; An SSCR f satisfies IPM if
for all (u^,...,u ) E U.X...XU , all i, all u, e U. and all a, b e A such
that a E f(u.,>*.,u ) and u. (b) > u. (a), it must be the case that b /
I n 1 1 '
f(u^fU_^).
Lemma 3 : An SSCR f: U, X...U •♦■ A is truthfully implementable if and only if
it satisfies IPM.
Proof ; See Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979)»
We should point out that IPM does not, in general, imply monotonicity.
That is, truthful implementability (even full implementability) in dominant
strategies does not imply Nash implementability.
Example 2 ; Let A ■ {a,b,o,d} and n - 3« Suppose that each U. consists of 4
utility functions: u^, u^ , u , u°, where
u^a) > u^(b) > u^(d) > u^(o)
u^^(a) - u^^b) > u^^o) > u^^(d)
u^(b) > u^a) > u^(d) > u^o)
u°(o) > u°(d)'> u°(a) > u°(b).
Define the SSCR f : Uj_ >« Uj x U3 ■► A so that
26
{c}, if u. •= u for some i and
1
a majority prefers c to d.
{d}, if u. = u for some i and
a majority prefers d to c.
f(u^ rUjtUg) = <
{b}, if at least two individuals have
utility function u and no one
has u .
{a} , otherwise
One can verify straightforwardly that f is truthfully implementable in
dominant strategies. In fact, the direct revelation game form corresponding
to f fully implements f (and has the strong property that, truth-telling is
dominant even for coalitions). However, f is not monotonic because, for
example, f(u ,u ,u ) = {b} but f(u ,u ,u ) = {a} even though, for all x e
A, u (b) >_ u (x) implies u (b) >_ u (x). Thus f is not implementable in
Kash equilibrium. This may seem odd, because the concept of dominant
strategy equilibrium is much more demanding than that of Nash equilibrium.
The apparent paradox is resolved by remembering that, to implement an SCR,
one not only has to ensure that the elements of the choice set can arise as
equilibrium outcomes , one has to prevent the existence of equilibrium
outcomes outside the choice set. It is easier to meet this second
requirement when dominant strategies are the solution concept, since by the
very stringency of a dominant strategy equilibrium, a nonoptimal equilibrixun
is less like to arise.
27
Nonetheless, when preferences are strict, dominant strategy
implementability does imply Hash implementability:
Theorem 5 (Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979)): If the U. 's contain only
strict preferences, then an SSCR f that is truthfully implementable in
dominant strategies is also monotonia.
Proof : Prom Lemma 3, an SSCR that is truthfully implementable satisfies
IPM. Consider (u2^,...,u ), (u^,...,u ), and a e A such that
a e f(u^,...,u ) and, for all b e A and i, u (a) > u.(b) implies u.(a) >
u. (b). Suppose that c t f(u. ,u_ , . . . ,u ) for some c e A. If c ^ a, then IPM
implies that U2^(c) > u^(a) and u^(a) > u^Cc). But u^(a) > Uj^(c) implies
u^Ca) > Uj^Cc), by hypothesis. Therefore a"c, and so a e f (u^jUj, • • • rU ).
Continuing iteratively, a e f(u,,...,u ).
Q.E.D.
Not surprisingly, monotonicity does not in general imply IPM. Still,
there is a large class of oases where the implication holds. To discuss
this class, we need the following definition.
Monotonically Closed Domain ^: A class U of utility functions is a
monotonically closed domain if, for all pairs {u,u'} C U and {a,b} ^A such
that (i) u(a) >_ u(b) implies u'(a) _> u' (b) and (ii) u(a) > u(b) implies
u'(a) > u-'(b), there exists u" t U such that for all c e A (iii) u(a) >_ u(c)
implies u"(a) >_u"(c), and (iv) u'(b) ^ u'(c) implies u"(b) _> u"(c).
One way of generating a u" satisfying the requirements of the
definition is by taking minimums: if u(a) = u'(a) and u(b) ■= u'(b), then u"
= min(u,u') will suffice.
^A monotonically closed domain is called a "rich domain" in Dasgupta,
Hammond, and Maskin (1979).
28
Clearly, the iinrestricted domain U. is monotonically closed.
Trivially, any domain consisting of a single utility function is also
monotonically closed. Suppose that A is the set of allocations across
individuals of fixed stocks of m divisible commodities. If U consists of
all utility functions corresponding to continuous, strictly, monotone,
strictly convex, selfish (i.e., no externalities) preferences over A, then,
as shown by Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979), U is monotonically closed
as well.
Theorem 6 (Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979)): If U. is monotonically
closed for all i, then if the SSCR f is implementable in Nash equilibrium,
it is truthfully implementable in dominant strategies.
Proof : If f is implementable in Nash equilibrium, then it is monotonic. If
f violated IPM, there would exist (u^j.-.fU ), u., a, and, b such that a t
f(u,,...,u ) and u.(a) > u.(b) but b e f(u.,u .). From the monotonic
in 1 1 1 -1
closure of U. , however, there exis-cs u. e U. such that for all c
1 11
and
u.(a) > u.(c) implies u.(a) > u.(c)
1—1 ^ 1—1
u. (b) 2. ii- (c) implies u. (b) _> u. (c) .
Prom monotonicity applied to (u. ,u .) and (u.,u .), we have a z f (u. ,u .).
But from monotonicity applied to (u. ,u .) and (u. ,u .), b e f(u. ,u .), a
29
contradiction of f's single- valuedness. Therefore, f satisfies IPM and so
is truthfully implementable in dominant strategies.
Q.E.D.
Theorem 6 implies that if a planner wishes to implement a single-valued
SCR , he"wriirget no extra mileage from using the ostensibly weaker concept
of Nash implementation if the domain of utility functions is monotonically
closed. In particular, we have the following negative result.
Corollary 1 (Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979), Roberts (1979): Suppose
that A contains at least three elements and that f : U -^ A is an n-person
SSCR that is onto A. If f is implementable in Nash equilibrium, it is
dictatorial.
Proof : Because U is monotonically closed, Theorem 6 implies that f is
truthfully implementable in dominant strategies. But then, from the Gibbard
(1973)/Satterthwaite (1975) theorem on dominant strategies, f is
dictatorial .
Q.E.L.
Roberts (1979) extends Corollary 1 to the case of "conjectural"
equilibria, where, rather than taking other players' strategies as given, an
individual conjectures that others will respond to his strategy choice.
This result is, in turn, closely related to one of Pattanaik (1976).
Another implications we can draw "from Theorem 6 is a set of conditions
under which an implementable f can be thought of as maximizing a social
aggregation function.
Social Aggregation Function : Let B. be the class of all complete,
reflexive, binary relations on A. A social aggregation function (SAF) is a
mapping
F: U X...XU -i- B. .
1 n A
30
If the range of F consists of acyclic relations, F is called a social
decision function, and if these relations are also transitive, F is a social
welfare function. F satisfies the Pareto property if whenever all
individuals strictly prefer a to b (i.e., u.(a) > u.(b) for all i) then
F(u. ,...,u ) ranks a above b. F satisfies nonnegative response if, for all
{a,b} and { (u. , . . . ,u ) , (u. , . . . ,u )} , if, for all i, u.(a) >_ u.(b) implies
u. (a) >^ u. (b) and u. (a) > u. (b) implies u. (a) > u.(b), then that a is ranked
weakly (strictly) above b by F(u. ,...,u ) implies that a is ranked weakly
(strictly) above b by F(u. , . . . ,u ).
The SSCR f maximizes F if, for all (u, ,...,u ), a e f(u. ,...,u )
In In
implies that, for all b ^ a, a is striclty preferred to b by F(u, ,...,u ).
Corollary 2 : Suppose that the U! s are monotonically closed and consist only
of strict preferences , the SSCR f is implementable in Nash equilibrium if
and only if there exists an SAF F satisfying nonnegative response such that
f maximizes F. Furthermore, if f is onto A, F satisfies the Pareto
property.
Proof : See Dasgupta, Hammond, and Maskin (1979)
Nonnegative response implies independence of irrelevant alternatives
(IIA) in the sense of Arrow (l95l)- Corollary 2, therefore, illustrates the
close relationship among monotonicity, IPM, and IIA.
6. Quasilinear Preferences
So far, the only particular domain of utility functions that we have
discussed in any detail is the unrestricted domain U,. We next consider an
important restricted domain: the class of quasilinear preferences.
Suppose that a social alternative consists of a public decision d
(which is an element of some set D) and a vector (t,,...,t ) of transfers of
1 ' n
51
some private good (the t. 's are real numbers). Individual i's preferences
are quasilinear if his utility function u takes the form
(20) v(d) + t^.
Let U. be the class of all preferences of form (20). This class has been
the object of much study in the dominant strategy implementation literature
(see, for example, Clarke (1971), Groves (1973), Green and Laffont (1979))-
Rather less has been done with it in the Nash implementation literature
(see, however, Laffont and Maskin ( 1982a) and (1982b) and Roberts (1979))-
QL
It is readily verified that the domain U. is not monotonically closed.
Therefore, Theorem 10 does not apply, and we cannot conclude that the sets
of Nash- and dominant strategy-implementable SSCR's are the same.
Nevertheless, as Roberts (1979) has shown, the public decision parts of the
SSCR's are identical.
In view of (20) we can express an SSCR as a function of the public
parts of individuals' utility functions. Write
f(v.,...,v ) = (d(v. , ... ,v ), t(v. ,... ,v ), . .. ,t (v. , ... ,v )),
in 1 n 1 n n i n
where u. = v. + t. .
Ill
Theorem 7 : Suppose that D, the public decision space is finite. Let f:
OL OL / \
U; x...xu^ ->■ A be an SSCR such that d( ) is onto B. Then if f is either
1 n
Hash-implementable or truthfully implementable in dominant strategies, there
n
exist VfiiD ->• R and numbers a. , . . . , a such that c. > for all i and I a. =
" ^ 1 ' ' n 1 — . , 1
1=1
1 such that d(v. ,...,v ) = arg max(vQ(d) + Z a^. v^. (d))
d i=1
n
01- . . ,
1 1
32
Proo f: See Roberts (1979).
Laffont and Maskin ( 1982a) place more structure on the problem by-
assuming that
D = [0,1]
and that the individuals' v. functions are concave and differentiable and
take their maxima in the interior of D. Let V be the class of such
functions. They also assume that the public decision function d( ) is
weaklv efficient (if v, =...= v , then d(v, ,...,v ) = arg mar v.), and
' 1 n 1 n ^ 1 '
neutral (d(v , ...,v ) = d(v , ...,v ) + c, where for all i, v.(d) ■= v.(d-c)).
Theorem 8 : Let f be an SSCE oe Vx..,xV that is either Nash-implementable or
truthfully implementable in dominant strategies. If d is weakly efficient
and neutral then
(i) there exists a continuous and semi-strictly increasing^ function h:
R -*• R such that h(0,...,0) = and d(v, ,...,v ) solves h(v' (d) , • . . ,v' (d)) =
0, where primes denote derivatives;
(ii) if f is Nash implementable, t. is a function of the numbers
d(v^,...,v^) and v^ (d(v^ , . . . ,v^)) , . . . ,v^(d(v^ , . . . ,v^) ) ;
(iii) if f is truthfully implementable in dominant strategies, then
d(v^ ,' ••.\)
t = - / h (v:(t))dt + H (v ),
1 1-1
where h.: IR •* IE satisfies
^By "semi-strictly increasing" we mean that if x is bigger in evry component
than y, then h(x) > h(y) .
33
h(h (a ), B. ) "0, if there exists a. with h(a. ,a . ) ■=
h.(a .) •= 0, otherwise.
Proof: See Laffont and Maskin ( 1982a).
Notice that the set of implementahle public decisions is defined by-
varying h, whether it be Nash or dominant strategy implementation. When,
n
for example, h = Z ^^v.' .
i=1
the public decision becomes
n
d(v.,...,v ) = arg max Z \.v.(d).
1 n "^ , .,11
d i'=1
The form of the transfers, however, depends on the type of implementation.
Nash implementation demands that the transfers be a function of the optimal
public decision and the derivatives of individuals' utility functions
evaluated at the optimum. Dominant strategy implementation requires that an
individual's transfer be the sum of two terms: a term depending on the
derivitives of the utility functions and the public decision, and a term
depending only on the utility functions of the other individuals .
7. Strong Equilibrium
Hash equilibrium is a noncooperative concept; it implicitly assumes
that individuals do not act in concert. When individuals can collude,
strong equilibrium may be a more appropriate solution concept.
Strong Equilibium : A strong equilibrium for the game form g: S.x. ..xS -»- A
with respect to the profile (u. ,...,u ) is a configuration (s^,...,e ) such
that for all coalitions CC {1,...,n} and all s„ z U S. there exists i e C
such that u^(g(s)) >_ u^(g(sp,s"_p)) .
34
By analogy with Nash equilibrium, a game form g fully implements the f
in strong equilibrium if for all profiles (u.,...,u )
SE„(u, , .. . ,u ) = f(u ,...,u ),
g 1 n 1 n
where SE (u, ,...,u ) consists of the strong equilibrium outcomes of g for
the profile (u, ,...,u ).
1 n
We should note that if g fully implements f in strong equilibrium, it
does not necessarily implement f in Nash equilibrium. The reason for this
apparent anomaly is that g may possess Nash equilibria that are not strong
and which, futhermore, do not lead to outcomes in the choice set. For
example, consider the following two- person game form, where individual 1
chooses rows as actions, and individual 2, columns:
a
a
a
b
This game form fully implements the SSCR f*: U2^xU2-^{a,b}in strong
equilibria, where the U. 's contain the strict preferences on {a,b} and
b, if both individuals prefer b to a
•f*
(u2,U2) = <
a, otherwise.
However, the game form does not implement f* in Hash equilibrium, because
(3^,82) is a non-f*-optimal Nash equilibrium when both individuals prefer b
to a.
We have seen that monotonicity is a necessary condition for
implementability in Nash equilibirum. The same is true for strong
35
Theorem 9 : (Maskin ( 1979b): If an SCR f is implementable in strong
equilibrium, it is monotonic
On the other hand, weak no veto power, which played an important role
in establishing positive results for Nash implementation, prevents
implementation in strong equilibrixim when the number of individuals does not
exceed the number of alternatives and the domain is unrestricted.
Theorem 10 : If the n- person SCR f: U x...xU -► A is onto A, n is less than
or equal the cardinality of A but greater than or equal to three, and f is
implementable in strong equilibrium, f does not satisfy weak no veto power.
Proof : The proof consists of considering a "cyclic" profile of preferences
(u^ , . . . ,u ) , where
u^(a^) > u^(a2) >...> u^(a^)
U2(a2) > U2(a3) >...> U2(a^)
u (a ) > u (ai) >...> u (a ,).
n n n -^ n n-1
Such a profile exists because there are at least as many alternatives as
individuals. But then it is a straightforward to show that no alternative
can be a strong equilibrium, since no single individual has veto power. For
the details, see Maskin ( 1979b).
Q.E.I.
Theorem 10 is false if the number of individuals exceeds the number of
alternatives, as the following example shows.
Example 3 : Let n = 3, A = {a,b}, and U. consist of the strict preferences
on A. Let f be majority rule, i.e., an alternative is in the choice set if
and only if it is top-ranked by two or more individuals. The following game
form implements f:
36
a
a
a
b
a
b
b
b
where individual 1 chooses rows, 2 columns, and 3 matrices. A large class
of other examples has been constructed by Moulin and Peleg (1982).
Clearly if an SCR f is onto its range and fully implementable , it must
be Pareto optimal. In Section 4 we demonstrated that the SCR that selects
all Pareto optimal and individually rational alternatives is implementable
in Nash equilibirum. In fact, this is the only individually rational SCR on
the unrestricted domain that is fully implementable in strong equilibrium.
Individually Rational SCR: If an e A is the status quo, an SCR f: U, x...xU
1 - ' 1 n
•^ A is individually rational if for all (u. ,...,u ) and all a t f(u. ,...,u )
u.(a) > u.(an) for all i.
Theorem 11 (Maskin (l979b)): Let f „ : U x...xU. ^- A be the SCC such that
Q A A
for all (u. , . . . ,u )
I n
f-(u, ,...,u ) = {a E Alfor all j u.(a) > u.(an) and, for all i, and for
all b E A, there exists i such that u.(a) >_u.(b)}.
Then f^^ is the iinique individually rational SCC on U.x...xU, that is
implementable in strong equilibrium.
Proof : It is immediate to verify that f^ is fully implemented by the game
form (10) (which, interestingly, also implements the individual rationality
correspondence in Nash equilibrium) . That f-^ is the only implementable
individually rational SCR on the unrestricted domain follows from an
argument in Maskin ( 1979b).
37
8. Double Implementation
Whereas implementation in Nash equilibrium ignores the possibility of
collusion, implementation in strong equilibrium may, in effect, require
coalitions to form. To see this, consider the game form (10). In order to
obtain any alternative other than Bq, all individuals have to take the same
action. Clearly, there are many (non-strong) Nash equilibria in which
different individuals take different actions, and to avoid ending up in one
of these presumably involves some coordination. That is, collusion is
necessary.
Because the game form designer may not know the extent to which
collusion can or will take place, it is desirable to have an implementation
concept that does not posit any particular degree of collusion. One
possibility is to require a game form to fully implement simultaneously in
both strong and Nash equilibrium. This game form would yield optimal
outcomes regardless of collusion. We shall say that such a game form
(fully) doubly implements the SCR.
Of course, double implementation is a very demanding requirement. Hot
very surprisingly, when the number of alternatives is at least three and the
domain of utility functions is unrestricted, the only SCE's that are onto A
and doubly implementable are dictatorial.
Theorem 1 2 (Maskin 1979a): Suppose A contains at least three elements and
f: U.><...>«U. -*■ A is an n-person SCE that is onto A. If f is doubly
implementable, then it is dictatorial.
The results are more encouraging, however, when preferences are
restricted. Suppose, in particular, that there exists (at least) one
divisible and transferable private good that all individuals find desirable
and that does not create externalities (i.e., one individual's allotment of
38
this good does not affect any other's utility). Let us express a social
alternative a as (b,t, , . . . ,t ) , where t. is the transfer of this private
good to individual i, and b represents all other social decisions inherent
in a. We shall call b the "public decision," although it may itself entail
the allocation of private goods. Denote the status quo, blq, by
(bg ,0, . . . ,0) . Suppose that the private good is sufficiently desirable (and
that consumers have enough of it in the status quo so that, for all i and
all public decisions b, there exist (t.,...,t ) such that
(21) (b,^, ,... ,"t ) E A and, for all t. < "t. and all u., u.(an) >
In 1 1 iiO
u. (b,t . ,t . ) .
1 1 -1
Condition (21) provides for the existence of "punishments." It says that
regardless of the public decision, it is always possible to take away enough
of the private good from individual i to make him worse off than under the
status quo. ¥e have the following result.
Theorem 13 : Assum.e the existence of a desirable and divisible private good .
If (21) is satisfied, then any individually rational and Pareto optimal SCR
is fully doubly implementable.
Proof ; See Maskin (1979a).
9. Related Concepts
This paper has discussed Hash, strong Nash, and "double"
implementation. We should, however, mention two related lines of work.
Farquharson (1969) proposed the concept of a "sophisticated"
equilibrium. This is a refinement of Hash equilibrium in which weakly
dominated strategies are successively eliminated. For example, consider the
following two player game:
59
2,2
1,1
1,1
0,G
1,1
2,1
0,0
1,2
0,0
The strategy configurations (a,d), (b,e), (c,e), and (b,f) are all Nash
equilibria. However, strategies c and f are weakly dominated for players I
and II. If we delete them, the game becomes
d e
2,2
1,1
0,0
1,1
notice that here strategies b and e are weakly dominated. Once these are
deleted, the players have one strategy each. Hence (a,d) forms a
sophisticated or dominance solvable equilibrium.
The theory of implementation in dominance solvable equilibrium has been
developed largely by Moulin (see Moulin (l979a), (l979b), (1979c), (1980),
(1981 )). Although a full characterization of the implementable SCR's is not
available, there are by now many examples of Pareto optimal, neutral, and
40
anonymous SCR'b that can be implemented, including some that are not Nash
implementable .
An SSCR can itself be thought of a a game form; a player's strategy is
the announcement of a utility function (not necessarily his true one) and
the outcome is the alternative optimal with respect to the announced
preferences. An SSCR is said to be consistent if for any profile of (true)
preferences there exists a strong equilibrium of the SSCR (when viewed as a
game form) whose outcome is optimal with respect to those (true)
preferences. Notice that the qualification about optimality is not
superfluous since the strategies played in equilibrium may themselves be
untruthful. The concept of consistency is due to Peleg (1977). Besides
Peleg, contributors to the subject include Butta and Pattanaik (1978).
41
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9632
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Date Due
Lib-26-67