Efficient Dynamic Auctions

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Discussion Paper

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We consider the truthful implementation of the socially efficient allocation in a dynamic private value environment in which agents receive private information over time. We show that a suitable generalization of the Vickrey-Clark-Groves mechanism, based on the marginal contribution of each agent, leads to truthtelling in every period. A leading example of a dynamic allocation model is the sequential auction of a single good in which the current winner of the object receives additional information about her valuation. We show that a modified sequential second price auction in which only the current winner makes a positive payment leads to truthtelling. In general allocation problems, the marginal contribution mechanism continues to induce truthtelling in every period but may now include positive transfers for many agents.

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