Economics 30300a. Price Theory IIIa.

Course description

In the first five weeks of the quarter, this course will focus on the theory of games and markets where individuals face risks and have different information. We may begin with topics on Bayesian games (if not covered in Price Theory IIb), and then review some basic ideas about risk aversion and risk sharing with common information. We will then study basic models for understanding how transactions in organizations and markets can be affected by problems of moral hazard and adverse selection. Spring 2018.

Main Texts:

Plan of Topics:

  1. Bayesian games with incomplete information: MWG 8E; JR 7.2.3; My 2.8-2.9, 3.9-3.11; gt notes pp 9-16.
  2. Risk aversion and risk sharing with common information: JR 2.4.3; MWG 6.C-D; notes pp1-4.
  3. Principal-agent problems with moral hazard: JR 8.2; MWG 14.B; notes pp 5-11.
  4. Principal-agent problems with adverse selection: MWG 14.C,23.D-F; JR 9; notes pp 12-17.
  5. Equilibria in markets and bargaining games with asymmetric information: JR 8; MWG 13.A-D notes pp 18-24.

References: [by topic]

[1]
R. Myerson, "Harsanyi's games with incomplete information," Management Science 50(12):1818-1824 (2004).

[2]
R Wilson, "The theory of syndicates," Econometrica 36(1):119-132 (1968).
K Borch, "Equilibrium in a reinsurance market," Econometrica 30(3):424-444 (1962).
R Coase, "The problem of social cost," J of Law and Economics 1:1-44 (1960).

[3]
G Becker, G Stigler, "Law enforcement, malfeasance, and compensation of enforcers," J Legal Studies 3:1-18 (1974).
M Jensen, W Meckling, "Theory of the firm: managerial behavior, agency costs, and ownership structures," J Financial Economics 3:305-360 (1976).
C Shapiro, J Stiglitz, "Equilibrium unemployment as a worker discipline device," American Economic Review 74(3):433-444 (1986).
B Holmstrom, P Milgrom "Aggregation and linearity in the provision of intertemporal incentives," Econometrica 55:303-328 (1987).

[4]
G Akerlof, "The market for lemons," Quarterly J Economics 84:488-500 (1970).
R. Myerson, "Optimal auction design," Mathematics of Operations Research 6:58-73 (1981).
R Myerson, M Satterthwaite, "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," J Economic Theory 28:265-281 (1983).
P Cramton, R Gibbons, P Klemperer, "Dissolving a partnership efficiently," Econometrica 55:615-632 (1987).
B Holmstrom, R Myerson, "Efficient and durable decision rules with incomplete information," Econometrica 51:1799-1819.

[5]
M Spence, "Job market signaling," Quarterly J of Economics 87:355-374 (1973).
M Rothschild, J Stiglitz, "Equilibrium in competitive insurance markets," Quarterly J Economics 90:629-649 (1976).
J Stiglitz, A Weiss, "Credit rationing in markets with imperfect information," American Economic Review 71:393-410 (1981).
S Myers, N Majluf, "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," J Financial Economics 13:187-221 (1984).
I Cho, D Kreps, "Signaling games and stable equilibria," Quarterly J Economics 102:179-221 (1987).
C Wilson, "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," J Economic Theory 16:167-207 (1977).
J Riley, "Informational equilibrium," Econometrica 47:331-359 (1979).
P Dasgupta, E Maskin, "Existence of equilibrium in discontinuous economic games," Review of Economic Studies 46:1-41 (1986).
M Hellwig, "Some recent developments in the theory of markets with adverse selection," European Economic Review 31:319-325 (1987).
R Myerson, "Sustainable matching plans with adverse selection," Games and Economic Behavior 9:35-65 (1995).
E Azevedo, D Gottlieb, "Perfect competition in markets with adverse selection," Econometrica 85(1):67-105 (2017).
V Crawford, J Sobel, "Strategic information transmission," Econometrica 50:579-594 (1982).