How to be an optimal middleman - power of Information Intermediaries in Budgeted MechanismsSpeaker: Shao-Heng
Title: How to be an optimal middleman - power of Information Intermediaries in Budgeted Mechanisms
Date: 06 May 2021 17:00-18:00 EST
Abstract: The bilateral trade problem - where a seller wants to sell an item to a potential buyer with private valuation of the item - is a well-studied classical problem in economic theory. However, it was not until the recent decade that we started understanding the benefits of adding a middleman - or an “information intermediary” between the two parties, that can observe (part of) the buyer’s valuation and deliberately share (part of) the observed information with the seller. In the first part of this very casual talk, I will introduce the model of information intermediary, and the Bergemann-Brooks-Morris (BBM) segmentation algorithm that “acts as the ideal middleman” to improve both the buyer’s and the seller’s expected utility. In the later part, I will briefly introduce some recent results that find the optimal middlemans in more advanced settings, e.g., where the buyer has a fixed budget cap. No background in game theory, economics, or experience in being a middleman will be needed to enjoy this talk!