Geoffroy de Clippel

Associate Professor of Economics at Brown University. I am an economic theorist, with an interest in experiments too. My research covers topics in mechanism design, bounded rationality, bargaining, distributive justice, and cooperative games.

Curriculum Vitae

All papers available here

 

Working Papers:

The Silent Treatment, with Kfir Eliaz and Kareen Rozen

The attention of a principal is sought by multiple agents eager to have their ideas implemented. Such attention-seeking imposes an externality on the principal, who can only implement one idea per period and may overlook valuable proposals. Her only means of providing incentives is her rule for selecting among proposals, which must be rational for her to follow. Can she design an idea-selection mechanism that circumvents this problem? This paper argues that in repeated interactions, the principal can ensure agents refrain from communicating ideas unless they are of the highest quality. The principal may achieve her first-best outcome even when she is fully attention constrained and has minimal information about the ability of agents. Whether her first best is achievable hinges on the the worst possible agent.

 

Fairness Through the Lens of Cooperative Game Theory: an Experimental Approach, with Kareen Rozen

This paper experimentally investigates cooperative game theory from a normative perspective. Subjects designated as Decision Makers decide on payoff allocations for three subjects (Recipients) whose substitutabilities and complementarities are captured by a characteristic function. Axioms and solution concepts from cooperative game theory provide valuable insights into the data.

 

Bounded Rationality and Limited Datasets (online appendix), with Kareen Rozen, R&R at Econometrica and peer-reviewed by NAJ-Econ

Theories of bounded rationality are typically characterized over an exhaustive data set. How does one tell whether observed choices are consistent with a theory if the data is incomplete? How can out-of-sample predictions be made? What can be identified about preferences? This paper aims to operationalize some leading bounded rationality theories when the available data is limited, as is the case in most practical settings.

 

Level-k Mechanism Design, with Rene Saran and Roberto Serrano

Models of choice where agents see others as less sophisticated than themselves have significantly different, sometimes more accurate, predictions in games than does Nash equilibrium. When it comes to the maximal set of functions that are implementable in mechanism design, however, they turn out to have surprisingly similar implications. Focusing on single-valued rules, we discuss the role and implications of different behavioral anchors (arbitrary level-0 play), and prove a level-k revelation principle. If a function is level-k implementable given any level-0 play, it must obey a slight weakening of standard strict incentive constraints. Further, the same condition is also sufficient for level-k implementability, although the role of specific level-0 anchors is more controversial for the sufficiency argument. Nonetheless, our results provide tight characterizations of level-k implementable functions under a variety of level-0 play, including truthful, uniform, and atomless anchors.

 

Mechanism Design with Bounded Depth of Reasoning and Small Modeling Mistakes, with Rene Saran and Roberto Serrano (NEW VERSION SOON)

 

 

Selected Publications:

Membership Separability: A New Axiomatization of the Shapley Value

The paper illustrates how members of a group may have an incentive to withhold information regarding the existence of Pareto improving options. The resulting level of inefficiency depends on how compromises are reached when there are multiple options to choose from. Various reasonable compromise rules can be ranked unequivocally, and a rule resulting in a minimal level of inefficiency is identified. Qualitative results extend to sequential disclosure. Enforcing a hard deadline for disclosure may be welfare improving in some circumstances.

Forthcoming in Games and Economic Behavior
(special issue in honor of Shapley)

 

Strategic Disclosure of Feasible Options, with Kfir Eliaz

The paper illustrates how members of a group may have an incentive to withhold information regarding the existence of Pareto improving options. The resulting level of inefficiency depends on how compromises are reached when there are multiple options to choose from. Various reasonable compromise rules can be ranked unequivocally, and a rule resulting in a minimal level of inefficiency is identified. Qualitative results extend to sequential disclosure. Enforcing a hard deadline for disclosure may be welfare improving in some circumstances.

Published in Games and Economic Behavior (2015) (supplement)

 

Competing for Consumer Inattention, with Kareen Rozen and Kfir Eliaz

Consumers are often limited in their ability to look for the best price in multiple markets. A firm's price can deflect or draw attention to its market, and consequently, limited attention introduces a new dimension of competition across markets. This may have surprising effects, as leading firms try to stay under the consumers' radar. In our model, the presence of partially attentive consumers improves consumer welfare as a whole.

Published in the Journal of Political Economy (2014)

 

Behavioral Implementation

How does implementation theory extend to situations where individual choice need not be consistent with the maximization of a context-independent preference? The maximal and minimal implementable extensions of the Pareto correspondence are characterized in terms of simple opportunity criteria. These extensions play a key role in obtaining a first and second fundamental theorems of welfare economics in housing markets with bounded rationality.

Published in the American Economic Review (2014)

 

On the Selection of Abitrators, with Kfir Eliaz and Brian Knight

The problem of arbitrator selection is studied using implementation theory. Combining theory and experiments, we document some issues with the veto-rank procedure that is commonly used in practice, and develop a new sequential procedure, shortlisting, with better properties.

Published in the American Economic Review (2014) (supplement)

 

Reason-Based Choice, with Kfir Eliaz

Two well-documented violations of rationality (the attraction and compromise effects) can be captured as the cooperative solution to an intrapersonal bargaining problem among two different criteria for choosing. We first axiomatically characterize our solution when the two criteria are known, and then discuss the testable implications of our model when the two criteria are unknown. Alternatively, our analysis may be reinterpreted as a study of (interpersonal) bilateral bargaining over a finite set of options.

Published in Theoretical Economics (2012) (supplement)

 

Marginal Contributions and Externalities in the Value, with Roberto Serrano

The paper studies how to extend the theory of the Shapley value to problems involving externalities. Using the standard axiom systems behind the Shapley value leads to the identification of bounds on players’ payoffs around an “externality-free” value. The approach determines the direction and maximum size of Pigouvian-like transfers among players, transfers based on the specific nature of externalities that are compatible with basic normative principles.

Published in Econometrica (2008)

 

Impartial Division of a Dollar, with Herve Moulin and Nicolaus Tideman, 

For impartial division, each participant reports only her opinion about the fair relative shares of the other participants, and this report has no effect on her own share. If a specific division is compatible with all reports, it is implemented. We propose a family of natural methods meeting these requirements, for a division among four or more participants. No such method exists for a division among three participants.

Published in the Journal of Economic Theory (2008)

 

The Type-Agent Core for Exchange Economies under Asymmetric Information

The type-agent core is a new solution concept for exchange economies with asymmetric information. It coincides with the set of equilibrium outcomes of a simple competitive screening game. Uninformed intermediaries help the agents to cooperate in an attempt to make some profit. The type-agent core is a subset of Wilson (1978)'s coarse core. It is never empty, even though it may be a strict subset of Wilson's fine core. In addition, it converges towards the set of constrained market equilibria as the economy is replicated.

Published in the Journal of Economic Theory (2007)