Resource Allocation Mechanisms derives the general welfare properties of systems in which individuals are motivated by self-interest. Satisfactory outcomes will emerge only if individual incentives are harnessed by means of a communication and payoff process, or mechanism, involving every agent. Professor Campbell employs a formal and abstract model of a mechanism that brings into prominence the criteria by which the performance of an economy is to be judged. The mechanism approach is used to prove some fundamental theorems about the possibility of designing an economic system satisfying the criteria. It also establishes a way of thinking about economic issues that is becoming increasingly useful in special branches of economics, such as industrial organization and public finance. This book can be viewed as two different texts: one constitutes an introduction to the theory of mechanism design and the other is a treatment of welfare economics with conventional emphasis on Pareto optimality as well as providing substantial material on incentives, uncertainty, and existence of equilibrium.
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Performance criteria; 3. The Arrow-Debreu world; 4. Uncertainty; 5. Incentive compatibility; 6. Existence of a competitive equilibrium; 7. Welfare properties of the Walrasian mechanism; Appendices; References; Author index; Subject index.