Implementation with partial provability

Elchanan Ben-Porath, Barton L. Lipman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We extend implementation theory by allowing the social choice function to depend on more than just the preferences of the agents and allowing agents to support their statements with hard evidence. We show that a simple condition on evidence is necessary for the implementation of a social choice function f when the preferences of the agents are state independent and sufficient for implementation for any preferences (including state dependent) with at least three agents if the social planner can perform small monetary transfers beyond those called for by f. If transfers can be large, f can be implemented in a game with perfect information when there are at least two players under a boundedness assumption. For both results, transfers only occur out of equilibrium. The use of evidence enables implementation which is robust in the sense that the planner needs little information about agents' preferences or beliefs and agents need little information about each others' preferences. Our results are robust to evidence forgery at any strictly positive cost.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1689-1724
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Eddie Dekel, Jacob Glazer, Sean Horan, Navin Kartik, Phil Reny, Olivier Tercieux, various seminar audiences, and an anonymous associate editor and referee for helpful comments and the US–Israel Binational Science Foundation for supporting this research. Lipman also thanks the National Science Foundation for support.


  • Hard evidence
  • Implementation
  • Mechanism design


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