Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal–agent problems
The general principal–agent problem is formulated, in which agents have both private information and private decisions, unobservable to the principal. It is shown that the principal can restrict himself to incentive-compatible direct coordination mechanisms, in which agents report their information to the principal, who then recommends to them decisions forming a correlated equilibrium. In the finite case, optimal coordination mechanisms can be found by linear programming. Some basic issues relating to systems with many principals are also discussed. Non-cooperative equilibria between interacting principals do not necessarily exist, so quasi-equilibria are defined and shown to exist.