Envy, truth, and profit

Jason D Hartline*, Qiqi Yan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

38 Scopus citations


We consider profit maximizing (incentive compatible) mechanism design in general environments that include, e.g., position auctions (for selling advertisements on Internet search engines) and single-minded combinatorial auctions. We analyze optimal envy-free pricings in these settings, and give economic justification for using the optimal revenue of envy-free pricings as a benchmark for prior-free mechanism design and analysis. Moreover, we show that envy-free pricing has a simple nice structure and a strong connection to incentive compatible mechanism design, and we exploit this connection to design prior-free mechanisms with strong approximation guarantees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEC'11 - Proceedings of the 12th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jun 30 2011
Event12th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, EC'11 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2011Jun 9 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce


Other12th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce, EC'11
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • envy-free pricing
  • optimal auction
  • prior-free
  • revenue maximization
  • truthful mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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