Bilateral trade with a benevolent intermediary

Ran Eilat, Ady Pauzner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study intermediaries who seek to maximize gains from trade in bilateral negotiations. Intermediaries are players: they cannot commit to act against their objective function and deny, in some cases, trade they believe to be beneficial. This impairs their ability to assist the parties relative to conventional mechanisms. We analyze this limited commitment environment as a standard mechanism design problem with an additional “credibility” constraint, requiring that every outcome be interim-optimal conditional on available information. We investigate how such intermediaries communicate with the parties, analyze the tradeoffs they face, and study the bounds on what they can achieve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1655-1714
Number of pages60
JournalTheoretical Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • C72
  • D82
  • D83
  • Intermediation
  • asymmetric information
  • bilateral trade
  • imperfect commitment
  • mechanism design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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