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Synergies are a reason to prefer first-price auctions!

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  • Leufkens, Kasper
  • Peeters, Ronald

Abstract

In this paper we show that in a private value setting first-price auctions can be preferred to second-price auctions. We consider a sequential auction of two objects with positive synergies and compare both auction formats. Although the second-price auction performs better in terms of efficiency and revenue, the first-price auction performs much better on a so far neglected dimension. Namely, the probability that the winner of the first object goes bankrupt is almost always higher when using the second-price rule. Our findings therefore support the common use of first-price auctions, most notably for procurement.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 64-69

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:97:y:2007:i:1:p:64-69

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  1. Güth, Werner & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2001. "Bidding behavior in asymmetric auctions: An experimental study," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,15, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  2. Branco, Fernando, 1997. "Sequential auctions with synergies: An example," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 159-163, February.
  3. Leufkens, Kasper & Peeters, Ronald & Vermeulen, Dries, 2010. "Sequential auctions with synergies: The paradox of positive synergies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 139-141, December.
  4. Tang Sorensen, Soren, 2006. "Sequential auctions for stochastically equivalent complementary objects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 337-342, June.
  5. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
  6. Fehl, Ulrich & Guth, Werner, 1987. "Internal and external stability of bidder cartels in auctions and public tenders: A comparison of pricing rules," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 303-313.
  7. Jeitschko, Thomas D. & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 1998. "Scale economies and the dynamics of recurring auctions," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,62, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  8. repec:wop:humbsf:2000-72 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 2004. "Tacit collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 153-169, January.
  10. Plum, M, 1992. "Characterization and Computation of Nash-Equilibria for Auctions with Incomplete Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 393-418.
  11. Holt, Charles A, Jr, 1980. "Competitive Bidding for Contracts under Alternative Auction Procedures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 433-45, June.
  12. Menezes, Flavio M. & Monteiro, Paulo K., 2004. "Auctions with synergies and asymmetric buyers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 287-294, November.
  13. Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
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