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The effect of bidders' asymmetries on expected revenue in auctions

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  • Cantillon, Estelle

Abstract

Bidders' asymmetries are widespread in auction markets. Yet, their impact on behavior and, ultimately, revenue and profits is still not well understood. In this paper, I define a natural benchmark auction environment to which to compare any private value auction with asymmetrically distributed valuations. I show that the expected revenue from the benchmark auction always dominates that from the asymmetric auction, both in the first price auction and the second price auction. These results formalize and make transparent the idea that competition is reduced by bidders' asymmetries. The paper also contributes to a better understanding of competition and the nature of rents in auction markets. Anonymity of the allocation mechanism seems to be an important factor.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 62 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-25

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:62:y:2008:i:1:p:1-25

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Leandro Arozamena & Estelle Cantillon, 2004. "Investment Incentives in Procurement Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 1-18, 01.
  2. 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.
  3. Bernard Lebrun, 1996. "Existence of an equilibrium in first price auctions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 421-443.
  4. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1997. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," NBER Working Papers 6037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Waehrer, Keith, 1999. "Asymmetric private values auctions with application to joint bidding and mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 437-452, April.
  6. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C, 1987. "Collusive Bidder Behavior at Single-Object Second-Price and English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1217-39, December.
  7. Dalkir, Serdar & Logan, John W. & Masson, Robert T., 2000. "Mergers in symmetric and asymmetric noncooperative auction markets: the effects on prices and efficiency," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 383-413, April.
  8. Mailath, George J. & Zemsky, Peter, 1991. "Collusion in second price auctions with heterogeneous bidders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 467-486, November.
  9. Lebrun, Bernard, 1999. "First Price Auctions in the Asymmetric N Bidder Case," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 125-42, February.
  10. Lebrun, Bernard, 1996. "Existence of an Equilibrium in First Price Auctions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 421-43, April.
  11. Philip J. Reny & Shmuel Zamir, 2004. "On the Existence of Pure Strategy Monotone Equilibria in Asymmetric First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1105-1125, 07.
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