Optimal auctions with ambiguity
AbstractA crucial assumption in the optimal auction literature is that each bidder's valuation is known to be drawn from a unique distribution. In this paper we study the optimal auction problem allowing for ambiguity about the distribution of valuations. Agents may be ambiguity averse (modeled using the maxmin expected utility model of Gilboa and Schmeidler 1989.) When the bidders face more ambiguity than the seller we show that (i) given any auction, the seller can always (weakly) increase revenue by switching to an auction providing full insurance to all types of bidders, (ii) if the seller is ambiguity neutral and any prior that is close enough to the seller's prior is included in the bidders' set of priors then the optimal auction is a full insurance auction, and (iii) in general neither the first nor the second price auction is optimal (even with suitably chosen reserve prices). When the seller is ambiguity averse and the bidders are ambiguity neutral an auction that fully insures the seller is in the set of optimal mechanisms.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.
Volume (Year): 1 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://econtheory.org
Auctions; mechanism design; ambiguity; uncertainty;
Other versions of this item:
- Andreas Pape & Subir Bose & Emre Ozdenoren, 2004. "Optimal auctions with ambiguity," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 609, Econometric Society.
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Volij, Oscar, 2002.
"Payoff equivalence in sealed bid auctions and the dual theory of choice under risk,"
Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 231-237, July.
- Volij, Oscar, 2002. "Payoff Equivalence in Sealed Bid Auctions and the Dual Theory of Choice Under Risk," Staff General Research Papers 10129, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1990.
Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 487-95, June.
- Karni, E. & Safra, Z., 1988. "Ascending Bid Auctions With Behaviorally Consistent Bidders," Papers 1-88, Tel Aviv.
- Steven A. Matthews, 1981.
"Selling to Risk Averse Buyers with Unobservable Tastes,"
480S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Matthews, Steven A., 1983. "Selling to risk averse buyers with unobservable tastes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 370-400, August.
- Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
- Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency, Revelations in Auctions and the Structure of Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 421-33, July.
- Antoine Billot & Alain Chateauneuf & Itzhak Gilboa & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2000.
"Sharing beliefs: between agreeing and disagreeing,"
UniversitÃ© Paris1 PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers)
- Billot, A. & Chateauneuf, A. & Gilboa, I. & Tallon, J.-M., 1998. "Sharing Beliefs: Between Agreeing and Disagreeing," Papiers d'Economie MathÃÂ©matique et Applications 98.30, UniversitÃ© PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
- Mukerji, Sujoy, 1998.
"Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Contractual Form,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1207-31, December.
- Mukerji, S., 1997. "Ambiguity aversion and incompleteness of contractual form," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9715, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
- Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
- Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "Allocation Mechanisms and the Design of Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1477-99, November.
- J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981.
"Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers,"
311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Eso, Peter & Futo, Gabor, 1999. "Auction design with a risk averse seller," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 71-74, October.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martin J. Osborne).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.