The Role of Outside Options in Auction Design
AbstractThis paper studies revenue maximizing auctions when buyersâ outside options depend on their private information. The set-up is very general and encompasses a large number of potential applications. The main novel message of our analysis is that with type-dependent non-participation payoffs, the revenue maximizing assignment of objects can crucially depend on the outside options that buyers face. Outside options can therefore affect the degree of efficiency of revenue maximizing auctions. We show that depending on the shape of outside options, sometimes an optimal mechanism will allocate the objects in an ex-post efficient way, and other times, buyers will obtain objects more often than it is efficient. Our characterization rings a bell of caution. Modeling buyers outside options as being independent of their private information, is with loss of generality and can lead to quite misleading intuitions. Our solution procedure can be useful also in other models where type-dependent outside options arise endogenously, because, for instance, buyers can collude or because there are competing sellers. Type-Dependent Outside Options: JEL D44, C7, C72.
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Date of creation: 21 Jun 2006
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Other versions of this item:
- Nicolás Figueroa & Vasiliki Skreta, 2007. "The Role of Outside Options in Auction Design," Documentos de Trabajo 231, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
- Vasiliki Skreta & Nicolas Figueroa, 2008. "The Role of Outside Options in Auction Design," Working Papers 08-12, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
- C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
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