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Auctions as Collusion Devices

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  • Maarten C.W. Janssen

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    (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

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    Abstract

    This paper develops an economic argument relating auctions to high marketprices. At the core of the argument is the claim that market competition andbidding in an auction should be analyzed as part of one game, where the pricingstrategies in the market subgame depend on the bidding strategies during theauction.I show that the only equilibrium in the overall game that is consistentwith the logic of forward induction is the one where firms bid an amount(almost) equal to the profits of the cooperative market outcome and follow acooperative pricing strategy in the market game resulting in high prices.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 03-017/1.

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    Date of creation: 19 Feb 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20030017

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    Related research

    Keywords: auctions; market collusions.;

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    1. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
    2. Ken Binmore & Paul Klemperer, 2001. "The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licenses," Economics Papers 2002-W4, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 01 Sep 2001.
    3. van Damme,Eric, 1987. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Discussion Paper Serie A 128, University of Bonn, Germany.
    4. ehiel, Philippe & Benny Moldovanu & Ennio Stacchetti, 1994. "How (not) to sell nuclear weapons," Discussion Paper Serie B 288, University of Bonn, Germany.
    5. Jacob K. Goeree, 2000. "Bidding for the Future," Virginia Economics Online Papers 346, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    6. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters, 2000. "Does Auctioning of Entry Licenses affect Consumer Prices? An Experimental Study," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-046/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. KOHLBERG, Elon & MERTENS, Jean-François, . "On the strategic stability of equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers RP -716, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    8. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1991. "Comments on the Interpretation of Game Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 909-24, July.
    9. Damme, E.E.C. van, 1989. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-154422, Tilburg University.
    10. Osborne, Martin J., 1990. "Signaling, forward induction, and stability in finitely repeated games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 22-36, February.
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