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Tacit Collusion in Repeated Auctions

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  • Hopenhayn, Hugo A.

    (U of Rochester)

  • Skrzypacz, Andrzej

    (Stanford U)

Abstract

This paper considers the question of tacit collusion in repeated auctions with independent private values and with limited public monitoring. McAfee and McMillan show that the extent of collusion is tied to availability of transfers. Monetary transfers allow cartels to extract full surplus. A folk theorem proved by Fudenberg at al. shows that transfers of future payoffs are almost as good if players are patient and communicate before auctions. We ask how the scope of collusion is affected if players dispense with explicit communication. Collusion better than bid rotation is still feasible, but full surplus cannot be extracted. This constraint becomes less severe with more players and large cartels can become asymptotically efficient even with very limited monitoring. (This paper is a revised version of our paper "Bidding Rings in Repeated Auctions", Rochester Center for Economic Research Working Paper No. 463 (1999).)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1698r2.

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Date of creation: Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1698r2

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  1. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2058, David K. Levine.
  2. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2003. "Bid rotation and collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 79-105, September.
  4. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1999. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 263-288, Summer.
  5. Pesendorfer, Martin, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411, July.
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