Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions
AbstractAuctions typically involve the sale of many related goods. The FCC spectrum auctions and the Treasury debt auctions are examples. With conventional auction designs, large bidders have an incentive to reduce demand in order to pay less for their winnings. This incentive creates an inefficiency in multi-unit auctions. Large bidders reduce demand for additional units and so sometimes lose to smaller bidders with lower values. We demonstrate this inefficiency in several auction settings: flat demand and downward-sloping demand, independent private values and correlated values, and uniform pricing and pay-your-bid pricing. We also establish that the ranking of the uniform-price and pay-your-bid auctions is ambiguous. We show how a Vickrey auction avoids this inefficiency and how the Vickrey auction can be implemented with a simultaneous, ascending-bid design (Ausubel 1997). Bidding behavior in the FCC spectrum auctions illustrates the incentives for demand reduction and the associated inefficiency.
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 InfoPaper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton in its series Papers of Peter Cramton with number 98wpdr.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 08 Nov 1995
Date of revision: 22 Jul 2002
Note: Working Paper
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Economics Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7211
Phone: (202) 318-0520
Fax: (202) 318-0520
Web page: http://www.cramton.umd.edu
Auctions; Multi-Unit Auctions; Spectrum Auctions; Treasury Auctions;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
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.:
- V.V. Chari & Robert J. Weber, 1992. "How the U.S. Treasury should auction its debt," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 3-12.
- Peter Cramton, 1997.
"The FCC Spectrum Auctions: An Early Assessment,"
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 431-495, 09.
- Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F, 1993. "Auctions of Divisible Goods: On the Rationale for the Treasury Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(4), pages 733-64.
- Bikhchandani, Sushil, 1999. "Auctions of Heterogeneous Objects," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 193-220, January.
- Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
- William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
- Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
- Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982.
"A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
- Wilson, Robert, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-89, November.
- Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Charles M. Kahn, 1998. "Multi-unit auctions with uniform prices," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 227-258.
- Noussair, C.N., 1995.
"Equilibria in a multi-object uniform price sealed bid auction with multi-unit demands,"
Open Access publications from Tilburg University
urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-381122, Tilburg University.
- Noussair, Charles, 1995. "Equilibria in a Multi-object Uniform Price Sealed Bid Auction with Multi-unit Demands," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 337-51, March.
- Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1992. "Coordination in Split Award Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 681-707, May.
- Kelso, Alexander S, Jr & Crawford, Vincent P, 1982. "Job Matching, Coalition Formation, and Gross Substitutes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1483-1504, November.
- Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1988. "Revenue equivalence in multi-object auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 15-19.
- Bulow, Jeremy I & Klemperer, Paul, 1994.
"Auctions vs. Negotiations,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 1997. "Auctioning Securities," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpas, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised Mar 1998.
- Cramton, Peter C, 1995.
"Money Out of Thin Air: The Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction,"
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 267-343, Summer.
- Peter Cramton, 1995. "Money Out of Thin Air: The Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction," Papers of Peter Cramton 95jems, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
- Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1996. "Optimal Reservation Prices in Auctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1271-83, September.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
- Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
- John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979.
UCLA Economics Working Papers
152, UCLA Department of Economics.
- McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
- Harstad, Ronald M, 1990. "Alternative Common-Value Auction Procedures: Revenue Comparisons with Free Entry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 421-29, April.
- Bikhchandani, Sushil & Mamer, John W., 1997. "Competitive Equilibrium in an Exchange Economy with Indivisibilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 385-413, June.
- Ian Ayres & Peter Cramton, 1996. "Deficit Reduction Through Diversity: How Affirmative Action at the FCC Increased Auction Competition," Papers of Peter Cramton 96slr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
- John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
- Harstad, Ronald M., 1993. "Auctions With Endogenous Bidder Participation," Discussion Paper Serie B 251, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
- R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
- Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "Allocation Mechanisms and the Design of Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1477-99, November.
- Robert J. Weber, 1981. "Multiple-Object Auctions," Discussion Papers 496, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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: (Peter Cramton).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.