Risk Aversion and Optimal Reserve Prices in First and Second-Price Auctions
AbstractThis paper analyzes the effects of buyer and seller risk aversion in first and second-price auctions. The setting is the classic one of symmetric and independent private values, with ex ante homogeneous bidders. However, the seller is able to optimally set the reserve price. In both auctions the seller’s optimal reserve price is shown to decrease in his own risk aversion, and more so in the first-price auction. Thus, greater seller risk aversion increases the ex post efficiency of both auctions, and especially that of the first-price auction. The seller’s optimal reserve price in the first-price, but not in the second-price, auction decreases in the buyers’ risk aversion. Thus, greater buyer risk aversion also increases the ex post efficiency of the first but not the second-price auction. At the interim stage, the first-price auction is preferred by all buyer types in a lower interval, as well as by the seller.
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 Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 09-016.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 22 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
first-price auction; second-price auction; risk aversion; reserve price;
Other versions of this item:
- Hu, Audrey & Matthews, Steven A. & Zou, Liang, 2010. "Risk aversion and optimal reserve prices in first- and second-price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1188-1202, May.
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-05-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-GTH-2009-05-16 (Game Theory)
- NEP-UPT-2009-05-16 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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.:
- Milgrom,Paul, 2004.
"Putting Auction Theory to Work,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, October.
- Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981.
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
- Esö, Péter & White, Lucy, 2003.
"Precautionary Bidding in Auctions,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3975, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Steven A. Matthews, 1985.
"Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Pointof View,"
664R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Matthews, Steven, 1987. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Point of View," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 633-46, May.
- Holt, Charles A, Jr, 1980. "Competitive Bidding for Contracts under Alternative Auction Procedures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 433-45, June.
- Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. " Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
- Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981.
"A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding,"
447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Cox, James C. & Smith, Vernon L. & Walker, James M., 1982. "Auction market theory of heterogeneous bidders," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 319-325.
- Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
- J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981.
"Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers,"
311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Smith, James L. & Levin, Dan, 1996. "Ranking Auctions with Risk Averse Bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 549-561, February.
- William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
- Matthews, Steven A., 1983.
"Selling to risk averse buyers with unobservable tastes,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 370-400, August.
- Steven A. Matthews, 1981. "Selling to Risk Averse Buyers with Unobservable Tastes," Discussion Papers 480S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 343-347.
- Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2003.
"Uniqueness of equilibrium in sealed high-bid auctions,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 395-409, November.
- Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2003. "Uniqueness of Equilibrium in Sealed High-Bid Auctions," Economics Working Papers 0031, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "Allocation Mechanisms and the Design of Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1477-99, November.
- Hu, Audrey, 2011. "How bidder's number affects optimal reserve price in first-price auctions under risk aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 29-31, October.
- Bettina Klose & Paul Schweinzer, 2012. "Auctioning risk: The all-pay auction under mean-variance preferences," ECON - Working Papers 097, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
- Hu, Audrey & Offerman, Theo & Zou, Liang, 2011. "Premium auctions and risk preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2420-2439.
- Brunner, Christoph & Hu, Audrey & Oechssler, Jörg, 2013. "Premium Auctions and Risk Preferences: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 0544, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
- Bettina Klose & Paul Schweinzer, 2012. "Auctioning risk: The all-pay auction under mean-variance preferences," Discussion Papers 12/32, Department of Economics, University of York.
- Loertscher, Simon & Niedermayer, Andras, 2012. "Fee-Setting Mechanisms: On Optimal Pricing by Intermediaries and Indirect Taxation," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 434, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dolly Guarini).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.