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Symmetric Auctions

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  • Rahul Deb
  • Mallesh Pai

Abstract

Practical or legal constraints often restrict auctions to being symmetric (anonymous and nondiscriminatory). We examine when this restriction prevents a seller from achieving his objectives. In an independent private value setting with heterogenous buyers, we characterize the set of incentive compatible and individually rational outcomes that can be implemented via a symmetric auction. We show that symmetric auctions can yield many discriminatory outcomes such as revenue maximization and affirmative action. We also characterize the set of implementable outcomes when individual rationality holds ex-post rather than in expectation. This additional requirement may prevent the seller from maximizing revenue.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-486.

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Length: Unknown pages
Date of creation: 13 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-486

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Keywords: symmetric auctions; implementation; indirect mechanisms; optimal auctions;

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References

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  1. Mares, Vlad & Swinkels, Jeroen M., 2011. "Near-optimality of second price mechanisms in a class of asymmetric auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 218-241, May.
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  9. Alex Gershkov & Jacob K. Goeree & Alexey Kushnir & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "On the Equivalence of Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 197-220, 01.
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  15. 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.
  16. Zheng, Charles Zhoucheng, 2002. "Optimal Auction with Resale," Staff General Research Papers 12664, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  17. Jason D. Hartline, 2012. "Approximation in Mechanism Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 330-36, May.
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