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Rational Participation Revolutionizes Auction Theory

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Abstract

Potential bidders respond to a seller's choice of auction mechanism for a common-value or affiliated-values asset by endogenous decisions whether to incur a participation cost (and observe a private signal), or forego competing. Privately informed participants decide whether to incur a bid-preparation cost and pay an entry fee, or cease competing. Auction rules and information flows are quite general; participation decisions may be simultaneous or sequential. The resulting revenue identity for any auction mechanism implies that optimal auctions are allocatively efficient; a nontrivial reserve price is revenue-inferior for any common-value auction. Characterization of optimal auctions is otherwise contentless, in that any auction that sells without reserve is within the setting of one continuous parameter of an optimal auction; seller's surplus-extracting tools are now substitutes, not complements. Revenue comparisons from the exogenous-bidders literature are upheld in a half-space of parameters, overturned in a half-space. Many econometric studies of auction markets are seen to be flawed in their identifcation of the number of bidders.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 0504.

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Length: 40 pgs.
Date of creation: 10 May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0504

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Keywords: optimal auctions; endegenous bidder participation; affiliated-values; common-value auctions; surplus-extracting devices;

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References

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  1. Professor Paul Klemperer, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Microeconomics 0004008, EconWPA.
  2. French, Kenneth R & McCormick, Robert E, 1984. "Sealed Bids, Sunk Costs, and the Process of Competition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 417-41, October.
  3. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Riley, John G., 1991. "Equilibria in open common value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 101-130, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Paul R. Milgrom, 1978. "Rational Expectations," Discussion Papers 406, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan & Harstad, Ronald M, 1995. "Comparative Static Effects of Number of Bidders and Public Information on Behavior in Second-Price Common Value Auctions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 293-319.
  7. Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Chakraborty, Indranil & Kosmopoulou, Georgia, 2001. "Auctions with endogenous entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 195-200, August.
  9. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
  10. Robert, Jacques, 1991. "Continuity in auction design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 169-179, October.
  11. Samuelson, William F., 1985. "Competitive bidding with entry costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 53-57.
  12. Harstad, Ronald M. & Kagel, John H. & Levin, Dan, 1990. "Equilibrium bid functions for auctions with an uncertain number of bidders," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 35-40, May.
  13. 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.
  14. Harstad, Ronald M., 1991. "Asymmetric bidding in second-price, common-value auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 249-252, March.
  15. Mares, Vlad & Harstad, Ronald M., 2003. "Private information revelation in common-value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 264-282, April.
  16. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Michael H. Rothkopf & Ronald M. Harstad, 1994. "Modeling Competitive Bidding: A Critical Essay," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(3), pages 364-384, March.
  18. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with a stochastic number of bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, October.
  19. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  20. Vlad Mares & Ronald Harstad, 2007. "Ex-post full surplus extraction, straightforwardly," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 399-410, August.
  21. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  22. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Equilibrium in Sealed High Bid Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 439-54, July.
  23. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 343-347.
  24. Rothkopf, Michael H & Harstad, Ronald M, 1995. "Two Models of Bid-Taker Cheating in Vickrey Auctions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(2), pages 257-67, April.
  25. Harstad, Ronald M. & Michael H. Rothkopf, 1995. "An "Alternating Recognition" Model of English Auctions," Discussion Paper Serie B 348, University of Bonn, Germany.
  26. McAfee, R Preston & Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Correlated Information and Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 395-421, March.
  27. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1985. "Optimal Selling Strategies under Uncertainty for a Discriminating Monopolist When Demands Are Interdependent," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 345-61, March.
  28. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Reny, Philip J, 1989. "Extracting the Surplus in the Common-Value Auction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1451-59, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Ronald M. Harstad & Vlad Mares, 2005. "Ex-Post Full Surplus Extraction, Straightforwardly," Working Papers 0515, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.

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