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Auctioning risk: The all-pay auction under mean-variance preferences

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  • Bettina Klose
  • Paul Schweinzer

Abstract

We analyse the all-pay auction with incomplete information and variance-averse bidders. We characterise the symmetric equilibrium for general distributions of valuations and any number of bidders. Variance aversion is a sufficient assumption to predict that high-valuation bidders increase their bids relative to the risk-neutral case while low types decrease their bid. Considering an asymmetric two-player environment with uniform valuations, we show that a more variance-averse type always bids higher than her less variance-averse counterpart. Utilising our analytical bidding functions we discuss all-pay auctions with variance-averse bidders from a designer's perspective. We extend our basic model to include noisy signals and allow for the possibility of variance-seeking preferences and type-dependent attitudes towards risk.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 097.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision: Jun 2014
Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:097

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Keywords: Auctions; contests; mean-variance preferences;

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References

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  1. Péter Esö & Lucy White, 2004. "Precautionary Bidding in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 77-92, 01.
  2. Steven A. Matthews, 1985. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Pointof View," Discussion Papers 664R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Saha, Atanu, 1997. "Risk Preference Estimation in the Nonlinear Mean Standard Deviation Approach," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 770-82, October.
  4. Bose, Subir & Daripa, Arup, 2009. "A dynamic mechanism and surplus extraction under ambiguity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 2084-2114, September.
  5. Fibich, Gadi & Gavious, Arieh & Sela, Aner, 2004. "Revenue equivalence in asymmetric auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 309-321, April.
  6. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  7. Smith, James L. & Levin, Dan, 1996. "Ranking Auctions with Risk Averse Bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 549-561, February.
  8. Eso, Peter & Futo, Gabor, 1999. "Auction design with a risk averse seller," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 71-74, October.
  9. Audrey Hu & Steven A. Matthews & Liang Zou, 2009. "Risk Aversion and Optimal Reserve Prices in First and Second-Price Auctions," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  10. 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.
  11. Audrey Hu & Steven A. Matthews & Liang Zou, 2009. "Risk Aversion and Optimal Reserve Prices in First and Second-Price Auctions, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-001, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 03 Jan 2010.
  12. Alex Robson, 2012. "Contests between players with mean-variance preferences," Discussion Papers in Economics economics:201207, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
  13. Todd Kaplan & Shmuel Zamir, 2012. "Asymmetric first-price auctions with uniform distributions: analytic solutions to the general case," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 269-302, June.
  14. René Kirkegaard, 2012. "A Mechanism Design Approach to Ranking Asymmetric Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 2349-2364, 09.
  15. Bodoh-Creed, Aaron L., 2012. "Ambiguous beliefs and mechanism design," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 518-537.
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