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Experiments Testing Multiobject Allocation Mechanisms

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  • John O. Ledyard
  • David Porter
  • Antonio Rangel

Abstract

This paper reports the results of over 130 auctions conducted under controlled conditions to examine the robustness of several auction mechanisms to allocate multiple objects. The simultaneous discrete auction process used by the Federal Communications Commission to allocate Personal Communications licenses was contrasted with a sequential auction and a combinatorial auction over a variety of demand conditions. In test environments created to check only the minimum competency of the procedures, the simultaneous discrete auction process produces highly efficient allocations, approaching levels similar to those found with a continuous form of the auction, and it outperforms a sequential auction. However, in environments created to stress test the procedures, a combinatorial auction outperforms the simultaneous discrete auction.

Suggested Citation

  • John O. Ledyard & David Porter & Antonio Rangel, 1997. "Experiments Testing Multiobject Allocation Mechanisms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 639-675, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:6:y:1997:i:3:p:639-675
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1430-9134.1997.00639.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeffrey S. Banks & John O. Ledyard & David P. Porter, 1989. "Allocating Uncertain and Unresponsive Resources: An Experimental Approach," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(1), pages 1-25, Spring.
    2. Charles R. Plott, 1997. "Laboratory Experimental Testbeds: Application to the PCS Auction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 605-638, September.
    3. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    4. Olson, Mark & Porter, David, 1994. "An Experimental Examination into the Design of Decentralized Methods to Solve the Assignment Problem with and without Money," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(1), pages 11-40, January.
    5. John Ledyard & Charles Noussair & David Porter, 1996. "The allocation of a shared resource within an organization," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 2(1), pages 163-192, December.
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