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Collusion and Equilibrium Selection in Auctions

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  • Anthony M. Kwasnica
  • Katerina Sherstyuk

Abstract

We study bidder collusion and test the power of payoff dominance as an equilibrium selection principle in experimental multi-object ascending auctions. In these institutions low-price collusive equilibria exist along with competitive payoff-inferior equilibria. Achieving payoff-superior collusive outcomes requires complex strategies that, depending on the environment, may involve signalling, market splitting, and bid rotation. We provide the first systematic evidence of successful bidder collusion in such complex environments without communication. The results demonstrate that in repeated settings bidders are often able to coordinate on payoff-superior outcomes, with the choice of collusive strategies varying systematically with the environment. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2007. "Collusion and Equilibrium Selection in Auctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 120-145, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:516:p:120-145
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    Cited by:

    1. Jin Li & Charles R. Plott, 2009. "Tacit Collusion In Auctions And Conditions For Its Facilitation And Prevention: Equilibrium Selection In Laboratory Experimental Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 425-448, July.
    2. Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Ro�i Zultan, 2014. "Auction Mechanisms and Bidder Collusion: Bribes, Signals and Selection," Working Papers 734, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    3. Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2013. "Multiunit Auctions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 461-490, July.
    4. Sascha Fullbrunn & Tibor Neugebauer, 2009. "Anonymity deters collusion in hard-close auctions: experimental evidence," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 131-148.
    5. Todd R. Kaplan & Bradley J. Ruffle, 2012. "Which Way to Cooperate," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 1042-1068, September.
    6. Katerina Sherstyuk, 2009. "A comparison of first price multi-object auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 42-64, March.
    7. Martin Sefton & Ping Zhang, 2014. "Divisible-good uniform price auctions: The role of allocation rules and communication among bidders," Research in Experimental Economics,in: Experiments in Financial Economics, volume 16, pages 53-86 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    8. Philippe Gillen & Alexander Rasch & Achim Wambach & Peter Werner, 2016. "Bid pooling in reverse multi-unit Dutch auctions: an experimental investigation," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 511-534, November.
    9. Francesco Feri & Anita Gantner & Wolfgang Höchtl & Rupert Sausgruber, 2013. "The pivotal mechanism revisited: some evidence on group manipulation," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(1), pages 23-51, March.
    10. Sherstyuk, Katerina & Dulatre, Jeremy, 2008. "Market performance and collusion in sequential and simultaneous multi-object auctions: Evidence from an ascending auctions experiment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 557-572, March.
    11. Alexander L. Brown & Charles R. Plott & Heidi J. Sullivan, 2009. "Collusion Facilitating And Collusion Breaking Power Of Simultaneous Ascending And Descending Price Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 395-424, July.
    12. Lavi, Ron & Oren, Sigal, 2012. "Side-communication yields efficiency of ascending auctions: The two-items case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 439-456.
    13. Dass, Mayukh & Jank, Wolfgang & Shmueli, Galit, 2011. "Maximizing bidder surplus in simultaneous online art auctions via dynamic forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1259-1270, October.
    14. repec:eee:eecrev:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:84-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Katerina Sherstyuk, 2011. "Complexity and bidder behavior in iterative auctions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(4), pages 2769-2776.
    16. Todd Kaplan, Bradley Ruffle, 2015. "Waiting to Cooperate? Cooperation in one-stage and two-stage games," LCERPA Working Papers 0095, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 16 Sep 2015.
    17. Hu, Audrey & Offerman, Theo & Onderstal, Sander, 2011. "Fighting collusion in auctions: An experimental investigation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 84-96, January.
    18. Todd R. Kaplan, Bradley J. Ruffle, Ze'ev Shtudiner, 2017. "Cooperation through Coordination in Two Stages," LCERPA Working Papers 0105, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 30 Sep 2017.
    19. Owen R. Phillips & Dale J. Menkhaus, 2009. "Maintaining Tacit Collusion in Repeated Ascending Auctions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 91-109, February.
    20. Daniel Marszalec, 2016. "Auctions For Complements –An Experimental Analysis," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1018, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    21. Sascha Füllbrunn, 2007. "Collusion or Sniping in simultaneous ascending Auctions," FEMM Working Papers 07025, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    22. Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Ro�i Zultan, 2014. "Auction Mechanisms and Bidder Collusion: Bribes, Signals and Selection," Working Papers 734, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.

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