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Synergies are a reason to prefer first-price auctions!

  • Leufkens, Kasper
  • Peeters, Ronald

In this paper we show that in a private value setting first-price auctions can be preferred to second-price auctions. We consider a sequential auction of two objects with positive synergies and compare both auction formats. Although the second-price auction performs better in terms of efficiency and revenue, the first-price auction performs much better on a so far neglected dimension. Namely, the probability that the winner of the first object goes bankrupt is almost always higher when using the second-price rule. Our findings therefore support the common use of first-price auctions, most notably for procurement.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 64-69

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:97:y:2007:i:1:p:64-69
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  1. Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
  2. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
  3. Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 2004. "Tacit collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 153-169, January.
  4. Fehl, Ulrich & Guth, Werner, 1987. "Internal and external stability of bidder cartels in auctions and public tenders: A comparison of pricing rules," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 303-313.
  5. Plum, M, 1992. "Characterization and Computation of Nash-Equilibria for Auctions with Incomplete Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 393-418.
  6. Thomas D. Jeitschko & Elmar Wolfstetter, 2002. "Scale Economies and the Dynamics of Recurring Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(3), pages 403-414, July.
  7. Güth, Werner & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2001. "Bidding behavior in asymmetric auctions: An experimental study," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,15, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  8. 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.
  9. Tang Sorensen, Soren, 2006. "Sequential auctions for stochastically equivalent complementary objects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 337-342, June.
  10. Leufkens, Kasper & Peeters, Ronald & Vermeulen, Dries, 2010. "Sequential auctions with synergies: The paradox of positive synergies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 139-141, December.
  11. Branco, Fernando, 1997. "Sequential auctions with synergies: An example," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 159-163, February.
  12. Menezes, Flavio M. & Monteiro, Paulo K., 2004. "Auctions with synergies and asymmetric buyers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 287-294, November.
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