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Auctions with variable supply: Uniform price versus discriminatory

  • Damianov, Damian S.
  • Becker, Johannes Gerd

We examine an auction in which the seller determines the supply after observing the bids. We compare the uniform price and the discriminatory auction in a setting of supply uncertainty, where uncertainty is caused by the interplay of two factors: the seller's private information about marginal cost and the seller's incentive to sell the profit-maximizing quantity, given the received bids. In every symmetric mixed strategy equilibrium, bidders submit higher bids in the uniform price auction than in the discriminatory auction. In the two-bidder case, this result extends to the set of rationalizable strategies. As a consequence, we find that the uniform price auction generates a higher expected revenue for the seller and a higher trade volume.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 571-593

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:4:p:571-593
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. D. B. Bernheim, 2010. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000381, David K. Levine.
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  3. Damianov, Damian S., 2005. "Erratum to "The uniform price auction with endogenous supply" [Econ. Lett. 88 (2005) 152-158]," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 133-133, October.
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  7. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F., 2001. "Auctions of divisible goods with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 29-34, October.
  8. Yvan Lengwiler, 1998. "The multiple unit auction with variable supply," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Damianov, Damian S. & Oechssler, Jörg & Becker, Johannes Gerd, 2007. "Uniform vs. Discriminatory Auctions with Variable Supply - Experimental Evidence," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-68, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  10. Becker, Johannes Gerd & Damianov, Damian S., 2006. "On the existence of symmetric mixed strategy equilibria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 84-87, January.
  11. Alexander Zimper, 2005. "Equivalence between best responses and undominated strategies: a generalization from finite to compact strategy sets," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(7), pages 1-6.
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  19. Daniel Heller & Yvan Lengwiler, 2001. "Should the Treasury Price Discriminate?. A Procedure for Computing Hypothetical Bid Functions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(3), pages 413-, September.
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  25. Damianov, Damian S., 2005. "The uniform price auction with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 152-158, August.
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