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Second-price common-value auctions under multidimensional uncertainty

  • de Frutos, Maria-Angeles
  • Pechlivanos, Lambros

The literature has demonstrated that second-price common-value auctions are sensitive to the presence of asymmetries among bidders. Bikhchandani (1988) has shown that if it is common knowledge that a bidder has a disadvantage compared to her opponent, this bidder (almost surely) never wins the auction. This paper is the first to show that this result does not carry through when one allows for two-sided uncertainty. Whe show that even if the probabilities that one of the bidders is advantaged while the other one is disadvantaged are arbitrarily large, in every equilibrium, the disadvantaged bidder needs to win the auction with strictly positive probability. We then solve for the equilibria in two cases (one with two types and another with a continuum of types) and we characterize their expected revenues properties. We find that although they underperform relative to "comparable" symmetric auctions, they perform much better than what it is "assumed" in the literature.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 55 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 43-71

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:55:y:2006:i:1:p:43-71
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Zheng, Charles Z., 2001. "High Bids and Broke Winners," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 129-171, September.
  2. Klemperer, Paul, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 2581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jeremy Bulow & Ming Huang & Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Toeholds and Takeovers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 427-454, June.
  4. Paul Klemperer, 1997. "Auctions with Almost Common Values: The Wallet Game and its Applications," Economics Series Working Papers 1998-W03, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Bulow, Jeremy I. & Klemperer, Paul, 1997. "The Winner's Curse and the Failure of the Law of Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  8. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2000. "Efficient Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 341-388.
  9. Bikhchandani, Sushil, 1988. "Reputation in repeated second-price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 97-119, October.
  10. Fang, Hanming & Parreiras, Sergio O., 2002. "Equilibrium of Affiliated Value Second Price Auctions with Financially Constrained Bidders: The Two-Bidder Case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 215-236, May.
  11. Milgrom, Paul R, 1981. "Rational Expectations, Information Acquisition, and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 921-43, June.
  12. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Standard Auctions with Financially Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-21.
  13. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
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