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Multi-item Vickrey-Dutch auctions

  • Mishra, Debasis
  • Parkes, David C.

Descending price auctions are adopted for goods that must be sold quickly and in private values environments, for instance in flower, fish, and tobacco auctions. In this paper, we introduce efficient descending auctions for two environments: multiple non-identical items and buyers with unit-demand valuations; and multiple identical items and buyers with non-increasing marginal values. Our auctions are designed using the notion of universal competitive equilibrium (UCE) prices and they terminate with UCE prices, from which the Vickrey payments can be determined. For the unit-demand setting, our auction maintains linear and anonymous prices. For the homogeneous items setting, our auction maintains a single price and adopts Ausubel's notion of "clinching" to compute the final payments dynamically. The auctions support truthful bidding in an ex post Nash equilibrium and terminate with an efficient allocation. In simulation, we illustrate the speed and elicitation advantages of these auctions over their ascending price counterparts.

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

Volume (Year): 66 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 326-347

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:1:p:326-347
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  1. de Vries, Sven & Schummer, James & Vohra, Rakesh V., 2007. "On ascending Vickrey auctions for heterogeneous objects," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 95-118, January.
  2. Gabrielle Demange & Gale David & Marilda Sotomayor, 1986. "Multi-Item Auctions," Post-Print halshs-00670982, HAL.
  3. 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.
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  5. Gerard J. van den Berg & Jan C. van Ours & Menno P. Pradhan, 2001. "The Declining Price Anomaly in Dutch Dutch Rose Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1055-1062, September.
  6. Peter Cramton, 1998. "Ascending Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 98eer, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 28 Jul 1998.
  7. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Ostroy, Joseph M., 2006. "Ascending price Vickrey auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 215-241, May.
  8. Gul, Faruk & Stacchetti, Ennio, 2000. "The English Auction with Differentiated Commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 66-95, May.
  9. Nisan, Noam & Segal, Ilya, 2006. "The communication requirements of efficient allocations and supporting prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 192-224, July.
  10. Lawrence M. Ausubel, 2004. "An Efficient Ascending-Bid Auction for Multiple Objects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1452-1475, December.
  11. Gul, Faruk & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1999. "Walrasian Equilibrium with Gross Substitutes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 95-124, July.
  12. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
  13. Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
  14. Mishra, Debasis & Garg, Rahul, 2006. "Descending price multi-item auctions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 161-179, April.
  15. Mishra, Debasis & Veeramani, Dharmaraj, 2007. "Vickrey-Dutch procurement auction for multiple items," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 180(2), pages 617-629, July.
  16. Leonard, Herman B, 1983. "Elicitation of Honest Preferences for the Assignment of Individuals to Positions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 461-79, June.
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