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Second best efficiency and the English auction


  • Hernando-Veciana, Ángel
  • Michelucci, Fabio


We study the second best in a single unit sale to two bidders. This is the allocation that maximizes the expected social surplus subject to the biddersʼ incentive compatible constraints when the first best is not implementable. We prove that Maskinʼs (1992) result that any first best allocation that is deterministic and monotone can be implemented with the English auction carries over to the second best.

Suggested Citation

  • Hernando-Veciana, Ángel & Michelucci, Fabio, 2011. "Second best efficiency and the English auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 496-506.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:73:y:2011:i:2:p:496-506
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2011.04.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 2001. "Efficient Design with Interdependent Valuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1237-1259, September.
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    3. Vijay Krishna & Motty Perry, 1997. "Efficient Mechanism Design," Game Theory and Information 9703010, EconWPA, revised 28 Apr 1998.
    4. Motty Perry & Philip J. Reny, 2002. "An Efficient Auction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1199-1212, May.
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    6. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    7. Motty Perry & Philip J. Reny, 2005. "An Efficient Multi-Unit Ascending Auction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 567-592.
    8. Dubra, Juan & Echenique, Federico & Manelli, Alejandro M., 2009. "English auctions and the Stolper-Samuelson theorem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 825-849, March.
    9. Krishna, Vijay, 2003. "Asymmetric English auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 261-288, October.
    10. Jeffrey C. Ely & Kim-Sau Chung, 2002. "Ex-Post Incentive Compatible Mechanism Design," Discussion Papers 1339, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    11. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    12. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2000. "Efficient Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 341-388.
    13. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
    14. Steven R. Williams, 1999. "A characterization of efficient, bayesian incentive compatible mechanisms," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 14(1), pages 155-180.
    15. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    16. Ángel Hernando Veciana & Fabio Michelucci, 2008. "Second Best Efficiency in Auctions," Working Papers. Serie AD 2008-17, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Gershkov & Jacob K. Goeree & Alexey Kushnir & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "On the Equivalence of Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 197-220, January.
    2. Angel Hernando-Veciana & Fabio Michelucci, 2013. "Do Not Panic: How to Avoid Inefficient Rushes Using Multi-Stage Auctions," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp489, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    3. Hernando-Veciana, Ángel & Michelucci, Fabio, 2014. "On the optimality of not allocating," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 233-235.
    4. repec:eee:ecolet:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:159-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jacob K. Goeree & Alexey Kushnir, 2011. "A geometric approach to mechanism design," ECON - Working Papers 056, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2013.

    More about this item


    Efficiency; Auctions; Mechanism design;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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