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Multi-unit auctions with budget limits

Author

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  • Dobzinski, Shahar
  • Lavi, Ron
  • Nisan, Noam

Abstract

We study multi-unit auctions for bidders that have a budget constraint, a situation very common in practice that has received relatively little attention in the auction theory literature. Our main result is an impossibility: there is no deterministic auction that (1) is individually rational and dominant-strategy incentive-compatible, (2) makes no positive transfers, and (3) always produces a Pareto optimal outcome. In contrast, we show that Ausubelʼs “clinching auction” satisfies all these properties when the budgets are public knowledge. Moreover, we prove that the “clinching auction” is the unique auction that satisfies all these properties when there are two players. This uniqueness result is the cornerstone of the impossibility result. Few additional related results are given, including some results on the revenue of the clinching auction and on the case where the items are divisible.

Suggested Citation

  • Dobzinski, Shahar & Lavi, Ron & Nisan, Noam, 2012. "Multi-unit auctions with budget limits," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 486-503.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:74:y:2012:i:2:p:486-503
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2011.08.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Condorelli, Daniele, 2013. "Market and non-market mechanisms for the optimal allocation of scarce resources," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 582-591.
    2. repec:the:publsh:2489 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fadaei, Salman & Bichler, Martin, 2017. "Truthfulness with value-maximizing bidders: On the limits of approximation in combinatorial markets," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 260(2), pages 767-777.
    4. Baisa, Brian, 2017. "Auction design without quasilinear preferences," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(1), January.
    5. Tomoya Kazumura & Debasis Mishra & Shigehiro Serizawa, 2017. "Strategy-proof multi-object auction design: Ex-post revenue maximization with no wastage," ISER Discussion Paper 1001, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    6. Baisa, Brian, 2016. "Overbidding and inefficiencies in multi-unit Vickrey auctions for normal goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 23-35.
    7. Hafalir, Isa E. & Ravi, R. & Sayedi, Amin, 2012. "A near Pareto optimal auction with budget constraints," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 699-708.
    8. Lavi, Ron & May, Marina, 2012. "A note on the incompatibility of strategy-proofness and Pareto-optimality in quasi-linear settings with public budgets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 100-103.
    9. repec:eee:matsoc:v:88:y:2017:i:c:p:11-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Rica Gonen & Anat Lerner, 2013. "The Incompatibility of Pareto Optimality and Dominant-Strategy Incentive Compatibility in Sufficiently-Anonymous Budget-Constrained Quasilinear Settings," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-21, November.
    11. Maarten Janssen & Vladimir Karamychev, 2013. "Gaming in Combinatorial Clock Auctions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-027/VII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 16 Dec 2013.
    12. Yi, Jianxin & Li, Yong, 2016. "A general impossibility theorem and its application to individual rights," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 79-86.
    13. Phuong Le, 2017. "Mechanisms for combinatorial auctions with budget constraints," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 21(1), pages 1-31, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multi-unit auctions; Budget constraints; Pareto optimality;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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