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Multi-item Vickrey–English–Dutch auctions


  • Andersson, Tommy
  • Erlanson, Albin


Assuming that bidders wish to acquire at most one item, this paper defines a polynomial time multi-item auction that locates the VCG prices in a finite number of iterations for any given starting prices. This auction is called the Vickrey–English–Dutch auction and it contains the Vickrey–English auction [Sankaran, J.K., 1994. On a dynamic auction mechanism for a bilateral assignment problem. Math. Soc. Sci. 28, 143–150] and the Vickrey–Dutch auction [Mishra, D., Parkes, D., 2009. Multi-item Vickrey–Dutch auctions. Games Econ. Behav. 66, 326–347] as special cases. By means of numerical experiments, it is showed that when the auctioneer knows the biddersʼ value distributions, the Vickrey–English–Dutch auction is weakly faster than the Vickrey–English auction and the Vickrey–Dutch auction in 89 percent and 99 percent, respectively, of the investigated problems. A greedy version of the Vickrey–English–Dutch auction is demonstrated to perform even better in the simulation studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersson, Tommy & Erlanson, Albin, 2013. "Multi-item Vickrey–English–Dutch auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 116-129.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:81:y:2013:i:c:p:116-129
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2013.05.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tommy Andersson & Christer Andersson, 2012. "Properties of the DGS-Auction Algorithm," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 39(2), pages 113-133, February.
    2. Ning Sun & Zaifu Yang, 2009. "Strategy Proof And Privacy Preserving Fair Allocation Mechanism," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 143-151.
    3. Mishra, Debasis & Talman, Dolf, 2010. "Characterization of the Walrasian equilibria of the assignment model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 6-20, January.
    4. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Kahn, Charles M., 1991. "Protecting the winner : Second-price versus oral auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 243-248, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1986. "Multi-Item Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 863-872, August.
    7. Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David, 1985. "The Strategy Structure of Two-sided Matching Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 873-888, July.
    8. Mishra, Debasis & Parkes, David C., 2009. "Multi-item Vickrey-Dutch auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 326-347, May.
    9. 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.
    10. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    11. Sushil Bikhchandani & Sven de Vries & James Schummer & Rakesh V. Vohra, 2011. "An Ascending Vickrey Auction for Selling Bases of a Matroid," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 59(2), pages 400-413, April.
    12. 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.
    13. Ausubel Lawrence M & Milgrom Paul R, 2002. "Ascending Auctions with Package Bidding," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-44, August.
    14. Cramton, Peter, 1998. "Ascending auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 745-756, May.
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    16. Gul, Faruk & Stacchetti, Ennio, 2000. "The English Auction with Differentiated Commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 66-95, May.
    17. Elena Grigorieva & P. Herings & Rudolf Müller & Dries Vermeulen, 2007. "The private value single item bisection auction," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 30(1), pages 107-118, January.
    18. Andersson, Tommy & Andersson, Christer & Talman, Adolphus Johannes Jan, 2010. "Sets in Excess Demand in Ascending Auctions with Unit-Demand Bidders," Working Papers 2010:15, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 28 Jun 2012.
    19. Mishra, Debasis & Parkes, David C., 2007. "Ascending price Vickrey auctions for general valuations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 335-366, January.
    20. Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
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    23. Sankaran, Jayaram K., 1994. "On a dynamic auction mechanism for a bilateral assignment problem," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 143-150, October.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ingebretsen Carlson, Jim, 2015. "An Approximate Auction," Working Papers 2015:19, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:jmi:articl:jmi-v2i1a4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kazuo Murota & Akiyoshi Shioura & Zaifu Yang, 2014. "Time Bounds for Iterative Auctions: A Unified Approach by Discrete Convex Analysis," Discussion Papers 14/27, Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Andersson, Tommy & Gudmundsson, Jens & Talman, Dolf & Yang, Zaifu, 2014. "A competitive partnership formation process," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 165-177.
    5. repec:jmi:articl:jmi-v1i1a5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ingebretsen Carlson, Jim, 2016. "An Auction with Approximated Bidder Preferences - When an Auction has to be Quick," Working Papers 2016:12, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    7. Cerezo Sánchez, David, 2017. "An Optimal ICO Mechanism," MPRA Paper 81285, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. A. Talman & Zaifu Yang, 2015. "An efficient multi-item dynamic auction with budget constrained bidders," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 44(3), pages 769-784, August.

    More about this item


    Polynomial time algorithms; Multi-item auctions; Unit-demand bidders; Iterations;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games


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