On the pricing rule in electronic auctions
Researchers and experts have typically viewed electronic auctions (such as those implemented by eBay, Amazon, and Yahoo!) as either oral, ascending-price (English) auctions or second-price, sealed-bid (Vickrey) auctions. I show that important theoretical differences exist between English and Vickrey pricing rules and those used in electronic auctions, due to the presence of bid increments. I also show, using data on eBay laptop sales, that these differences have practical significance. I explore the implications of bid increments for strategic bid selection in a static model within the symmetric independent private-value paradigm. I derive the unique symmetric equilibrium bid function, showing that the presence of bid increments can significantly alter bidder behavior. Using numerical methods, I also illustrate that these result in a highly non-linear bid function, in contrast to that predicted under either the English or the Vickrey formats.
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- Lizzeri, Alessandro & Persico, Nicola, 2000. "Uniqueness and Existence of Equilibrium in Auctions with a Reserve Price," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 83-114, January.
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Jeroen Swinkels, 2004.
"Existence of Equilibrium in Single and Double Private Value Auctions,"
1192, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Matthew O. Jackson & Jeroen M. Swinkels, 2005. "Existence of Equilibrium in Single and Double Private Value Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 93-139, 01.
- Matthew O. Jackson & Leo K. Simon & Jeroen M. Swinkels & William R. Zame, 2002. "Communication and Equilibrium in Discontinuous Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1711-1740, September.
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