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An "Alternating Recognition" Model of English Auctions

Author

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  • Ronald M. Harstad

    () (Faculty of Management and RUTCOR, Rutgers University, 640 Bartholomew Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8003)

  • Michael H. Rothkopf

    () (Faculty of Management and RUTCOR, Rutgers University, 640 Bartholomew Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8003)

Abstract

We present an alternative abstraction of an English (oral ascending) auction to the standard, in Milgrom and Weber (1982), that accords more closely with practices in some auction markets. In particular, the assumptions that exits are irrevocable and necessarily public are dropped, making endogenous the decision to compete silently and privately, or openly. In the model, the price rises in a stylization of an auctioneer alternately recognizing two bidders who affirm willingness to pay the current price. The auctioneer pays attention to other bidders only when a recognized bidder exits. Such exits may be temporary, although we construct an equilibrium in which there is no benefit to exit and reentry. The number of public exits is stochastic; frequently a losing "bidder" will remain silent, giving no indication of his willingness to pay, and hence yielding no useful inference about his private information. Thus, the source of the expected revenue advantage of English auctions over second-price auctions is only stochastically available. Moreover, when public exits are incomplete, the ordinal rank of the bidder whose private information can be inferred is unknown, making that information less valuable. Consequently, the simpler formula for expected revenue in second-price auctions may be the preferred approximation for English auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald M. Harstad & Michael H. Rothkopf, 2000. "An "Alternating Recognition" Model of English Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 1-12, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:1:p:1-12
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.1.1.15128
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Riley, John G., 1991. "Equilibria in open common value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 101-130, February.
    2. Keith Waehrer & Ronald M. Harstad & Michael H. Rothkopf, 1998. "Auction Form Preferences of Risk-Averse Bid Takers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 179-192, Spring.
    3. John G. Riley, 1988. "Ex Post Information in Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 409-429.
    4. Harstad, Ronald M, 1990. "Alternative Common-Value Auction Procedures: Revenue Comparisons with Free Entry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 421-429, April.
    5. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
    6. Michael H. Rothkopf, 1969. "A Model of Rational Competitive Bidding," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(7), pages 362-373, March.
    7. Harstad, Ronald M., 1991. "Asymmetric bidding in second-price, common-value auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 249-252, March.
    8. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    9. Michael H. Rothkopf & Ronald M. Harstad, 1994. "Modeling Competitive Bidding: A Critical Essay," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(3), pages 364-384, March.
    10. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    11. Graham, Daniel A. & Marshall, Robert C. & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1990. "Phantom bidding against heterogeneous bidders," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 13-17, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2007. "Auctions and information acquisition: sealed bid or dynamic formats?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 355-372, June.
    2. Ronald M. Harstad, 2005. "Rational Participation Revolutionizes Auction Theory," Working Papers 0518, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    3. Mun Chuia & David Porter & Stephen Rassenti & Vernon Smith, 2011. "The Effect of Bidding Information in Ascending Auctions," Working Papers 11-13, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 375-417, April.
    5. Yin, Pai-Ling, 2007. "Empirical tests of information aggregation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1179-1189, December.
    6. Ronald M Harstad, 2011. "Endogenous Competition Alters the Structure of Optimal Auctions," ISER Discussion Paper 0816, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    7. Nicola Lacetera & Bradley J. Larsen & Devin G. Pope & Justin R. Sydnor, 2016. "Bid Takers or Market Makers? The Effect of Auctioneers on Auction Outcome," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 195-229, November.
    8. Hammond, Robert G. & Morrill, Thayer, 2016. "Personality traits and bidding behavior in competing auctions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 39-55.
    9. Ronald M. Harstad, 2007. "Does a Seller Really Want Another Bidder?," Working Papers 0711, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    10. Mares, Vlad & Harstad, Ronald M., 2003. "Private information revelation in common-value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 264-282, April.

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