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The Effect of Asymmetric Bidder Size on an Auction's Performance: Are More Bidders Always Better?

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  • Wedad Elmaghraby

    (The Robert H. Smith School of Business, The University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742)

Abstract

One commonly held belief in designing auctions is that increasing the number of bidders makes an auction more competitive. Therefore, a buyer who wishes to minimize her procurement costs is better off inviting more suppliers to participate. In this paper, we question the validity of this belief by shedding light on bidders' behavior when bidders experience economies of scale in production and differ in their production capacity. We consider a setting with two different sized bidders, global and small. We assume that global bidders have a large production capacity (can win in more than one auction) and experience economies of scale in production, whereas small bidders can win in at most one auction. In this new setting, we focus on the impact of allowing both global and small suppliers to compete against each other on the performance of an auction.

Suggested Citation

  • Wedad Elmaghraby, 2005. "The Effect of Asymmetric Bidder Size on an Auction's Performance: Are More Bidders Always Better?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(12), pages 1763-1776, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:51:y:2005:i:12:p:1763-1776
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1050.0432
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Larue & Mohamed Jeddy & Sébastien Pouliot, 2013. "On the Number of Bidders and Auction Performance: when More Means Less," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2013-4, CREATE.
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    3. Debin Fang & Qiyu Ren & Qian Yu, 2018. "How Elastic Demand Affects Bidding Strategy in Electricity Market: An Auction Approach," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-13, December.
    4. Sergio Galletta & Mario Jametti & Agustin Redonda, 2015. "Highway to Economic Growth? Competition in Public Works Tenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 83(2), pages 240-252, June.
    5. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2012. "Optimal bidding in auctions of mixed populations of bidders," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 217(3), pages 653-663.
    6. Romero Morales, Dolores & Steinberg, Richard, 2014. "Revenue deficiency under second-price auctions in a supply-chain setting," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 233(1), pages 131-144.
    7. Marcelo Olivares & Gabriel Y. Weintraub & Rafael Epstein & Daniel Yung, 2012. "Combinatorial Auctions for Procurement: An Empirical Study of the Chilean School Meals Auction," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(8), pages 1458-1481, August.
    8. Chernomaz, Kirill & Levin, Dan, 2012. "Efficiency and synergy in a multi-unit auction with and without package bidding: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 611-635.

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