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Robustness of the Incentive Compatible Combinatorial Auction

  • R. Isaac
  • Duncan James

Goods are said to be combinatorial when the value of a bundle of goods is not equal to the sum of the values of the same goods unbundled. Investigations of combinatorial allocation problems should recognize that there are two separate aspects of such problems: an environmental distinction between multiple-unit allocation problems which involve combinatorial goods and those which do not do so, and an institutional distinction between auctions in which combinatorial values can be expressed as part of the bidding rules and those in which they cannot. Forsythe and Isaac (Research in Experimental Economics, Vol. 2 (1982). Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, Inc.) reports the extension of the Vickrey auction into a demand-revealing, multiple unit, private goods auction that can incorporate combinatorial values. This current paper places that theoretically demand-revealing institution in a series of experimental environments in order to generate results (e.g. efficiencies) which may serve as a benchmark for other auctions (combinatorial or otherwise) whose implementation characteristics may be more favorable. To aid in interpretation of our Vickrey experimental results, we also provide results of alternatives to Vickrey allocations from both institutional and heuristic sources, as well as a discussion of the source of the Vickrey auctions high efficiencies even in the presence of misrevelation. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 31-53

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:3:y:2000:i:1:p:31-53
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  1. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
  2. Michael H. Rothkopf & Aleksandar Peke\v{c} & Ronald M. Harstad, 1998. "Computationally Manageable Combinational Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1131-1147, August.
  3. Green, Jerry & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1977. "Characterization of Satisfactory Mechanisms for the Revelation of Preferences for Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 427-38, March.
  4. Krishna, V. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1995. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies," Papers 04-95-06, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. Cox, James C. & Isaac, R. Mark, 2008. "Procurement Contracting," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  6. Attiyeh, Greg & Franciosi, Robert & Isaac, R Mark, 2000. " Experiments with the Pivot Process for Providing Public Goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 95-114, January.
  7. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
  8. Forsythe, Robert & Isaac, R. Mark., . "Demand-Revealing Mechanisms for Private Good Auctions," Working Papers 351, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  9. S.J. Rassenti & V.L. Smith & R.L. Bulfin, 1982. "A Combinatorial Auction Mechanism for Airport Time Slot Allocation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 402-417, Autumn.
  10. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Ledyard, John O. & Porter, David P., . "Allocating Uncertain and Unresponsive Resources," Working Papers 680, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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