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Comparing first and second price auctions with asymmetric bidders

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  • Vlad Mares

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  • Jeroen Swinkels

Abstract

We study procurement auctions in which, as is common in practice, a group of sellers (incumbents, qualified bidders) is given an advantage, based, for example, on better reliability, quality, or incumbency status. We show conditions under which for any given first price handicap auction, there is a simple second-price design which dominates it. This generalizes a previous result for the case of an auction with one insider and one outsider (Mares and Swinkels in J Econ Theory, 2013 ) and sharpens our understanding of the classical result by Maskin and Riley (Rev Econ Stud 67:413–438, 2000 ). Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Vlad Mares & Jeroen Swinkels, 2014. "Comparing first and second price auctions with asymmetric bidders," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 43(3), pages 487-514, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:43:y:2014:i:3:p:487-514
    DOI: 10.1007/s00182-013-0392-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yeon-Koo Che, 1993. "Design Competition through Multidimensional Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 668-680, Winter.
    2. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
    3. Leonardo Rezende, 2009. "Biased procurement auctions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 38(1), pages 169-185, January.
    4. Cabral, Luis M B & Greenstein, Shane, 1990. "Switching Costs and Bidding Parity in Government Procurement of Computer Systems," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 453-469, Fall.
    5. John Asker & Estelle Cantillon, 2010. "Procurement when price and quality matter," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 1-34, March.
    6. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-392, June.
    7. Lengwiler, Yvan & Wolfstetter, Elmar G., 2006. "Corruption in Procurement Auctions," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 90, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    8. E. Glen Weyl & Michal Fabinger, 2013. "Pass-Through as an Economic Tool: Principles of Incidence under Imperfect Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(3), pages 528-583.
    9. Kirkegaard, René, 2012. "Favoritism in asymmetric contests: Head starts and handicaps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 226-248.
    10. Justin Marion, 2009. "How Costly Is Affirmative Action? Government Contracting and California's Proposition 209," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 503-522, August.
    11. Philip J. Reny & Shmuel Zamir, 2004. "On the Existence of Pure Strategy Monotone Equilibria in Asymmetric First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1105-1125, July.
    12. Jason Shachat & J. Todd Swarthout, 2010. "Procurement Auctions for Differentiated Goods," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 6-22, March.
    13. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    14. Marion, Justin, 2007. "Are bid preferences benign? The effect of small business subsidies in highway procurement auctions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1591-1624, August.
    15. Mares, Vlad & Swinkels, Jeroen M., 2011. "Near-optimality of second price mechanisms in a class of asymmetric auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 218-241, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Hummel & R. Preston McAfee & Sergei Vassilvitskii, 2016. "Incentivizing advertiser networks to submit multiple bids," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 45(4), pages 1031-1052, November.

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