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Implementation of the revenue-maximizing auction by an ignorant seller


  • Bernard Caillaud


  • Jacques Robert



In a general auction framework with independent private values, we propose a game, with a simple economic interpretation, that allows to implement the revenue-maximizing auction outcome when the seller ignores the distributions of the different bidders’ valuations. In this detail-free implementation procedure, an ascending-price contest is organized and the winner volunteers a payment to the seller; this payment can then be challenged by another bidder who knows the distribution of the winner’s valuation. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard Caillaud & Jacques Robert, 2005. "Implementation of the revenue-maximizing auction by an ignorant seller," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 9(2), pages 127-143, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reecde:v:9:y:2005:i:2:p:127-143 DOI: 10.1007/s10058-005-0125-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sanchez, Isabel & Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Hierarchical design and enforcement of income tax policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 345-369, March.
    2. Kim C. Border & Joel Sobel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 525-540.
    3. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
    4. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J David, 1997. "Optimal Auditing with Heterogeneous Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 951-968, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Said, Maher, 2012. "Auctions with dynamic populations: Efficiency and revenue maximization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2419-2438.
    2. Jarman, Felix & Meisner, Vincent, 2017. "Ex-post optimal knapsack procurement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 35-63.
    3. Lebrun, Bernard, 2012. "Optimality and the English and second-price auctions with resale," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 731-751.
    4. Rahul Deb & Mallesh Pai, 2013. "Symmetric Auctions," Working Papers tecipa-486, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    5. Dhangwatnotai, Peerapong & Roughgarden, Tim & Yan, Qiqi, 2015. "Revenue maximization with a single sample," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 318-333.

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