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Auction Theory: a Guided Tour

  • Burguet, R.

I present an overview of what has been the theoretical analysis of auctions in the last two decades. The goal is to offer a systematic exposition of the main issue addressed by this literature with more emphasis on why than on what. For that, I present a unified framework that takes the reader through the analysis of both design questions and positive ones dealing with the workings of several standard institutions. At the end of the tour, the reader will find him or herself inside the realm of market design and the theory of price formation.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 422.98.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:422.98
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  1. Krishna, V. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1995. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies," Papers 04-95-06, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Marek Pycia & Marzena Rostek & Marek Weretka, 2014. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1366-1400.
  3. French, Kenneth R & McCormick, Robert E, 1984. "Sealed Bids, Sunk Costs, and the Process of Competition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 417-41, October.
  4. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F, 1993. "Auctions of Divisible Goods: On the Rationale for the Treasury Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(4), pages 733-64.
  5. Robert Wilson, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 511-518.
  6. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1989. "Government procurement and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 291-308, May.
  7. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Fernando Branco, 1996. "Multiple unit auctions of an indivisible good," Economic Theory, Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(1), pages 77-101.
  9. Ashenfelter, O. & Genesove, D., 1992. "Testing for Price Anomalies in Real Estate Auctions," Working papers 92-2, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  11. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Wolfstetter, Elmar, 1996. " Auctions: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 367-420, December.
  13. Burguet, Roberto, 1996. "Optimal Repeated Purchases When Sellers Are Learning about Costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 440-455, February.
  14. Cramton, Peter C, 1995. "Money Out of Thin Air: The Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 267-343, Summer.
  15. Burguet, Roberto & Sakovics, Jozsef, 1996. "Reserve Prices without Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 149-164, August.
  16. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
  17. Bulow, Jeremy I. & Klemperer, Paul, 1994. "Auctions vs. Negotiations," CEPR Discussion Papers 924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1988. "Revenue equivalence in multi-object auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 15-19.
  19. McAfee R. Preston & Vincent Daniel, 1993. "The Declining Price Anomaly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 191-212, June.
  20. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 343-347.
  21. Jane Black & David de Meza, 1992. "Systematic Price Differences Between Successive Auctionsare no Anomaly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(4), pages 607-628, December.
  22. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  23. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  24. Peters, Michael & Severinov, Sergei, 1997. "Competition among Sellers Who Offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 141-179, July.
  25. Samuelson, William F., 1985. "Competitive bidding with entry costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 53-57.
  26. Wilson, Robert, 1992. "Strategic analysis of auctions," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 227-279 Elsevier.
  27. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  28. John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979. "Optimal Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 152, UCLA Department of Economics.
  29. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  30. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
  31. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
  32. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  33. Gresik, Thomas A. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1989. "The rate at which a simple market converges to efficiency as the number of traders increases: An asymptotic result for optimal trading mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 304-332, June.
  34. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
  35. Robert J. Weber, 1981. "Multiple-Object Auctions," Discussion Papers 496, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  36. Burguet, Roberto & Sakovics, Jozsef, 1999. "Imperfect Competition in Auction Designs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 231-47, February.
  37. Bernhardt, Dan & Scoones, David, 1993. "A Note on Sequential Auctions," Working Papers 829, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  38. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
  39. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, Joan G, 1985. "Auction Theory with Private Values," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 150-55, May.
  40. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Standard Auctions with Financially Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-21.
  41. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
  42. Michael Peters, 1997. "A Competitive Distribution of Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(1), pages 97-123.
  43. Robert W. Rosenthal & Ruqu Wang, 1995. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies and Common Values," Papers 0060, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  44. A. W. Coats, 1996. "Introduction," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 28(5), pages 3-11, Supplemen.
  45. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
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