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Auction Theory: a Guided Tour

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:422.98
Contact details of provider: Postal:
08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona

Phone: 34 93 592 1203
Fax: +34 93 542-1223
Web page: http://pareto.uab.cat
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  1. 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 231-247, February.
  2. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1988. "Revenue equivalence in multi-object auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 15-19.
  3. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  4. Bernhardt, Dan & Scoones, David, 1994. "A Note on Sequential Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 653-657, June.
  5. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 1995. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpdr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 22 Jul 2002.
  6. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1994. "Auctions vs. Negotiations," NBER Working Papers 4608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Krishna, V. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1995. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies," Papers 04-95-06, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert W. Rosenthal & Ruqu Wang, 1995. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies and Common Values," Papers 0060, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  11. A. W. Coats, 1996. "Introduction," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 28(5), pages 3-11, Supplemen.
  12. 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 733-764.
  13. Robert Wilson, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 511-518.
  14. Samuelson, William F., 1985. "Competitive bidding with entry costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 53-57.
  15. Wolfstetter, Elmar, 1996. " Auctions: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 367-420, December.
  16. Ashenfelter, O. & Genesove, D., 1992. "Testing for Price Anomalies in real Estate Auctions," Papers 128, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  17. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
  18. 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.
  19. Fernando Branco, 1996. "Multiple unit auctions of an indivisible good," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(1), pages 77-101.
  20. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-392, June.
  21. 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.
  22. Eric S. Maskin & John G. Riley, 1985. "Auction Theory with Private Values," UCLA Economics Working Papers 359, UCLA Department of Economics.
  23. Michael Peters, 1997. "A Competitive Distribution of Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(1), pages 97-123.
  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. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
  26. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1992. "Bidding Rings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 579-599, June.
    • McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  27. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1989. "Government procurement and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 291-308, May.
  28. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
  29. 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.
  30. 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 417-441, October.
  31. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
  32. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  33. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 343-347.
  34. Burguet, Roberto & Sakovics, Jozsef, 1996. "Reserve Prices without Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 149-164, August.
  35. McAfee R. Preston & Vincent Daniel, 1993. "The Declining Price Anomaly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 191-212, June.
  36. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-1257, November.
  37. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  38. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  39. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-1090, October.
  40. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
  41. 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.
  42. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-599, June.
  43. Robert J. Weber, 1981. "Multiple-Object Auctions," Discussion Papers 496, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  44. Burguet, Roberto, 1996. "Optimal Repeated Purchases When Sellers Are Learning about Costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 440-455, February.
  45. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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