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A Dynamic Mechanism and Surplus Extraction Under Ambiguity

  • Subir Bose
  • Arup Daripa

    (Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Birkbeck)

In the standardindependentprivate values (IPV)model, each bidder’s beliefs about the values of any other bidder is represented by a unique prior. In this paper we relax this assumption and studythe question of auction design in an IPV setting characterizedby ambiguity: bidders have an imprecise knowledge of the distribution of values of others, and are faced with a set of priors. We also assume that their preferences exhibit ambiguity aversion. We show that a simple variation of a discrete Dutch auction can extract almost all surplus. This contrasts with optimal auctions under IPV without ambiguity as well as with optimal static auctions with ambiguity-in allofthese, types other than the lowestparticipatingtype obtain a positive surplus. And,unlike the well-known Cremer-McLean mechanism, our modifiedDutch mechanism satisfies limited liability. An important point of departure is that the modified Dutch mechanism we consider is dynamic rather than static, establishing that under ambiguity aversion–even when the settingis IPV in all other respects–a dynamic mechanism could have additional bite over its static counterparts.

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File URL: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/ems/research/wp/PDF/BWPEF0716.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Paper provided by Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics in its series Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance with number 0716.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:bbk:bbkefp:0716
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  1. Bose, Subir & Ozdenoren, Emre & Pape, Andreas, 2006. "Optimal auctions with ambiguity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 411-438, December.
  2. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
  3. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2006. "Recursive Smooth Ambiguity Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 17, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2008.
  4. Volij, Oscar, 2002. "Payoff equivalence in sealed bid auctions and the dual theory of choice under risk," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 231-237, July.
  5. Zengjing Chen & Larry Epstein, 2002. "Ambiguity, Risk, and Asset Returns in Continuous Time," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1403-1443, July.
  6. Jean-Marc Tallon & Sujoy Mukerji, 2004. "Ambiguity aversion and the absence of wage indexation," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00174562, HAL.
  7. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1986. "Vickrey auctions in the theory of expected utility with rank-dependent probabilities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 15-18.
  8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  9. John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979. "Optimal Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 152, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1991. "Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Discussion Papers 924, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Steven A. Matthews, 1981. "Selling to Risk Averse Buyers with Unobservable Tastes," Discussion Papers 480S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Rustichini, Aldo, 2006. "Dynamic variational preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 4-44, May.
  13. Kin Chung Lo, 1998. "Sealed bid auctions with uncertainty averse bidders," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-20.
  14. McAfee, R Preston & Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Correlated Information and Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 395-421, March.
  15. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2001. "Recursive Multiple-Priors," RCER Working Papers 485, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. Crawford, Vincent P., 1990. "Equilibrium without independence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 127-154, February.
  17. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. " Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-70, October.
  18. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Robert, Jacques, 1991. "Continuity in auction design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 169-179, October.
  20. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1985. "Optimal Selling Strategies under Uncertainty for a Discriminating Monopolist When Demands Are Interdependent," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 345-61, March.
  21. Mukerji, S., 1997. "Ambiguity aversion and incompleteness of contractual form," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9715, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  22. Cesaltina Pacheco Pires, 2002. "A Rule For Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 137-152, September.
  23. 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.
  24. Nishimura, Kiyohiko G. & Ozaki, Hiroyuki, 2004. "Search and Knightian uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 299-333, December.
  25. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency, Revelations in Auctions and the Structure of Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 421-33, July.
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