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Core-Selecting Auctions: An Experimental Study

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  • Eiichiro Kazumori

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

Abstract

Many business and policy problems, such as allocation of spectrum rights and financial assets, involve allocation of heterogeneous objects among players with superadditive values. This paper uses laboratory experiments to study core-selecting auctions (clock-proxy auctions of Ausubel, Cramton, and Milgrom (2004)) recently proposed as a solution to this problem. Our experimental design involves three factors. The first factor is the auction design and we consider generalized Vickrey auctions, simultaneous ascending auctions, and clock-proxy auctions. The second factor is the value structure of agents. In addition to a benchmark case of additive values, we considered superadditive value structures which feature the exposure problem and the coordination problem. The third factor is subject characteristics. We ran experiments with professional traders and university students. We found that clock-proxy auctions outperformed generalized Vickrey auctions. Clock-proxy auctions outperformed simultaneous ascending auctions with the exposure problem value structure, and did statistically equally well with the additive and the coordination problem value structure. The result suggests a trade-off between efficiency improvements and complexity in package bidding. An ANOVA of outcomes demonstrated that auction designs were significant, and the interaction terms were often significant. We estimated the effect of auction design on efficiency and revenue and found that its magnitude depended on the valuation structure and subject characteristics. The result suggests that market design is not one-size-fits-all and a successful design builds on an understanding of fine details of the problem environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Eiichiro Kazumori, 2010. "Core-Selecting Auctions: An Experimental Study," CARF F-Series CARF-F-226, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:cfi:fseres:cf226
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    File URL: https://www.carf.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/old/pdf/workingpaper/fseries/236.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Heczko, Alexander & Kittsteiner, Thomas & Ott, Marion, 2018. "The Performance of Core-Selecting Auctions: An Experiment," EconStor Preprints 176842, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    2. Bart Vangerven & Dries R. Goossens & Frits C. R. Spieksma, 2021. "Using Feedback to Mitigate Coordination and Threshold Problems in Iterative Combinatorial Auctions," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 63(2), pages 113-127, April.
    3. Vangerven, Bart & Goossens, Dries R. & Spieksma, Frits C.R., 2017. "Winner determination in geometrical combinatorial auctions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 258(1), pages 254-263.

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