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The Variable Value Environment: Auctions and Actions

  • Michael Schwarz

    ()

    (University of California at Berkeley and NBER)

  • Konstantin Sonin

    ()

    (New Economic School/CEFIR, Moscow)

We model an environment, where bidders’ private values may change over time as a result of both costly private actions and exogenous shocks. Examples of private actions include investment and entry decisions; shocks might be due to exogenous changes in a potential buyer’s circumstances. We describe an efficient auction mechanism that maximizes the final value of the object to the winning bidder net of the total cost of investment by all agents. In particular, we show that, assuming that the auctioneer does not have full commitment power, costly signalling is necessary for efficient entry when agents receive private information both before and after they make the entry decision. To rule out pooling equilibria that coexist with the efficient equilibrium in the basic mechanism, we introduce a virtual-implementation-style mechanism that (i) is almost efficient; (ii) forces players to coordinate on the separating equilibrium; and (iii) is simple enough to be potentially useful in practice.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0020.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2001
Date of revision: Oct 2005
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0020
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  1. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-86, July.
  2. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-37, September.
  3. Bulow, Jeremy I. & Huang, Ming & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Toeholds and Takeovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 1486, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Vijay Krishna & Motty Perry, 1997. "Efficient Mechanism Design," Game Theory and Information 9703010, EconWPA, revised 28 Apr 1998.
  5. 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.
  6. Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981. "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Discussion Papers 469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Richard L. Fullerton & R. Preston McAfee, 1999. "Auctioning Entry into Tournaments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 573-605, June.
  8. Milgrom, Paul R, 1981. "Rational Expectations, Information Acquisition, and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 921-43, June.
  9. Haim Levy, 1992. "Stochastic Dominance and Expected Utility: Survey and Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(4), pages 555-593, April.
  10. P. Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1998. "Efficient Auctions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1857, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  12. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
  13. Athey, S., 1997. "Sigle Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Working papers 97-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  15. Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Auction Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 779, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-87, June.
  17. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 343-347.
  18. Maskin, Eric S., 2000. "Auctions, development, and privatization: Efficient auctions with liquidity-constrained buyers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 667-681, May.
  19. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
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