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Auctions with Variable Supply: Uniform Price versus Discriminatory

We examine an auction in which the seller determines the supply after observing the bids. We compare the uniform price and the discriminatory auction in a setting of supply uncertainty. Uncertainty is caused by the interplay of two factors: the seller's private information about marginal cost, and the seller's incentive to sell the profit-maximizing quantity given the received bids. In every symmetric mixed strategy equilibrium, bidders submit higher bids in the uniform price auction than in the discriminatory auction. In the two-bidder case this result extends to the set of rationalizable strategies. As a consequence, we find that the uniform price auction generates higher expected revenue for the seller and higher trade volume.

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Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 08/80.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:08-80
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  1. Marco LiCalzi & Alessandro Pavan, 2003. "Tilting the Supply Schedule to Enhance Competition in Uniform-Price Auctions," Working Papers 2003.22, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Damianov, Damian S., 2005. "Erratum to "The uniform price auction with endogenous supply" [Econ. Lett. 88 (2005) 152-158]," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 133-133, October.
  3. Goldreich, David, 2007. "Underpricing in Discriminatory and Uniform-Price Treasury Auctions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 443-466, June.
  4. Ilan Kremer & Kjell G. Nyborg, 2004. "Divisible-Good Auctions: The Role of Allocation Rules," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 147-159, Spring.
  5. Yvan Lengwiler, 1999. "The multiple unit auction with variable supply," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 373-392.
  6. Damianov, Damian S. & Oechssler, Jörg & Becker, Johannes Gerd, 2010. "Uniform vs. discriminatory auctions with variable supply - experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 60-76, January.
  7. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
  8. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  9. Daniel Heller & Yvan Lengwiler, 2001. "Should the Treasury Price Discriminate?. A Procedure for Computing Hypothetical Bid Functions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(3), pages 413-, September.
  10. Kjell G. Nyborg, 2004. "Multiple Unit Auctions and Short Squeezes," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 545-580.
  11. Kremer, Ilan & Nyborg, Kjell G, 2004. "Underpricing and Market Power in Uniform Price Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4363, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. D. B. Bernheim, 2010. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000381, David K. Levine.
  13. Kjell G. Nyborg & Kristian Rydqvist & Suresh M. Sundaresan, 2002. "Bidder Behavior in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from Swedish Treasury Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 394-424, April.
  14. 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.
  15. Wilson, Robert, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-89, November.
  16. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
  17. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F., 2001. "Auctions of divisible goods with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 29-34, October.
  18. Keloharju, Matti & Nyborg, Kjell G & Rydqvist, Kristian, 2002. "Strategic Behaviour and Underpricing in Uniform Price Auctions: Evidence from Finnish Treasury Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Rocholl, Jörg, 2005. "Discriminatory auctions with seller discretion: evidence from German treasury auctions," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,15, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  20. Alexander Zimper, 2005. "Equivalence between best responses and undominated strategies: a generalization from finite to compact strategy sets," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(7), pages 1-6.
  21. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2005:i:7:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Umlauf, Steven R., 1993. "An empirical study of the Mexican Treasury bill auction," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 313-340, June.
  23. Becker, Johannes Gerd & Damianov, Damian S., 2006. "On the existence of symmetric mixed strategy equilibria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 84-87, January.
  24. Damianov, Damian S., 2005. "The uniform price auction with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 152-158, August.
  25. McAdams, David, 2007. "Adjustable supply in uniform price auctions: Non-commitment as a strategic tool," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 48-53, April.
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