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Revenue Comparison in Asymmetric Auctions with Discrete Valuations

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  • Nicola Doni
  • Domenico Menicucci

Abstract

We consider an asymmetric auction setting with two bidders such that the valuation of each bidder has a binary support. We prove that in this context the second price auction yields a higher expected revenue than the first price auction for a broad set of parameter values, although the opposite result is common in the literature on asymmetric auctions. For instance, the second price auction is superior both when a bidder’s valuation is more uncertain that the valuation of the other bidder, and in case of a not too large distribution shift or rescaling. In addition, we show that in some cases the revenue in the first price auction decreases when all the valuations increase [in doing so, we correct a claim in Maskin and Riley (1985)], and we derive the bidders’ preferences between the two auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Doni & Domenico Menicucci, 2011. "Revenue Comparison in Asymmetric Auctions with Discrete Valuations," Economics Working Papers ECO2011/27, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2011/27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Doni Nicola & Menicucci Domenico, 2013. "Revenue Comparison in Asymmetric Auctions with Discrete Valuations," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-33, September.
    2. Nicola Doni & Domenico Menicucci, 2014. "Information Revelation in Procurement Auctions with Two-Sided Asymmetric Information," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(4), pages 952-968, December.
    3. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Equilibrium in Sealed High Bid Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 439-454.
    4. Wayne-Roy Gayle & Jean Richard, 2008. "Numerical Solutions of Asymmetric, First-Price, Independent Private Values Auctions," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 245-278, October.
    5. Cantillon, Estelle, 2008. "The effect of bidders' asymmetries on expected revenue in auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-25, January.
    6. Arieh Gavious & Yizhaq Minchuk, 2014. "Ranking asymmetric auctions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 43(2), pages 369-393, May.
    7. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-286, July.
    8. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, Joan G, 1985. "Auction Theory with Private Values," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 150-155, May.
    9. Rene Kirkegaard, 2011. "Ranking Asymmetric Auctions using the Dispersive Order," Working Papers 1101, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    10. Cheng, Harrison, 2006. "Ranking sealed high-bid and open asymmetric auctions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4-5), pages 471-498, August.
    11. Li, Huagang & Riley, John G., 2007. "Auction choice," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1269-1298, December.
    12. Plum, M, 1992. "Characterization and Computation of Nash-Equilibria for Auctions with Incomplete Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 20(4), pages 393-418.
    13. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-86, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yew-Kwang Ng, 2016. "Are Unrealistic Assumptions/Simplifications Acceptable? Some Methodological Issues in Economics," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 180-201, May.
    2. Doni Nicola & Menicucci Domenico, 2013. "Revenue Comparison in Asymmetric Auctions with Discrete Valuations," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-33, September.
    3. Nicola Doni & Domenico Menicucci, 2014. "Information Revelation in Procurement Auctions with Two-Sided Asymmetric Information," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(4), pages 952-968, December.
    4. repec:bpj:bejtec:v:18:y:2018:i:1:p:21:n:20 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kirkegaard, René, 2014. "Ranking asymmetric auctions: Filling the gap between a distributional shift and stretch," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 60-69.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric auctions; First price auctions; Second price auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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