IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fem/femwpa/2004.10.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Chopstick Auction: A Study of the Exposure Problem in Multi-Unit Auctions

Author

Listed:
  • Sander Onderstal

    (Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, CPB Netherlands)

  • Florian Englmaier

    (Economics Department, University of Munich)

  • Pablo Guillen

    (Autonoma Barcelona, CSIC)

  • Loreto Llorente

    (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Pública de Navarra)

  • Rupert Sausgruber

    (Department of Public Economics, University of Innsbruck)

Abstract

Multi-unit auctions are sometimes plagued by the so-called exposure problem. In this paper, we analyze a simple game called the ‘chopstick auction’ in which bidders are confronted with the exposure problem. We analyze the chopstick auction with incomplete information both in theory and in a laboratory experiment. In theory, the chopstick auction has an efficient equilibrium and is revenue equivalent with the second-price sealed-bid auction in which the exposure problem is not present. In the experiment, however, we find that the chopstick auction is slightly less efficient but yields far more revenue than the second-price sealed-bid auction.

Suggested Citation

  • Sander Onderstal & Florian Englmaier & Pablo Guillen & Loreto Llorente & Rupert Sausgruber, 2004. "The Chopstick Auction: A Study of the Exposure Problem in Multi-Unit Auctions," Working Papers 2004.10, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.10
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/Publication/NDL2004/NDL2004-010.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Auction Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 779, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Paul Milgrom, 2000. "Putting Auction Theory to Work: The Simultaneous Ascending Auction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 245-272, April.
    3. Rosenthal, Robert W. & Wang, Ruqu, 1996. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies and Common Values," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 32-55, November.
    4. Jeremy Bulow & Ming Huang & Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Toeholds and Takeovers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 427-454, June.
    5. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
    6. Bykowsky, Mark M & Cull, Robert J & Ledyard, John O, 2000. "Mutually Destructive Bidding: The FCC Auction Design Problem," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 205-228, May.
    7. Onderstal, A.M., 2002. "The Chopstick Auction," Discussion Paper 2002-35, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    8. Douglas Davis & Robert Reilly, 1998. "Do too many cooks always spoil the stew? An experimental analysis of rent-seeking and the role of a strategic buyer," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 89-115, April.
    9. Cramton, Peter, 1998. "The Efficiency of the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 727-736, October.
    10. Potters, Jan & de Vries, Casper G. & van Winden, Frans, 1998. "An experimental examination of rational rent-seeking," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 783-800, November.
    11. Coppinger, Vicki M & Smith, Vernon L & Titus, Jon A, 1980. "Incentives and Behavior in English, Dutch and Sealed-Bid Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 1-22, January.
    12. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
    13. Cramton, Peter C, 1995. "Money Out of Thin Air: The Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 267-343, Summer.
    14. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1993. "Independent Private Value Auctions: Bidder Behaviour in First-, Second- and Third-Price Auctions with Varying Numbers of Bidders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 868-879, July.
    15. Krishna, Vijay & Rosenthal, Robert W., 1996. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-31, November.
    16. van Damme, E.E.C., 1999. "The Dutch DCS-1800 Auction," Discussion Paper 1999-77, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Tilman Börgers & Christian Dustmann, 2005. "Strange Bids: Bidding Behaviour in the United Kingdom's Third Generation Spectrum Auction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 551-578, July.
    18. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    19. Yasar Barut & Dan Kovenock & Charles N. Noussair, 2002. "A Comparison of Multiple-Unit All-Pay and Winner-Pay Auctions Under Incomplete Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 675-708, August.
    20. van Damme, Eric, 2002. "The European UMTS-auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 846-858, May.
    21. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
    22. David Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2003. "Lessons Learned: Generalizing Learning Across Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 202-207, May.
    23. Szentes, Balazs & Rosenthal, Robert W., 2003. "Beyond chopsticks: Symmetric equilibria in majority auction games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 278-295, November.
    24. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 1998. "The Optimality of Being Efficient," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpoe, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 18 Jun 1999.
    25. Ken Binmore & Joe Swierzbinski, 2000. "original papers : Treasury auctions: Uniform or discriminatory?," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 5(4), pages 387-410.
    26. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
    27. Noussair, Charles & Silver, Jonathon, 2006. "Behavior in all-pay auctions with incomplete information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 189-206, April.
    28. Szentes, Balazs & Rosenthal, Robert W., 2003. "Three-object two-bidder simultaneous auctions: chopsticks and tetrahedra," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 114-133, July.
    29. Ronald Harstad, 2000. "Dominant Strategy Adoption and Bidders' Experience with Pricing Rules," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(3), pages 261-280, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Sandro Brusco & Giuseppe Lopomo, 2009. "Simultaneous ascending auctions with complementarities and known budget constraints," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 105-124.
    2. Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2013. "Multiunit Auctions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 461-490, July.
    3. repec:eee:indorg:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:165-187 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Brusco, Sandro & Lopomo, Giuseppe & Marx, Leslie M., 2009. "The [`]Google effect' in the FCC's 700Â MHz auction," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 101-114, June.
    5. Hikmet Gunay & Xin Meng, 2012. "Exposure Problem in Multi-unit Auctions," ISER Discussion Paper 0848, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    6. Emiel Maasland & Sander Onderstal, 2006. "Going, Going, Gone! A Swift Tour of Auction Theory and its Applications," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 197-249, June.
    7. Christian Ewerhart, 2016. "A "fractal" solution to the chopstick auction," ECON - Working Papers 229, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2017.
    8. Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 12-06, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Chopstick auction; Exposure problem; Laboratory experiment; Second-price sealed-bid auction;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/feemmit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.