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"Upping the ante": How to design efficient auctions with entry?


  • Laurent Lamy

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)


In the symmetric independent private value model, we revisit auctions with entry by adding two additional ingredients: difficulties to commit to the announced mechanism, in particular not to update the reserve price after bidders took their entry decisions, and seller's ex ante uncertainty on her reservation value which calls for flexibility. Shill bidding or ex post rights to cancel the sale may provide some valuable flexibility in second price auctions. However, both fail to be efficient since the seller may keep the good while it would be efficient to allocate it to the highest bidder. The English auction with jump bids and cancelation rights is shown to implement the first best in large environments. On the positive side, special emphasis is put on the equilibrium analysis of auctions with shill bidding and on a variety of associated new insights including counterintuitive comparative statics and a comparison with posted-prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurent Lamy, 2010. ""Upping the ante": How to design efficient auctions with entry?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564888, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00564888
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cremer, Jacques & Spiegel, Yossi & Zheng, Charles Zhoucheng, 2007. "Optimal search auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 226-248, May.
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    8. Leandro Arozamena & Estelle Cantillon, 2004. "Investment Incentives in Procurement Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 1-18.
    9. Horstmann, Ignatius J & LaCasse, Chantale, 1997. "Secret Reserve Prices in a Bidding Model with a Resale Option," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 663-684, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jehiel, Philippe & Lamy, Laurent, 2016. "On the benefits of set-asides," CEPR Discussion Papers 11564, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Jehiel, Philippe & Lamy, Laurent, 2015. "A mechanism design approach to the Tiebout hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 10758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Lamy, Laurent, 2012. "The econometrics of auctions with asymmetric anonymous bidders," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 167(1), pages 113-132.
    4. Philippe Jehiel & Laurent Lamy, 2015. "On absolute auctions and secret reserve prices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(2), pages 241-270, June.
    5. Jehiel, Philippe & Lamy, Laurent, 2014. "On discrimination in procurement auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 9790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Philippe Jehiel & Laurent Lamy, 2011. "Absolute auctions and secret reserve prices: Why are they used?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000316, David K. Levine.

    More about this item


    auctions; auctions with entry; shill bidding; commitment failure; hold-up; posted-price; cancelation rights; jump bids; bilateral asymmetric information;

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