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Ascending auctions: some impossibility results and their resolutions with final price discounts

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  • Laurent Lamy

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

Abstract

When bidders are not substitutes, we show that there is no standard ascend-ing auction that implements a bidder-optimal competitive equilibrium under truthful bidding. Such an impossibility holds also in environments where the Vickrey payoff vector is a competitive equilibrium payoff and is thus stronger than de Vries, Schummer and Vohra s [On ascending Vickrey auctions for het-erogeneous objects, J. Econ. Theory, 132, 95-118] impossibility result with regards to the Vickrey payoff vector under general valuations. Similarly to Mishra and Parkes [Ascending price Vickrey auctions for general valuations, J. Econ. Theory, 132, 335-366], the impossibility can be circumvented by giving price discounts to the bidders from the final vector of prices. Nevertheless, the similarity is misleading: the solution we propose satisfies a minimality infor-mation revelation property that fails to be satisfied in any ascending auction that implements the Vickrey payoffs for general valuations. We investigate related issues when strictly positive increments have to be used under general continuous valuations.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurent Lamy, 2009. "Ascending auctions: some impossibility results and their resolutions with final price discounts," PSE Working Papers halshs-00575076, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00575076
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00575076
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. de Vries, Sven & Schummer, James & Vohra, Rakesh V., 2007. "On ascending Vickrey auctions for heterogeneous objects," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 95-118, January.
    2. Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 2005. "Allocative and Informational Externalities in Auctions and Related Mechanisms," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000490, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    4. Mishra, Debasis & Parkes, David C., 2009. "Multi-item Vickrey-Dutch auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 326-347, May.
    5. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2007. "Auctions and information acquisition: sealed bid or dynamic formats?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 355-372, June.
    6. Dubra, Juan & Echenique, Federico & Manelli, Alejandro M., 2009. "English auctions and the Stolper-Samuelson theorem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 825-849, March.
    7. Aytek Erdil & Paul Klemperer, 2010. "A New Payment Rule for Core-Selecting Package Auctions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(2-3), pages 537-547, 04-05.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lavi, Ron & Oren, Sigal, 2012. "Side-communication yields efficiency of ascending auctions: The two-items case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 439-456.
    2. Lamy, Laurent, 2012. "On minimal ascending auctions with payment discounts," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 990-999.

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