IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Competing Ad Auctions


  • Itai Ashlagi

    () (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)

  • Benjamin G. Edelman

    () (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)

  • Hoan Soo Lee

    () (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)


We present a two-stage model of competing ad auctions. Search engines attract users via Cournot-style competition. Meanwhile, each advertiser must pay a participation cost to use each ad platform, and advertiser entry strategies are derived using symmetric Bayes-Nash equilibrium that lead to the VCG outcome of the ad auctions. Consistent with our model of participation costs, we find empirical evidence that multi-homing advertisers are larger than single-homing advertisers. We then link our model to search engine market conditions: We derive comparative statics on consumer choice parameters, presenting relationships between market share, quality, and user welfare. We also analyze the prospect of joining auctions to mitigate participation costs, and we characterize when such joins do and do not increase welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Itai Ashlagi & Benjamin G. Edelman & Hoan Soo Lee, 2010. "Competing Ad Auctions," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-055, Harvard Business School, revised Sep 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-055

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary K Meek & Clare B Roberts & Sidney J Gray, 1995. "Factors Influencing Voluntary Annual Report Disclosures By U.S., U.K. and Continental European Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 26(3), pages 555-572, September.
    2. Michael W. Toffel, 2008. "Coerced Confessions: Self-Policing in the Shadow of the Regulator," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 45-71, May.
    3. Patten, Dennis M., 2002. "The relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: a research note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 763-773, November.
    4. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "Is competition good for trust? Cross-country evidence using micro-data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 56-59, July.
    5. Williams, Oliver F., 2004. "The UN Global Compact: The Challenge and the Promise," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 755-774, October.
    6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    7. Neu, D. & Warsame, H. & Pedwell, K., 1998. "Managing public impressions: environmental disclosures in annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 265-282, April.
    8. Magali A. Delmas & Michael W. Toffel, 2010. "Institutional Pressures and Organizational Characteristics: Implications for Environmental Strategy," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-050, Harvard Business School.
    9. Newson, Marc & Deegan, Craig, 2002. "Global expectations and their association with corporate social disclosure practices in Australia, Singapore, and South Korea," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-213.
    10. Sunstein, Cass R., 1999. "Free Markets and Social Justice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102734.
    11. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2011. "Greenwash: Corporate Environmental Disclosure under Threat of Audit," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 3-41, March.
    12. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
    13. Sasser Erika N. & Prakash Aseem & Cashore Benjamin & Auld Graeme, 2006. "Direct Targeting as an NGO Political Strategy: Examining Private Authority Regimes in the Forestry Sector," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-34, December.
    14. Anil R. Doshi & Glen W.S. Dowell & Michael W. Toffel, 2011. "How Firms Respond to Mandatory Information Disclosure," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-001, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2012.
    15. Tarun Khanna & Krishna G. Palepu & Suraj Srinivasan, 2004. "Disclosure Practices of Foreign Companies Interacting with U.S. Markets," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 475-508, May.
    16. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    17. Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Did globalization restrict partisan politics? An empirical evaluation of social expenditures in a panel of OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 105-124, July.
    18. Michael J. Lenox & Charles E. Eesley, 2009. "Private Environmental Activism and the Selection and Response of Firm Targets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 45-73, March.
    19. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
    20. Petra Christmann & Glen Taylor, 2001. "Globalization and the Environment: Determinants of Firm Self-Regulation in China," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(3), pages 439-458, September.
    21. Alberto Chong & Jorge Guillen & Alejandro Riano, 2010. "Political and institutional environment and privatization prices," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 91-110, January.
    22. Erin Marie Reid & Michael W. Toffel, 2008. "Responding to Public and Private Politics: Corporate Disclosure of Climate Change Strategies," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-019, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2009.
    23. Roberts, Robin W., 1992. "Determinants of corporate social responsibility disclosure: An application of stakeholder theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 595-612, August.
    24. Sasser, Erika N. & Prakash, Aseem & Cashore, Benjamin & Auld, Graeme, 2006. "Direct Targeting as an NGO Political Strategy: Examining Private Authority Regimes in the Forestry Sector," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 1-32, December.
    25. Ans Kolk & David Levy & Jonatan Pinkse, 2008. "Corporate Responses in an Emerging Climate Regime: The Institutionalization and Commensuration of Carbon Disclosure," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 719-745.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:hbs:wpaper:10-055. 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: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.