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Overdemand and underdemand in economies with indivisible goods and unit demand


  • Debasis Mishra

    () (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)

  • Dolf Talman

    () (Department of Econometrics & Operations Research and CentER, Tilburg University, Tilburg)


We study an economy where a collection of indivisible goods are sold to a set of buyers who want to buy at most one good. We characterize the set of Walrasian equilibrium price vectors in such an economy using sets of overdemanded and underdemanded goods. Further, we give characterizations for the minimum and the maximum Walrasian equilibrium price vectors of this economy. Using our characterizations, we give a suncient set of rules that generates a broad class of ascending and descending auctions in which truthful bidding is an ex post Nash equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Debasis Mishra & Dolf Talman, 2007. "Overdemand and underdemand in economies with indivisible goods and unit demand," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 07-03, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:isipdp:07-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Sotomayor, Marilda, 2002. "A Simultaneous Descending Bid Auction for Multiple Items and Unitary Demand," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 56(3), July.
    3. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Ostroy, Joseph M., 2002. "The Package Assignment Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 377-406, December.
    4. Gul, Faruk & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1999. "Walrasian Equilibrium with Gross Substitutes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 95-124, July.
    5. Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
    6. Mishra, Debasis & Parkes, David C., 2007. "Ascending price Vickrey auctions for general valuations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 335-366, January.
    7. Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1986. "Multi-Item Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 863-872, August.
    8. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    9. Leonard, Herman B, 1983. "Elicitation of Honest Preferences for the Assignment of Individuals to Positions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 461-479, June.
    10. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-631, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerard van der Laan & Zaifu Yang, 2016. "An ascending multi-item auction with financially constrained bidders," The Journal of Mechanism and Institution Design, Society for the Promotion of Mechanism and Institution Design, University of York, vol. 1(1), pages 109-149, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General


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