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Optimal Search Auctions

  • Crémer, Jacques
  • Spiegel, Yossi
  • Zheng, Charles Zhoucheng

We study the design of profit maximizing single unit auctions under the assumption that the seller needs to incur costs to contact prospective bidders and inform them about the auction. With independent biddersï¾’ types and possibly interdependent valuations, the sellerï¾’s problem can be reduced to a search problem in which the surplus is measured in terms of virtual utilities minus search costs. Compared to the socially efficient mechanism, the optimal mechanism features fewer participants, longer search conditional on the same set of participants, and inefficient sequence of entry.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12662.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Theory, May 2007, vol. 134 no. 1, pp. 226-248
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12662
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Balázs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
  2. Asher Wolinsky, 1993. "Competition in a Market for Informed Experts' Services," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(3), pages 380-398, Autumn.
  3. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  4. M. L. Weitzman, 1978. "Optimal Search for the Best Alternative," Working papers 214, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Burguet, Roberto, 1996. "Optimal Repeated Purchases When Sellers Are Learning about Costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 440-455, February.
  7. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & Asher Wolinsky, 2003. "Second Opinions and Price Competition: Inefficiency in the Market for Expert Advice," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 417-437, 04.
  8. Ye Lixin, 2004. "Optimal Auctions with Endogenous Entry," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, October.
  9. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
  10. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2005. "Information in Mechanism Design," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1532R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jan 2006.
  11. Preston McAfee, R. & McMillan, John, 1988. "Search mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 99-123, February.
  12. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Vaimaki, 2000. "Information Acquisition and Efficient Mechanism Design," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1248, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Vishwanath, Tara, 1992. "Parallel Search for the Best Alternative," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 495-507, October.
  14. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:57:n:4:a:12 is not listed on IDEAS
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