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Multi-Unit Auctions and Competition Stricture

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  • Raphaële Préget
  • Sophie Thoyer

Abstract

Is it better for a seller who wants to auction multiple units to face many small bidders or few large bidders? Since multi-unit auction models usually have many equilibria, there are no theoretical predictions on the impact of the competition structure on the performance of a multi-unit auction (in terms of expected revenue and allocation efficiency). Our experimental results with uniform-price auctions support that with a constant competition degree (identical aggregate demand and supply), when the number of bidders increases while individual demand decreases, there is less strategic bidding (demand reduction). It leads to higher expected revenue with a lower variance but allocation efficiency is not significantly different.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphaële Préget & Sophie Thoyer, 2009. "Multi-Unit Auctions and Competition Stricture," Working Papers 09-18, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:09-18
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    File URL: http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/Documents/DR2009-18.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chan, Chris & Laplagne, Patrick & Appels, David, 2003. "The Role of Auctions in Allocating Public Resources," Staff Research Papers 31916, Productivity Commission.
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    3. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Marek Pycia & Marzena Rostek & Marek Weretka, 2014. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1366-1400.
    4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    5. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & John A. List & David H. Reiley, 2006. "Demand Reduction In Multi-Unit Auctions With Varying Numbers Of Bidders: Theory And Evidence From A Field Experiment ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 203-231, February.
    6. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071.
    7. David Porter & Roumen Vragov, 2006. "An experimental examination of demand reduction in multi-unit versions of the Uniform-price, Vickrey, and English auctions," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(6), pages 445-458.
    8. Robert Wilson, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-689.
    9. Atakelty Hailu & Sophie Thoyer, 2005. "Multi-Unit Auctions to Allocate Water Scarcity Simulating Bidding Behaviour with Agent Based Models," Others 0512012, EconWPA.
    10. Noussair, Charles, 1995. "Equilibria in a Multi-object Uniform Price Sealed Bid Auction with Multi-unit Demands," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(2), pages 337-351, March.
    11. Chakraborty, Indranil, 2006. "Bundle and separate sales in auctions with entry," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 31-46, January.
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