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Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Pointof View

  • Steven A. Matthews

Buyer's preferences over auctions depend on their measure of absolute risk aversion. If it is constant and they have independent private values, they are indifferent between a first-price auction (FPA), a second-price auction (SPA), and a first-price auction in which the number of bidders is revealed before bids are taken (FPA- R). If they have decreasing absolute risk aversion, they prefer the SPA to the FPA-R to the FPA. Their preference for the SPA is diminished to the extent that their values are affiliated. Affiliation also causes them to prefer the number of bidders to be revealed, whereas the seller then prefers to keep it secret. Copyright 1987 by The Econometric Society.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 664R.

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Date of creation: Oct 1985
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:664r
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  1. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with a stochastic number of bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, October.
  2. Matthews, Steven A., 1983. "Selling to risk averse buyers with unobservable tastes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 370-400, August.
  3. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  4. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "Allocation Mechanisms and the Design of Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1477-99, November.
  6. Moore, John, 1984. "Global Incentive Constraints in Auction Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1523-35, November.
  7. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  8. Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Auction Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 779, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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