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An Overview of Combinatorial Auctions

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Abstract

An auction is combinatorial when bidders can place bids on combinations of items, called “packages,” rather than just individual items. Computer scientists are interested in combinatorial auctions because they are concerned with the expressiveness of bidding languages, as well as the algorithmic aspects of the underlying combinatorial problem. The combinatorial problem has attracted attention from operations researchers, especially those working in combinatorial optimization and mathematical programming, who are fascinated by the idea of applying these tools to auctions. Auctions have been studied extensively by economists, of course. Thus, the newly emerging field of combinatorial auctions lies at the intersection of computer science, operations research, and economics. In this article, we present a brief introduction to combinatorial auctions, based on our book, Combinatorial Auctions (MIT Press, 2006), in which we look at combinatorial auctions from all three perspectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Cramton & Yoav Shoham & Richard Steinberg, 2007. "An Overview of Combinatorial Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 07oca, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:07oca
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    File URL: http://www.cramton.umd.edu/papers2005-2009/cramton-shoham-steinberg-overview-of-combinatorial-auctions.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
    2. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071.
    3. Ausubel Lawrence M & Milgrom Paul R, 2002. "Ascending Auctions with Package Bidding," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-44, August.
    4. Robert B. Wilson, 1967. "Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(11), pages 816-820, July.
    5. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number auction1.
    6. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 2004. "Auctioning Many Divisible Goods," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 480-493, 04/05.
    7. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721.
    8. Michael H. Rothkopf, 1969. "A Model of Rational Competitive Bidding," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(7), pages 362-373, March.
    9. Peter Cramton, 2002. "Spectrum Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 01hte, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 16 Jul 2001.
    10. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    11. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number auction1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susan Athey & Glenn Ellison, 2011. "Position Auctions with Consumer Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1213-1270.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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