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Pricing Rule in a Clock Auction

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Abstract

We analyze a discrete clock auction with lowest-accepted bid (LAB) pricing and provisional winners, as adopted by India for its 3G spectrum auction. In a perfect Bayesian equilibrium, the provisional winner shades her bid while provisional losers do not. Such differential shading leads to inefficiency. The size of the inefficiency declines with smaller bid increments. An auction with highest-rejected bid (HRB) pricing and exit bids is strategically simple, has no bid shading, and is fully efficient. In addition, it has higher revenues than the LAB auction, assuming profit maximizing bidders. The bid shading in the LAB auction exposes bidders to the possibility of losing the auction at a price below the bidder's value. Thus, fear of losing may cause bidders in the LAB auction to bid more aggressively than predicted assuming profit-maximizing bidders. We extend the model by adding an anticipated loser's regret to the payoff function. Revenue from the LAB auction yields higher expected revenue than the HRB auction when bidders' fear of losing at profitable prices is sufficiently strong. This would provide one explanation why India, with an expressed objective of revenue maximization, adopted the LAB auction for its upcoming 3G spectrum auction, rather than the seemingly superior HRB auction.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Cramton & Pacharasut Sujarittanonta, 2009. "Pricing Rule in a Clock Auction," Papers of Peter Cramton 09prca, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:09prca
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2009. "A Direct Test of Risk Aversion and Regret in First Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 6(2), pages 75-86, June.
    2. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    3. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2008. "Regret and Feedback Information in First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(4), pages 808-819, April.
    4. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans, 1989. "The Effect of Regret on Optimal Bidding in Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(6), pages 685-692, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Rothkopf, Michael H. & Harstad, Ronald M., 1994. "On the role of discrete bid levels in oral auctions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 572-581, May.
    7. Lange, Andreas & Ratan, Anmol, 2010. "Multi-dimensional reference-dependent preferences in sealed-bid auctions - How (most) laboratory experiments differ from the field," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 634-645, March.
    8. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2007. "Regret in auctions: theory and evidence," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 81-101, October.
    9. Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2007. "Auctions with Anticipated Regret: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1407-1418, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Cramton & Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Ozbay & Pacharasut Sujarittanonta, 2012. "Discrete clock auctions: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(2), pages 309-322, June.
    2. Peter Cramton & Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Ozbay & Pacharasut Sujarittanonta, 2012. "Fear of losing in a clock auction," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(2), pages 119-134, September.
    3. Robert F. Bordley & Elena Katok & L. Robin Keller, 2010. "Honoring Michael H. Rothkopf's Legacy of Rigor and Relevance in Auction Theory: From the Editors," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 1-4, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; clock auctions; spectrum auctions; behavioral economics; market design;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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