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Auction Mechanisms and Bidder Collusion: Bribes, Signals and Selection

Author

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  • Aniol Llorente-Saguer

    (Queen Mary University of London)

  • Ro’i Zultan

    (Ben-Gurion University)

Abstract

The theoretical literature on collusion in auctions suggests that the first-price mechanism can deter the formation of bidding rings. In equilibrium, collusive negotiations are either successful or are avoided altogether, hence such analysis neglects the effects of failed collusion attempts. In such contingencies, information revealed in the negotiation process is likely to affect the bidding behavior in first-price (but not second-price) auctions. We test experimentally a setup in which collusion is possible, but negotiations often break down and information is revealed in an asymmetric way. The existing theoretical analysis of our setup predicts that the first-price mechanism deters collusion. In contrast, we find the same level of collusion in first-price and second-price auctions. Furthermore, failed collusion attempts distort the bidding behavior in the ensuing auction, leading to loss of efficiency and eliminating the revenue dominance typically observed in firstprice auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Ro’i Zultan, 2014. "Auction Mechanisms and Bidder Collusion: Bribes, Signals and Selection," Working Papers 734, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:734
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Fischer, Sven & Guth, Werner & Kaplan, Todd & Zultan, Roi, 2014. "Auctions and Leaks: A Theoretical and Experimental Investigation," MPRA Paper 58940, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Noussair, Charles N. & Seres, Gyula, 2020. "The effect of collusion on efficiency in experimental auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 267-287.
    4. Troyan, Peter, 2017. "Collusion and signaling in auctions with interdependent values," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 319-345.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Collusion; Bribes; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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