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Ratifiability of Efficient Collusive Mechanisms in Second-Price Auctions with Participation Costs

  • Guofu Tan
  • Okan Yilankaya

We investigate whether efficient collusive bidding mechanisms are affected by potential information leakage from bidders’ decisions to participate in them within the independent private values setting. We apply the concept of ratifiability introduced by Cramton and Palfrey (1995) and show that when the seller uses a second-price auction with participation costs, the standard efficient cartel mechanisms such as preauction knockouts analyzed in the literature will not be ratified by cartel members. A high-value bidder benefits from vetoing the cartel mechanism since doing so sends a credible signal that she has high value, which in turn discourages other bidders from participating in the seller’s auction.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR) in its series IEPR Working Papers with number 05.15.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:scp:wpaper:05-15
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Web page: http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/economics/IEPR/

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  1. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2003. "Bid rotation and collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 79-105, September.
  2. Tan, Guofu & Yilankaya, Okan, 2006. "Equilibria in second price auctions with participation costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 205-219, September.
  3. Peter Cramton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 1995. "Ratifiable Mechanisms: Learning from Disagreement," Papers of Peter Cramton 95geb, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  4. Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 2004. "Tacit collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 153-169, January.
  5. Cramton, Peter C & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1990. "Cartel Enforcement with Uncertainty about Costs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(1), pages 17-47, February.
  6. Mailath, George J. & Zemsky, Peter, 1991. "Collusion in second price auctions with heterogeneous bidders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 467-486, November.
  7. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1992. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," NBER Working Papers 4013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Baldwin, Laura H & Marshall, Robert C & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1997. "Bidder Collusion at Forest Service Timber Sales," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 657-99, August.
  9. Bengt Holmstrom & Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Efficient and Durable Decision Rules with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers 495, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Andreas Blume & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Modeling Tacit Collusion in Auctions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(1), pages 163-184, March.
  11. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1767-97, November.
  13. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
  14. Yilankaya, Okan, 1999. "A Note on the Seller's Optimal Mechanism in Bilateral Trade with Two-Sided Incomplete Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 267-271, July.
  15. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1999. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 263-288, Summer.
  16. Martin Pesendorfer, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411.
  17. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C, 1987. "Collusive Bidder Behavior at Single-Object Second-Price and English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1217-39, December.
  18. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
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