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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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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2003. "Bid rotation and collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 79-105, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Pesendorfer, Martin, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411, July.
  6. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1992. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," NBER Working Papers 4013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 2004. "Tacit collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 153-169, January.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. 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.
  13. Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1767-97, November.
  14. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
  15. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
  16. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1997. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," NBER Working Papers 6037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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