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Optimal nondiscriminatory auctions with favoritism

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  • Leandro Arozamena
  • Nicholas Shunda
  • Federico Weinschelbaum

Abstract

In many auction settings, there is favoritism: the seller's welfare depends positively on the utility of a subset of potential bidders. However, laws or regulations may not allow the seller to discriminate among bidders. We find the optimal nondiscriminatory auction in a private value, single-unit model under favoritism. At the optimal auction there is a reserve price, or an entry fee, which is decreasing in the proportion of preferred bidders and in the intensity of the preference. Otherwise, the highest-valuation bidder wins. We show that, at least under some conditions, imposing a no-discrimination constraint raises expected seller revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Leandro Arozamena & Nicholas Shunda & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2012. "Optimal nondiscriminatory auctions with favoritism," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-03, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  • Handle: RePEc:udt:wpecon:2012-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1989. "Government procurement and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 291-308, May.
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    3. Arozamena, Leandro & Weinschelbaum, Federico, 2011. "On favoritism in auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 265-267, March.
    4. Leandro Arozamena & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2006. "A note on the suboptimality of right-of-first-refusal clauses," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(24), pages 1-5.
    5. Albert H. Choi, 2009. "A Rent Extraction Theory Of Right Of First Refusal," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 252-262, June.
    6. Leandro Arozamena & Nicholas Shunda & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2014. "Optimal nondiscriminatory auctions with favoritism," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 252-262.
    7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Auction design and favoritism," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 9-42, March.
    8. Naegelen, Florence & Mougeot, Michel, 1998. "Discriminatory public procurement policy and cost reduction incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 349-367, March.
    9. Lee, Joon-Suk, 2008. "Favoritism in asymmetric procurement auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1407-1424, November.
    10. Branco, Fernando, 1994. "Favoring domestic firms in procurement contracts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1-2), pages 65-80, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leandro Arozamena & Nicholas Shunda & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2014. "Optimal nondiscriminatory auctions with favoritism," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 252-262.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; favoritism; nondiscriminatory mechanisms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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