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Optimal Bidding Strategies in Non-Sealed Bid Online Auctions of Common Products with Quantity Uncertainty


  • Chonawee Supatgiat

    (Tractebel North America)

  • John R. Birge

    (Northwestern University)

  • Rachel Q. Zhang

    (Cornell University)


We consider non-sealed bid online auctions of common products with quantity uncertainty. Both first-price (also known as pay-as-you-bid) and uniform-price auctions are considered. In these auctions, all bidders have the same valuation of the products but may have different demand quantities. The number of units being auctioned can be random with a known and common distribution. Each bidder decides on a bidding price to maximize her profit. We derive Nash equilibrium solutions, i.e., bidders' optimal bidding strategies, and the resulting market clearing prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Chonawee Supatgiat & John R. Birge & Rachel Q. Zhang, 2002. "Optimal Bidding Strategies in Non-Sealed Bid Online Auctions of Common Products with Quantity Uncertainty," Game Theory and Information 0211005, EconWPA, revised 05 Mar 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0211005
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
    2. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-286, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Supatgiat, Chonawee & Zhang, Rachel Q & Birge, John R, 2001. "Equilibrium Values in a Competitive Power Exchange Market," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 93-121, February.
    5. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2000. "Efficient Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 341-388.
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    More about this item


    multi-unit auctions; pure common value auction; discrete bid level; bid increment; E-commerce;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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