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Auctioning risk: The all-pay auction under mean-variance preferences

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  • Bettina Klose
  • Paul Schweinzer

Abstract

We develop the idea of using mean-variance preferences for the analysis of the first-price, all-pay auction. On the bidding side, we characterise the optimal strategy in symmetric allpay auctions under mean-variance preferences for general distributions of valuations and any number of bidders. We find that, in contrast to winner-pay auction formats, only hightype bidders increase their bids relative to the risk-neutral case while low types minimise variance exposure by bidding low. Introducing asymmetric variance aversions across bidders into a Uniform valuations, two-player framework, we show that a more variance-averse type bids always higher than her less variance-averse counterpart. Taking mean-variance bidding behaviour as given, we show that an expected revenue maximising seller may want to optimally limit the number of participants. Although expected revenue for risk-neutral bidders typically dominates revenue under mean-variance bidding, if the seller himself takes account of the variance of revenue, he may find it preferable to attract bidders endowed with mean-variance preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Bettina Klose & Paul Schweinzer, 2012. "Auctioning risk: The all-pay auction under mean-variance preferences," Discussion Papers 12/32, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:12/32
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Péter Esö & Lucy White, 2004. "Precautionary Bidding in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 77-92, January.
    2. Audrey Hu & Steven A. Matthews & Liang Zou, 2009. "Risk Aversion and Optimal Reserve Prices in First and Second-Price Auctions, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-001, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 03 Jan 2010.
    3. Bose, Subir & Daripa, Arup, 2009. "A dynamic mechanism and surplus extraction under ambiguity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 2084-2114, September.
    4. Saha, Atanu, 1997. "Risk Preference Estimation in the Nonlinear Mean Standard Deviation Approach," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 770-782, October.
    5. Bodoh-Creed, Aaron L., 2012. "Ambiguous beliefs and mechanism design," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 518-537.
    6. Smith, James L. & Levin, Dan, 1996. "Ranking Auctions with Risk Averse Bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 549-561, February.
    7. Matthews, Steven, 1987. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Point of View," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 633-646, May.
    8. Todd Kaplan & Shmuel Zamir, 2012. "Asymmetric first-price auctions with uniform distributions: analytic solutions to the general case," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 269-302, June.
    9. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    10. Eso, Peter & Futo, Gabor, 1999. "Auction design with a risk averse seller," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 71-74, October.
    11. Alex Robson, 2012. "Contests between players with mean-variance preferences," Discussion Papers in Economics economics:201207, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    12. Hu, Audrey & Matthews, Steven A. & Zou, Liang, 2010. "Risk aversion and optimal reserve prices in first- and second-price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1188-1202, May.
    13. Fibich, Gadi & Gavious, Arieh & Sela, Aner, 2004. "Revenue equivalence in asymmetric auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 309-321, April.
    14. Holt, Charles A, Jr, 1980. "Competitive Bidding for Contracts under Alternative Auction Procedures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 433-445, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Einav Hart & Judith Avrahami & Yaakov Kareev, 2016. "Enlarging the market yet decreasing the profit: An experimental study of competitive behavior when investment affects the prize," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(4), pages 380-390, July.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:23-37 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Contests; Mean-Variance preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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