Journal Article

The Relevance of a Choice of Auction Format in a Competitive Environment

Matthew O. Jackson and Ilan Kremer

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 73, issue 4, pages 961-981
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2006.00404.x
The Relevance of a Choice of Auction Format in a Competitive Environment

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We examine the relevance of an auction format in a competitive environment by comparing uniform and discriminatory price auctions with many bidders in a private values setting. We show that if the number of objects for sale is small relative to the number of bidders, then all equilibria of both auctions are approximately efficient and lead to approximately the same revenue. When the number of objects for sale is proportional to the number of bidders, then the particulars of the auction format matter. All equilibria of the uniform auction are efficient, while all of the equilibria of the discriminatory auction are inefficient. The relative revenue rankings of the auction formats can go in either direction, depending on the specifics of the environment. These conclusions regarding the efficiency and revenue ranking are in contrast to the previous literature, which focused on the case of independent information across agents.

Keywords: D44

Journal Article.  12533 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Market Structure and Pricing

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