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Ranking Asymmetric Auctions using the Dispersive Order

Rene Kirkegaard ()

No 1101, Working Papers from University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance

Abstract: The revenue ranking of asymmetric auctions with two heterogenous bidders is examined. The main theorem identifies a general environment in which the first-price auction is more profitable than the second-price auction. By using mechanism design techniques, the problem is simplified and several extensions are made possible. Roughly speaking, the first-price auction is more profitable when the strong bidder's distribution is flatter and more disperse than the weak bidder's distribution. These sufficient conditions turn out to have appealing geometric and economic interpretations. The theorem applies to certain environments with multi-dimensional types. It is also possible, for the first time, to extend the ranking to auctions with reserve prices and to auctions with more bidders. Implications for contests architecture and other auction formats are also pursued.

Keywords: Asymmetric Auctions; Convex Transform Order; Dispersive Order; Multi-dimensional types; Revenue Ranking; Star order. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D44 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 47 pages
Date: 2011
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

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