Essays in auction theory

E. Maasland

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Auction theory is a branch of game theory that considers human behavior in auction markets and the ensuing market outcomes. It is also successfully used as a tool to design real-life auctions. This thesis contains five essays addressing a variety of topics within the realm of auction theory. The first essay gives an easily accessible overview of the most important insights of auction theory. The second essay, motivated by the UMTS-auctions that took place in Europe, studies auctions in which, in contrast to standard auction theory, losing bidders benefit from a high price paid by the winner(s). Under this assumption, the first-price sealed-bid auction and the second-price sealed-bid auction are no longer revenue equivalent. The third essay analyzes how well different kinds of auctions are able to raise money for charity. It turns out that standard winner-pay auctions are inept fund-raising mechanisms because of the positive externality bidders forgo if they top another’s high bid. As this problem does not occur in all-pay auctions, where bidders pay irrespective of whether they win or lose, all-pay auctions are more effective in raising money. The fourth essay studies a particular auction type, a so-called simultaneous pooled auction with multiple bids and preference lists, that has been used for example in the Netherlands and Ireland to auction available spectrum. The results in this essay show that this type of auction does not satisfy elementary desirable properties such as the existence of an efficient equilibrium. The fifth essay argues that inefficient auction outcomes due to strong negative (informational) externalities (created by post-auction interactions) can be avoided by asking bidders prior to the auction to submit any publicly observable payment they would like to make.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • van Damme, Eric, Promotor
  • Janssen, M.C.W., Promotor, External person
Award date24 Feb 2012
Place of PublicationTilburg
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789056683115
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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    Maasland, E. (2012). Essays in auction theory. CentER, Center for Economic Research.