Economics Seminars: Sarah Auster (Bocconi University)

8 October 2019, 4.00 PM - 8 October 2019, 5.15 PM

Sarah Auster (Bocconi University)

1B6 Seminar Room, Priory Road Complex

Title: Robust Bidding in Descending Price Auctions

Abstract: We study the properties of Dutch auctions in an independent private value setting, where bidders face uncertainty over the type distribution of their opponents and evaluate their payoffs by the worst-case from a set of probabilistic scenarios. In contrast to static auction formats, participants in the Dutch auction gradually learn about the valuations of other bidders. We show that the transmitted information can lead to changes in the worst-case distribution and thereby shift a bidder's payoff maximizing exit price over time. We characterise the equilibrium bidding function in this environment and show that the arriving information leads bidders to exit earlier at higher prices. As a result, the Dutch auction systematically generates more revenue than the first-price auction.

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