Auctions with Dynamic Populations: Efficiency and Revenue Maximization

21 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2008 Last revised: 5 May 2013

See all articles by Maher Said

Maher Said

NYU Stern School of Business

Date Written: April 10, 2012


A seller has an uncertain number of perishable goods to sell in each period. Privately informed buyers arrive stochastically to the market. Buyers are risk neutral, patient, and have persistent private values for consuming a single unit. We show that the seller can implement the efficient allocation using a sequence of ascending auctions. The buyers use memoryless strategies to reveal all private information in every period, inducing symmetric behavior across different cohorts. We extend our results to revenue maximization, showing that a sequence of ascending auctions with asynchronous price clocks is an optimal mechanism.

Keywords: Dynamic mechanism design, Indirect mechanisms, Sequential ascending auctions, Sequential allocation, Random arrivals

JEL Classification: C73, D44, D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Said, Maher, Auctions with Dynamic Populations: Efficiency and Revenue Maximization (April 10, 2012). Journal of Economic Theory, 147(6), 2419-2438, Available at SSRN: or

Maher Said (Contact Author)

NYU Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States


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