A Theory of Auctions with Endogenous Valuations
49 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018 Last revised: 13 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 5, 2018
We study the revenue maximizing allocation of m units among n symmetric agents with unit demand that have convex preferences over the probability of receiving an object. We show that such preferences are naturally induced by a game where the agents take costly actions that affect their values before participating in the mechanism.
Both the uniform m 1 price auction and the discriminatory pay-your-bid auction with reserve prices constitute symmetric revenue maximizing mechanisms. Contrasting the case with linear preferences, the optimal reserve price reacts to both demand and supply, i.e., it depends both on the number of objects m and on number of agents n. The main tool in our analysis is an integral inequality involving majorization, super-modularity and convexity due to Fan and Lorentz (1954).
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