A Theory of Auctions with Endogenous Valuations
55 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2020
Date Written: January 19, 2020
We derive the revenue maximizing allocation of m units among n symmetric agents who have unit demand, and who take costly actions that influence their values before participating in the mechanism. The allocation problem with costly actions can be represented by a reduced form model where agents have convex, non-expected utility preferences over the interim probability of receiving an object. Both the uniform m + 1 price auction and the discriminatory pay-your-bid auction with reserve price constitute symmetric revenue maximizing mechanisms. Contrasting the case with exogenous valuations, 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).
Keywords: Auctions, Mechanism Design, Investments, Endogenous Valuations
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