Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


Virtue of Simplicity in Asymmetric Auctions


 Swagata Bhattacharjee (Ashoka University)

                  Co-authored by Shraman Banerjee (Shiv Nadar University)

Thursday, 26 November 2020 at  3:00 PM.


In single object auctions when bidders are asymmetric, the Myersonian optimal auction is difficult to implement because of its informational requirements, its complexity and possible discouragement effect on the bidders. In these cases, Hartline and Roughgarden (2009) proposes a “simple” auction that generates at least half the revenue compared to the optimal auction. This paper experimentally studies the performance of the simple auction vis-a-vis the optimal auction in terms of revenue generation. We show that the simple auction revenue approximates the optimal version much better than the theory predicts. We explore the bidding behavior and show that the strong bidders get discouraged by the disfavoring rules of the optimal auction. We also explore the role of cognitive ability in bidding behavior

All are cordially invited.

Please find the link to the meeting below:


Meeting ID: 938 8909 3542
Passcode: 559532


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