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Essays on Auctions

Wrzesień 2006

Ph.D .Thesis

This thesis is a collection of essays on auctions. Auctions are mechanisms allocating goods (e.g. electric power, CO2 abatements, timber, and various asset auctions) to bidders (e.g. individuals, …rms, and institutions). Auction theory is based on the game theoretical models, which are successful in the laboratory (see Kagel, 1995) and in the …field (see for example Hendricks, Porter and Wilson, 1994). There are practical considerations (e.g. the complexity of the auction, time constraints of the bidders) which have to be taken into account when designing the auction. To satisfy these needs, complicated auctions are often employed. In these auctions, there are tiny details which an economist needs to carefully study to predict the …final outcome. This thesis focuses on four dimensions of auction design which are important for economic transactions: the ending rule, scheduling of the auctions, transmission of the bids and information feedback.

Part I of this thesis studies various design specifications of Internet auctions and their implications on the optimal bidding behavior. The analysis reveals the crucial role of the ending rule, schedule of the auctions and transmission of the bids in determining the allocations of the goods as well as the clear link between multiplicity of auctions with the same offerings and bidders tendency to postpone bidding until the very end of the auction. Part II of this thesis attempts to distill a better understanding of the relation between bidders emotions and bidding behavior. In addressing the matter, a game-theoretical model is followed by an experimental study. The most important finding is that emotions and as a result bidders behavior may be affected by changing the information feedback which bidders receive after an auction ends.

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