Selective Entry and Auction Design

Vivek Bhattacharya and Andrew Sweeting, International Journal of Industrial Organization 43, 189-207, November .


This article examines how different auction designs perform when entry is endogenous and selective, by which we mean that bidders with higher values are more likely to enter. In a model where potential bidders are symmetric, we show that three alternative designs can significantly outperform the ‘standard auction with simultaneous and free entry’ when entry is selective. When bidders are asymmetric, we show that level of bid preference that maximizes a seller’s revenues is significantly affected by the degree of selection. We also describe recent empirical and econometric work that shows that the degree of selection can be identified and estimated using standard types of auction data.

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