On the Inefficiency of the Uniform Price Auction [article]

Evangelos Markakis, Orestis Telelis
2013 arXiv   pre-print
We present our results on Uniform Price Auctions, one of the standard sealed-bid multi-unit auction formats, for selling multiple identical units of a single good to multi-demand bidders. Contrary to the truthful and economically efficient multi-unit Vickrey auction, the Uniform Price Auction encourages strategic bidding and is socially inefficient in general. The uniform pricing rule is, however, widely popular by its appeal to the natural anticipation, that identical items should be
more » ... y priced. In this work we study equilibria of the Uniform Price Auction for bidders with (symmetric) submodular valuation functions, over the number of units that they win. We investigate pure Nash equilibria of the auction in undominated strategies; we produce a characterization of these equilibria that allows us to prove that a fraction 1-1/e of the optimum social welfare is always recovered in undominated pure Nash equilibrium -- and this bound is essentially tight. Subsequently, we study the auction under the incomplete information setting and prove a bound of 4-2/k on the economic inefficiency of (mixed) Bayes Nash equilibria that are supported by undominated strategies.
arXiv:1211.1860v4 fatcat:z7mmkg3xhze57ojdovzce2ikme