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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Essays on Continuous Time Multi-Item Auctions

  • Author(s): McLaughlin, Kevin James
  • Advisor(s): Friedman, Daniel
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-ND' version 4.0 license

I compare, for the first time, how the two most popular multi-item auction formats used to allocate online ad space (Vickrey-Clarke-Groves and Generalized Second Price) perform in real time markets. Comprehensive laboratory sessions using proprietary software suggest that the Vickrey-Clarke-Groves mechanism outperforms the Generalized Second Price auction with respect to efficiency across all treatments. This difference is economically significant for more competitive parameter configurations and is statistically significant for most treatments. Revenue capture across treatments tends to be roughly similar between auction formats. Overall, theoretical predictions made in papers by Varian (2007) and Edelman, et al. (2007) seem to organize the data well.

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