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January 2004 - Volume 72 Issue 1 Page 281 - 294


p.281


Notes and Comments the Amsterdam Auction

Jacob K. Goeree
Theo Offerman

Abstract

The Amsterdam auction has been used to sell real estate in the Dutch capital for centuries. By awarding a premium to the highest losing bidder, the Amsterdam auction favors weak bidders without having the implementation difficulties of Myerson's (1981) optimal auction. In a series of experiments, we compare the standard first-price and English auctions, the optimal auction, and two variants of the Amsterdam auction. With strongly asymmetric bidders, the second-price Amsterdam auction raises substantially more revenues than standard formats and only slightly less than the optimal auction.

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