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Agent-based common value auctions

Boyer, Christopher
Scope and Method of Study: This research is composed of three essays about agent-based common value auctions. The objective of the first essay is to establish an agent-based first-price common-value auction to determine the impact of a reserve price with two buyers and with three buyers. In the second essay, the agent-based common-value auction model is used to provide theoretical insight into the likely change in beef packers' market power before and after the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act. The objective in the third essay is to determine if a first-price common-value auction with a reserve price or a posted-price market provides a seller with the larger expected revenue using agent-based models. In these three essays several theoretical contributions are made to the auction literature, and developing an agent-based common-value auction extends the agent-based modeling literature.
Findings and Conclusions: Results from these essays provide unique insight into auction theory, agent-based modeling, and federal agricultural policy. From the first essay, a reserve price increases the equilibrium winning bid price and decreases the probability that the item is sold in the two and three buyer auctions. Additionally, a reserve price increases the winning bid price more than an additional buyer and no reserve price. In the second essay, results provide a unique theoretical argument that the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act benefits producers by reducing beef packers' market power. Results from the third essay show the seller is indifferent between a posted price and auctioning an item when the seller and the buyers have similar noisy signals. However, when the seller has perfect information or buyers have less uncertainty than the seller, the seller prefers the posted-price market.