Review of Economic Design

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 127–143

Implementation of the revenue-maximizing auction by an ignorant seller


    • PSE (Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiquesjoint research unit CNRS - EHESS - ENPC - ENS)
    • CEPR
  • Jacques Robert
    • Department of Information TechnologyHEC Montréal
    • CIRANO

DOI: 10.1007/s10058-005-0125-y

Cite this article as:
Caillaud, B. & Robert, J. Rev. Econ. Design (2005) 9: 127. doi:10.1007/s10058-005-0125-y


In a general auction framework with independent private values, we propose a game, with a simple economic interpretation, that allows to implement the revenue-maximizing auction outcome when the seller ignores the distributions of the different bidders’ valuations. In this detail-free implementation procedure, an ascending-price contest is organized and the winner volunteers a payment to the seller; this payment can then be challenged by another bidder who knows the distribution of the winner’s valuation.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005