Review of Economic Design

, Volume 13, Issue 1–2, pp 137–145 | Cite as

Non-existence of equilibrium in Vickrey, second-price, and English auctions

Original Paper


A simple example shows that equilibria can fail to exist in second price (Vickrey) and English auctions when there are both common and private components to bidders’ valuations and private information is held on both dimensions. The example shows that equilibrium only exists in the extremes of pure private and pure common values, and that existence in standard models is not robust to a slight perturbation.


Auction Equilibrium existence Nonexistence Vickrey auction Second-price auction English auction Multi-dimensional information 

JEL Classification

C62 C63 D44 D82 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.External Faculty of the Santa Fe InstituteSanta FeUSA

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