Experimental Economics

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 476–499 | Cite as

Scheduling with package auctions

  • Kan Takeuchi
  • John C. Lin
  • Yan ChenEmail author
  • Thomas A. Finholt


In scientific collaborations, technologies have broadened access to scarce scientific and engineering resources. While broader access is often applauded, little attention has been focused on the problem of efficient and equitable resource allocation. This paper presents laboratory experiments designed to compare different allocation mechanisms for access to joint research facilities. Specifically, we study the Vickrey-Clarke-Groves (VCG) auction, a simultaneous ascending auction (the Resource Allocation Design, RAD), and a mechanism based on submitted rankings (Knapsack). Experimental results show that RAD and VCG are both more efficient than Knapsack, while Knapsack achieves a more equal distribution of resources than RAD or VCG. The findings highlight the need for systematic exploration of allocation mechanisms within collaboratories.


Package auctions Scheduling Experiments 

JEL Classification

C92 D82 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material

10683_2010_9252_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (303 kb)
(PDF 303KB)


  1. Ausubel, L. M., & Milgrom, P. R. (2006). The lovely but lonely Vickrey auction. In P. Cramton, Y. Shoham, & R. Steinberg (Eds.), Combinatorial auctions. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  2. Banks, J. S., Ledyard, J. O., & Porter, D. P. (1989). Allocating uncertain and unresponsive resources: an experimental approach. Rand Journal of Economics, 20, 1–25. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brunner, C., Goeree, J. K., Holt, C. A., & Ledyard, J. O. (2010). An experimental test of flexible combinatorial spectrum auction formats. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 2(1), 39–57. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cantillon, E., & Pesendorfer, M. (2006). Auctioning bus routes: the London experience. In P. Cramton, Y. Shoham, & R. Steinberg (Eds.), Combinatorial auctions. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  5. Chen, Y., & Takeuchi, K. (2010). Multi-object auctions with package bidding: an experimental comparison of Vickrey and iBEA. Games and Economic Behavior, 68(2), 557–579. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen, Y., Katuščák, P., & Ozdenoren, E. (2007). Sealed bid auctions with ambiguity: theory and experiments. Journal of Economic Theory, 136(1), 513–535. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clarke, E. H. (1971). Multipart pricing of public goods. Public Choice, 11, 17–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Finholt, T. A. (2002). Collaboratories. In B. Cronin (Ed.), Annual review of information science and technology (Vol. 36, pp. 74–107). Washington: American Society for Information Science. Google Scholar
  9. Groves, T. (1973). Incentives in teams. Econometrica, 41(4), 617–631. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hagstrom, W. O. (1965). Scientific community. New York: Basic Books. Google Scholar
  11. Interagency Working Group on Neutron Science. (2002). Report on the status and needs of major neutron scattering facilities and instruments in the United States. Office of Science and Technology Policy, Washington, June 2002. Google Scholar
  12. Isaac, R. M., & James, D. (2000). Robustness of the incentive compatible combinatorial auction. Experimental Economics, 3(1), 31–53. Google Scholar
  13. Isaac, R. M., & Schnier, K. (2006). Sealed bid variations on the silent auction. In R. M. Isaac & D. D. Davis (Eds.), Research in experimental economics (Vol. 11, pp. 31–46). Amsterdam: Elsevier. Google Scholar
  14. Kagel, J. H. (1995). Auctions: a survey of experimental research. In J. Kagel & A. Roth (Eds.), Handbook of experimental economics (pp. 131–148). Princeton: Princeton University Press. Google Scholar
  15. Katok, E., & Roth, A. E. (2004). Auctions of homogeneous goods with increasing returns: experimental comparison of alternative “Dutch” auctions. Management Science, 50(8), 1044–1063. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kwasnica, A. M., Ledyard, J. O., Porter, D., & DeMartini, C. (2005). A new and improved design for multi-object iterative auctions. Management Science, 51(3), 419–434. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ledyard, J. O., Noussair, C., & Porter, D. (1996). The allocation of a shared resource within an organization. Review of Economic Design, 2(1), 163–192. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ledyard, J. O., Olson, M., Porter, D. P., Swanson, J. A., & Torma, D. (2002). The first use of a combined-value auction for transportation services. Interfaces, 32(5), 4–12. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Linsky, J. (2006). An insider’s perspective on observing time selection committees. In A. Heck (Ed.), Organizations and strategies in astronomy (Vol. 6, pp. 111–116). Dordrecht: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McCray, W. P. (2000). Large telescopes and the moral economy of recent astronomy. Social Studies of Science, 30(5), 685–711. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Milgrom, P. (2007). Package auctions and exchanges. Econometrica, 75(4), 935–965. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Milgrom, P. R. (2004). Putting auction theory to work. New York: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  23. NOAO. (2007). National optical astronomy observatory policies for allocation of observing time. Tucson, AZ: Kitt Peak National Observatory, July 2007. Google Scholar
  24. Olson, M., & Porter, D. (1994). An experimental examination into design of decentralized methods to solve the assignment problem with and without money. Economic Theory, 4, 11–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schwarz, R., Kraus, A., & Zensus, J. A. (2006). Evaluation and selection of radio astronomy programs: the case of the 100 M radio telescope at Effelsberg. In A. Heck (Ed.), Organizations and strategies in astronomy (Vol. 6, pp. 125–131). Dordrecht: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vickrey, W. S. (1961). Counterspeculation, auctions and competitive sealed tenders. Journal of Finance, 16, 8–37. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wulf, W. A. The collaboratory opportunity. Science, 261(5123), 854–855 (1993). CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kan Takeuchi
    • 1
  • John C. Lin
    • 2
  • Yan Chen
    • 2
    Email author
  • Thomas A. Finholt
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of EconomicsHitotsubashi UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.School of InformationUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations