Throughout these lessons we present a brief
introduction to the main
results of Auction Theory, an applied branch of Game
that has a theoretical structure worthy of explanation.
The first item bought on e-bay was a broken laser pointer for $14.83.
When asked if he understood the laser pointer was broken, the buyer
answered: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers."
is divided in four lessons. In lesson 1 we explain why
auctions are worthy of study and list the main assumptions we will make
in the subsequent lessons from a game-theoretical point of view. There
exist four main kinds of auctions: the English auction, the Dutch
auction, the first-price sealed-bid auction and the second-price
sealed-bid or Vickrey's auction (essentially equivalent to e-bay's
auction style, see figure). In lesson 2 we will describe the English
auction (the most common type of auction) and the second-price
sealed-bid or Vickrey's auction establishing the relationship between
the two. In lesson 3 we will describe and establish the relationship
between the Dutch and first-price sealed-bid auctions. Finally, lesson
4 will be devoted to the statement of the celebrated Revenue
Equivalence Theorem and the exposition of some more general models in
which the assumptions listed in lesson 1 do not necessarily hold.