Equilibrium strategy and population-size effects in lowest unique bid auctions
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In lowest unique bid auctions, N players bid for an item. The winner is whoever places the lowest bid, provided that it is also unique. We use a grand canonical approach to derive an analytical expression for the equilibrium distribution of strategies. We then study the properties of the solution as a function of the mean number of players, and compare them with a large data set of internet auctions. The theory agrees with the data with striking accuracy for small population-size N, while for larger N a qualitatively different distribution is observed.We interpret this result as the emergence of two different regimes, one in which adaptation is feasible and one in which it is not. Our results question the actual possibility of a large population to adapt and find the optimal strategy when participating in a collective game.
CitationPigolotti, S. [et al.]. Equilibrium strategy and population-size effects in lowest unique bid auctions. "Physical review letters", 22 Febrer 2012, vol. 108, núm. 8, p. 1-5.