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Wednesday, March 31, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Online Event

Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar

Optimal Auctions: Non-Expected Utility and Constant Risk Aversion
Benny Moldovanu, Professor, Department of Economics, Universit├Ąt Bonn,

Abstract: We study auction design for bidders equipped with non-expected utility preferences that exhibit constant risk aversion (CRA). The CRA class is large and includes loss-averse, disappointment-averse, mean-dispersion and Yaari's dual preferences as well as coherent and convex risk measures. The optimal mechanism offers "full-insurance" in the sense that each agent's utility is independent of other agent's reports. The seller excludes less types than under risk neutrality, and awards the object randomly to intermediate types. Subjecting intermediate types to a risky allocation while compensating them when losing allows the seller to collect larger payments from higher types. Relatively high types are anyway willing to pay more, and their allocation is efficient.

Written with Alex Gershkov, Philipp Strack, and Mengxi Zhang. Professor Moldovanu will be joined by guests David Dillenberger, Andreas Kleiner, and Uzi Segal.

How to view the seminar:
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For more information, please contact Letty Diaz by email at