BOS Olivier

University Panthéon-Assas
Department of Economics - LEM
5/7 avenue Vavin
75006 Paris, France
Tel : +33 1 55 42 50 22

Last updated : January 2012

Brief CV [pdf]

Research Interests

Auction Theory - Contest Theory - Public Economics - Microeconomic Theory


- "Wars of Attrition and All-Pay Auctions with Stochastic Competition", Journal of Mathematical Economics, forthcoming. - pdf

We extend the war of attrition and all-pay auction analysis of Krishna and Morgan (1997) to a stochastic competition setting. We determine the existence of equilibrium bidding strategies and discuss the potential shape of these strategies. Results for the war of attrition contrast with the characterization of the bidding equilibrium strategies in the first-price all-pay auction as well as the winner-pay auctions. Furthermore we investigate the expected revenue comparisons among the war of attrition, the all-pay auction and the winner-pay auctions and discuss the Linkage Principle as well. Our findings are applicable to future works on contests and charity auctions.

- "How Lotteries Outperform Auctions", Economics Letters, 2011, vol. 110, pp. 262-264. - pdf - longer and older version

In their recent paper Goeree et al. (2005) determine that all-pay auctions are better for fundraising activities than lotteries. We show that the introduction of asymmetry among valuations with complete information could reverse this result. Complete information seems well suited to some charity environments.

- "L’enchère à offres payantes. Un mécanisme aux applications diverses" (survey in French), Revue Economique, 2011, vol. 62, pp. 5-28. - [pdf]

Cet article propose une revue de la littérature sur l’enchère à offres payantes, de l’anglais all-pay auction, qui est un domaine de recherche dynamique en information complète aussi bien qu’en information incomplète. La structure de ce format d’enchère l’a rendu populaire pour des caractéristiques autres que le mode de fixation des prix. Elle permet en effet de rendre compte de nombreuses situations économiques, politiques et sociales identiques à un tournoi. De récents travaux mettent en avant la supériorité des enchères à offres payantes, comme format d’enchère, pour récolter des fonds à des fins caritatives.

Research Papers

- "Charity Auctions for the Happy Few" - pdf

Recent literature has shown that all-pay auctions raise more money for charity than winner-pay auctions. We demonstrate that the first-price and second-price winner-pay auctions outperform the first-price and second-price all-pay auction when bidders are sufficiently asymmetric. To prove it, we consider a framework with complete information. Complete information is realistic and corresponds to events that occur, for instance, in a local service club (such as a voluntary organization) or in a show business dinner.

- "All-Pay Auction with Polynomial Rewards", joint with Martin Ranger - pdf

This paper examines a perfectly discriminating contest (all-pay auction) with two asymmetric players. Valuations are endogenous and depend on the effort each player invests in the contest. The shape of the valuation function is common knowledge and differs between the contestants. Some key properties of R&D races, lobbying activity and sport contests are captured by this framework. Once the unique equilibrium in mixed strategies analyzed, we derive a closed form of the expected expenditure of both players. We characterize the expected expenditure by the means of incomplete Beta functions. We focus on unordered valuations.

- "Charitable Asymmetric Bidders" - pdf

Recent papers show that all-pay auction is better at raising money for charity than first-price auction with symmetric bidders and under incomplete information. Yet, this result is lost with bidders enough asymmetric and under complete information. In this paper, we consider a framework on charity auctions with asymmetric bidders under some incomplete information. We determine all-pay auction still runs more money than first-price auction. Thus, all-pay auctions should be seriously considered when one wants to organize a charity auction.

- "Risk and Unraveling in Labor Markets", joint with Martin Ranger - pdf

A two period labor market is considered in which workers’ quality is revealed in the second period. A signal - revealed to either workers, firms or both at the beginning of the first period - is correlated with the final quality. Under all assumptions about the distribution of information in the first period there exists an equilibrium in which firms only make offers in the second and workers accept no offer in the first period. Nonetheless, early contracting is also an equilibrium if certain conditions on preferences of firms and workers are met. Workers have to be risk averse or firms risk loving with respect to expectations appropriate to the relevant information structure. Thus the conditions for unraveling depend on the information available to the two sides of the market.

Course material (in French)

- Economie industrielle (master 1)

- Théorie des enchères (master 2)

- Séminaire de méthodologie (master 1)


- Chantal Marlats, my officemate.

- Lucie Ménager, my previous officemate.