American Economic Review: Vol. 104 No. 5 (May 2014)


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The Continuous Combinatorial Auction Architecture

Article Citation

Plott, Charles R., Hsing-Yang Lee, and Travis Maron. 2014. "The Continuous Combinatorial Auction Architecture." American Economic Review, 104(5): 452-56.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.452


The paper reports the architecture of a continuous combinatorial auction. Preferences are based on sets of items and feasibility requires the nonintersection of sets. Countdown clocks replace eligibility and activity requirements typical of rounds-based auctions. Bids remain in the system to be combined with new bids to form winning collections. Increment requirements dictate improvements over appropriate collections of existing bids. The auction evolved from experimental methods and operates at high levels of efficiency. Field applications are reported and result in natural equilibration in a few hours as opposed to days or weeks required by round-based architectures.

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Online Appendix (162.36 KB) | Download Data Set (22.75 KB) | Author Disclosure Statement(s) (83.97 KB)


Plott, Charles R. (CA Institute of Technology)
Lee, Hsing-Yang (CA Institute of Technology)
Maron, Travis (CA Institute of Technology)

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D44: Auctions

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