eBay and a Primer in Auction Theory

Today, while browsing eBay I stumbled on an auction for an enlarger. The interesting thing was not the item, but rather the fact that the seller had modified eBay’s traditional English auction-scheme by converting it into an Vickrey look-a-like open-bid second-price auction (a Vickrey auction is an auction where the bidders submit sealed bids to the auctioneer, but the winner only pays the second highest bid).

The thing is that all these standard auctions (English, Ductch, Sealed-bid first-price and Sealed-bid second-price auctions) are revenue equivalent under complete information, so given that result alone, it does not make any sence to tamper with the eBay-scheme.

Moreover, unless I’ve misunderstood the eBay setup, it seems totally utterly foolish to use a non-sealed-bid second-price auction scheme. That’s because you can easily win the auction by bidding a ridiculously large amount whereafter no-one else will submit a bid because they risk winning! (If they do, then they will have to pay a ridiculously large amount.) Thus, you win the auction and pay whatever was bid just prior to your bid.

But then again, I’ve probably just misunderstood something, because no-one could overlook that…

(NB! The scheme isn’t working in this case because the minimum bid seems to be “too high.”)

Magnum Photos podcast

I’ve been subscribing to the Magnum in Motion photojournalistic podcast for some time now and I’d like to recommend it. Click on the link to iTMS and take a look at “American Color” by Costas Manos, “Satellites” by Jonas Bendiksen or “Tour de France” by various Magnum Photographers.

Magnum Photos is an international photographic cooperative owned by its photographer-members and founded by WW2 photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Recently the danish photographer Jacob Aue Sobol has become a nominee, probably due to his Sabine-photos.

Ride to work, but not on a bike…

Yesterday was the American national Ride To Work-day; naïve as I may be, I thought that the ride-to-work-thing was about the environment and individual health but it seems that the US version of “We bike to work” (dk: Vi cykler til arbejde), is advocating “the use of motorcycles and scooters for transportation.” Silly me.

No wonder obesity is on the rise

(Just for the record: it seems to be a problem in Daisyland too.)

Cph. Jazzfestival (last week)

During the annual Copenhagen Jazz Festival last week I went to the Royal Theater to hear Eliane Elias who likes to sing Astrud Gilberto tunes. Listen to a 2004 album on iTunes.

I also went to Pumpehuset to hear the New Orlans inspired jazz band “SP Just Frost” who gave a fantastic concert. iTunes.

Finally, I too advantage of my Tivoli membership and went to their weekly Friday Rock session and heard funk-master-mind George Clinton. That was really a FREAK-show (as a reviewer in Politiken called it) and the crowd (or the venue) was not right, but funk’ers ^_^ has to hear George Clinton if possible… If you think you don’t know George Clinton or you recon that I’m mixing up former U.S. presidents I’m sure you will recognise Clinton’s hit “Atomic Dog“… or maybe “Sexy Side of You.”

Wikipedia on George Clinton, Eliane Elias and SP Just Frost.

Suicidal MD’s

Apparently the doctors are the most suicidal occupational group, closely followed by the nurses. MD’s and nurses are even more suicidal than the unemployed! In an article in Politiken today it is speculated that it’s due to their knowledge off ‘how to terminate life’ and the inability to approach other doctors with their problems…

The author of the paper that the article is based on, Esben Agerbo, is also a co-author of this very interesting article about the effect of unemployment on the probability of psychiatric hospital admission.

Only 7 page views… :-(

I’m a little unhappy with the number of page views of an abstract that I recently put on the Social Scientist Research Network, so I thought my statistics would improve if I put a link here:
On the Effect of Unemployment on Mortality

Klik bare løs ;-)

UPdate Jul. 3: It seems to be working :-) Now I have 11 views…57 percent increase from yesterday. I’m happy. He he. (Most of the hits are probably myself.)