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Welfare and revenue guarantees for competitive bundling equilibrium. (English) Zbl 1406.91144
Markakis, Evangelos (ed.) et al., Web and internet economics. 11th international conference, WINE 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, December 9–12, 2015. Proceedings. Berlin: Springer (ISBN 978-3-662-48994-9/pbk; 978-3-662-48995-6/ebook). Lecture Notes in Computer Science 9470, 300-313 (2015).
Summary: Competitive equilibrium, the central equilibrium notion in markets with indivisible goods, is based on pricing each good such that the demand for goods equals their supply and the market clears. This equilibrium notion is not guaranteed to exist beyond the narrow case of substitute goods, might result in zero revenue even when consumers value the goods highly, and overlooks the widespread practice of pricing bundles rather than individual goods. Alternative equilibrium notions proposed to address these shortcomings have either made a strong assumption on the ability to withhold supply in equilibrium, or have allowed an exponential number of prices.
In this paper, we study the notion of competitive bundling equilibrium - a competitive equilibrium over the market induced by partitioning the goods into bundles. Such an equilibrium is guaranteed to exist, is succinct, and satisfies the fundamental economic condition of market clearance. We establish positive welfare and revenue guarantees for this solution concept: For welfare we show that in markets with homogeneous goods, there always exists a competitive bundling equilibrium that achieves a logarithmic fraction of the optimal welfare. We also extend this result to establish nontrivial welfare guarantees for markets with heterogeneous goods. For revenue we show that in a natural class of markets for which competitive equilibrium does not guarantee positive revenue, there always exists a competitive bundling equilibrium that extracts as revenue a logarithmic fraction of the optimal welfare. Both results are tight.
For the entire collection see [Zbl 1326.68026].

MSC:
91B24 Microeconomic theory (price theory and economic markets)
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