Presented by Professor Steven R. Williams
University of Illinois, Urbana
A double auction is any procedure in which buyers and sellers interact to determine prices and an allocation. Elementary models of double auctions are used to study the impact upon the market outcome of private information of individual traders and the strategic behaviour that it permits. The market outcome includes the prices and allocation that are determined along with the meaningfulness of prices as aggregators of information distributed among the traders. A comparative theory of the relative properties of different double auctions is an important component of the growing field of market design. This course will focus on the k-double auction, which uses supply and demand curves to determine a market-clearing price. The theory of the k-double auction will be developed in the course, starting with the bilateral case (bargaining) and followed by the multilateral case (markets). Convergence results as the number of traders increases will be discussed. The broader field of double auctions will be surveyed. The course will conclude with an asymptotic approach to the k = 1-double auction that provides insights into the most essential considerations for a trader in selecting his bid/ask.