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Best Foot Forward or Best for Last in a Sequential Auction?

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Author Info

  • Archishman Chakraborty

    (CUNY-Baruch College)

  • Nandini Gupta

    (William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan Business School)

  • Rick Harbaugh

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

Should an informed seller of multiple goods sell the best goods first to make a favorable impression on buyers, or instead hold back on the best goods until buyers have learned more from earlier sales? To help answer this question we consider the sequential auction of two goods by a seller with private information about their values. We find that the seller's sequencing strategy endogenously generates correlation in the values of the goods across periods, thereby giving the seller an incentive to impress buyers by leading with the better good. This impression effect implies that selling the better good first is the unique equilibrium in many situations, and that selling the better good last is never a unique equilibrium. Nevertheless, if the seller could commit to a sequencing strategy, revenues would often be higher from waiting to sell the better good last. Either sequencing strategy reveals the seller's ranking of the goods and thereby, due to the linkage principle, generates higher revenues than either randomly selling the goods or selling them simultaneously.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 2000-43.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2000-43

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Keywords: sequential auction; impression effect; linkage principle; declining price anomaly;

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References

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  1. Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2003. "Ordinal Cheap Talk," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2003-05, Claremont Colleges.
  2. Donald B. Hausch, 1986. "Multi-Object Auctions: Sequential vs. Simultaneous Sales," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(12), pages 1599-1610, December.
  3. Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, 1996. "Determinants of Privatization Prices," NBER Working Papers 5494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta, 2004. "Ordinal Cheap Talk in Common Value Auctions," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 605, Econometric Society.
  5. Nandini Gupta & John Ham & Jan Svejnar, 2000. "Priorities and Sequencing in Privatization: Theory and Evidence from the Czech Republic," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1580, Econometric Society.
  6. Raviv, Yaron, 2006. "New Evidence on Price Anomalies in Sequential Auctions: Used Cars in New Jersey," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 301-312, July.
  7. Victor Ginsburgh, 1998. "Absentee bidders and the declining price anomaly in wine auctions," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1701, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the Arts: Selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152420, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  10. McAfee R. Preston & Vincent Daniel, 1993. "The Declining Price Anomaly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 191-212, June.
  11. Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta & Rick Harbaugh, 2002. "Seller Cheap Talk in Common Value Auctions," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-30, Claremont Colleges.
  12. Audra L. Boone & J. Harold Mulherin, . "Corporate Restructuring and Corporate Auctions," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-38, Claremont Colleges.
  13. Chakraborty, Archishman & Harbaugh, Rick, 2003. "Cheap talk comparisons in multi-issue bargaining," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 357-363, March.
  14. Luton, Richard & McAfee, R. Preston, 1986. "Sequential procurement auctions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 181-195, November.
  15. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  16. Bernhardt, Dan & Scoones, David, 1993. "A Note on Sequential Auctions," Working Papers 829, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  17. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
  18. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon, 2002. "Privatization benefits in Eastern Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 307-324, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2006. "Persuasion by Cheap Talk," Working Papers 2006-10, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, revised Oct 2009.
  2. Carolyn Pitchik, 2006. "Budget-Constrained Sequential Auctions with Incomplete Information," Working Papers tecipa-230, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Chakraborty, Archishman & Harbaugh, Rick, 2007. "Comparative cheap talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 70-94, January.
    • Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2004. "Comparative Cheap Talk," Working Papers 2004-08, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  4. Eric Schmidbauer, 2013. "New and Improved?," Working Papers 2013-01, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  5. Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2012. "Persuasive Puffery," Working Papers 2012-05, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  6. Gupta, Nandini & Ham, Jhon C. & Svejnar, Jan, 2008. "Priorities and sequencing in privatization: Evidence from Czech firm panel data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 183-208, February.
  7. Grether, David M. & Plott, Charles R., . "Sequencing strategies in large, competitive, ascending price automobile auctions: An experimental examination," Working Papers 1253, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Paul Pezanis-Christou, 2013. "Asymmetric Multiple-Object First-Price Auctions," School of Economics Working Papers 2013-07, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  9. Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2003. "Ordinal Cheap Talk," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2003-05, Claremont Colleges.

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