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Competing with Asking Prices

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  • Benjamin Lester
  • Ludo Visschers
  • Ronald Wolthoff

Abstract

In many markets, sellers advertise their good with an asking price. This is a price at which the seller will take his good off the market and trade immediately, though it is understood that a buyer can submit an offer below the asking price and that this offer may be accepted if the seller receives no better offers. Despite their prevalence in a variety of real world markets, asking prices have received little attention in the academic literature. We construct an environment with a few simple, realistic ingredients and demonstrate that using an asking price is optimal: it is the pricing mechanism that maximizes sellers’ revenues and it implements the efficient outcome in equilibrium. We provide a complete characterization of this equilibrium and use it to explore the positive implications of this pricing mechanism for transaction prices and allocations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1411.

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Date of creation: May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1411

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Keywords: Asking Prices; Directed Search; Inspection Costs; Efficiency;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lester, Benjamin R. & Visschers, Ludo & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2014. "Meeting Technologies and Optimal Trading Mechanisms in Competitive Search Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 8357, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Lester, Benjamin & Rocheteau, Guillaume & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2014. "Competing for order flow in OTC markets," Working Papers 14-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. James Albrecht, Pieter Gautier, Susan Vroman, 2013. "Efficient Entry in Competing Auctions," Working Papers gueconwpa~13-13-05, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.

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