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Common Value Auctions with Return Policies

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Author Info

  • Ruqu Wang

    ()
    (Queen's University)

  • Jun Zhang

    ()
    (Queen's University)

Abstract

This paper examines the role of return policies in common value auctions. We first characterize the unique symmetric equilibrium in first-price and second-price auctions with continuous signals and discrete common values when certain return policies are provided. We then examine how the return policies affect a seller's revenue. When the lowest common value is zero, a more generous return policy generates a higher seller's revenue; the full refund policy extracts all the surplus and therefore implements the optimal selling mechanism; given any return policy, a second-price auction generates a higher revenue than a first-price auction. In a second-price auction where the lowest common value is not zero but still smaller than the seller's reservation value, then a more generous return policy also generates a higher revenue; otherwise, the optimal return policy could be a full refund, no refund or partial refund policy.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1235.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1235.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1235

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Keywords: auctions; return policies; refund;

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References

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  1. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  2. Giuseppe Lopomo, 2004. "Optimality and Robustness of the English Auction," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000391, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Milgrom, Paul & Weber, Robert J., 1982. "The value of information in a sealed-bid auction," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 105-114, June.
  4. Robert B. Wilson, 1967. "Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(11), pages 816-820, July.
  5. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
  6. Wilson, Robert B, 1985. "Incentive Efficiency of Double Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1101-15, September.
  7. Douglas K. Reece, 1978. "Competitive Bidding for Offshore Petroleum Leases," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 369-384, Autumn.
  8. McAfee, R Preston & Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Correlated Information and Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 395-421, March.
  9. Jacob K. Goeree & Theo Offerman, 2000. "Competitive Bidding in Auctions with Private and Common Values," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-044/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
  11. Matthews, Steven A., 1983. "Selling to risk averse buyers with unobservable tastes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 370-400, August.
  12. Wilson, Robert, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 511-18, October.
  13. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Giuseppe Lopomo, 2004. "The English Auction Is Optimal Among Simple Sequential Auctions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000369, UCLA Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Zhang, Jun, 2013. "Revenue maximizing with return policy when buyers have uncertain valuations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 452-461.

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