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Credible Sales Mechanisms and Intermediaries

Author

Listed:
  • David McAdams
  • Michael Schwarz

Abstract

We consider a seller who faces several buyers and lacks access to an institution to credibly close a sale. If buyers anticipate that the seller may negotiate further, they will prefer to wait before making their best and final offers. This in turn induces the seller to bargain at length with buyers, even if doing so is costly. When the seller's cost of soliciting another round of offers is either very large or very small, the seller credibly commits to an auction and experiences negligible bargaining costs. Otherwise, there may be several rounds of increasing offers and significant seller losses. In these situations, an intermediary with a sufficiently valuable reputation and/or weak marginal incentives regarding price can create value by credibly committing to help sell the object without delay. (JEL C78, D44)

Suggested Citation

  • David McAdams & Michael Schwarz, 2007. "Credible Sales Mechanisms and Intermediaries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 260-276, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:1:p:260-276
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.1.260
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sobel, Joel, 1981. "Distortion of Utilities and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 597-619, May.
    2. Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
    3. Hannu Vartiainen, 2013. "Auction Design Without Commitment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 316-342, April.
    4. Bester, Helmut & Sakovics, Jozsef, 2001. "Delegated bargaining and renegotiation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 459-473, August.
    5. McAdams, David & Schwarz, Michael, 2007. "Who pays when auction rules are bent?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1144-1157, October.
    6. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
    7. Bester, Helmut, 1994. "Price commitment in search markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 109-120, September.
    8. Glenn Ellison & Drew Fudenberg & Markus Möbius, 2004. "Competing Auctions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 30-66, March.
    9. Vasiliki Skreta, 2006. "Sequentially Optimal Mechanisms -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1085-1111.
    10. McLaughlin, Robyn M., 1990. "Investment-banking contracts in tender offers : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 209-232.
    11. Marc S. Robinson, 1985. "Collusion and the Choice of Auction," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 141-145, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Johannes Hörner & Larry Samuelson, 2011. "Managing Strategic Buyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 379-425.
    2. Tanjim Hossain & Fahad Khalil & Matthew Shum, 2016. "Auctioneers as Market Makers: Managing Momentum in Chittagong Tea Auctions," CESifo Working Paper Series 5843, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2009. "Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1544-1575, September.
    4. Hernando-Veciana, Ángel & Tröge, Michael, 2011. "The insider's curse," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 339-350, March.
    5. Skreta, Vasiliki, 2015. "Optimal auction design under non-commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 854-890.
    6. Paul Milgrom, 2006. "Incentives in Core-Selecting Auctions," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000503, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Gustavo Rodriguez, 2012. "Sequential auctions with imperfect quantity commitment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(1), pages 143-173, January.
    8. Charles J. Thomas, 2012. "An Alternating-Offers Model of Multilateral Negotiations," Working Papers 12-31, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    9. van den Brink, René & Katsev, Ilya & van der Laan, Gerard, 2010. "An algorithm for computing the nucleolus of disjunctive non-negative additive games with an acyclic permission structure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(2), pages 817-826, December.
    10. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2009. "Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1544-75, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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