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On the incidence of commissions in auction markets

  • Ginsburgh, Victor
  • Legros, Patrick
  • Sahuguet, Nicolas

We analyze the welfare consequences of an increase in the commissions charged by intermediaries in auction markets. Commissions are similar to taxes imposed on buyers and sellers, and standard economics suggests that both sellers and buyers are made worse off by the tax. However, we show that when the buyers' participation constraint binds and when sellers set optimal reservation prices, the level of commissions correlates to participation and reservation prices in such a way that participating buyers strictly gain from higher commissions.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 639-644

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:6:p:639-644
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  1. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
  2. Wright Julian, 2004. "One-sided Logic in Two-sided Markets," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, March.
  3. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2001. "Competing cybermediaries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 797-808, May.
  4. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans, 1987. "On Optimal Reservation Prices in Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(6), pages 763-770, June.
  5. Glenn Ellison & Drew Fudenberg, 2003. "Knife-Edge or Plateau: When do Market Models Tip?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000098, David K. Levine.
  6. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
  7. Burguet, Roberto & Sakovics, Jozsef, 1999. "Imperfect Competition in Auction Designs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 231-47, February.
  8. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  10. Paulo K. Monteiro & Flavio M. Menezes, 2000. "original papers : Auctions with endogenous participation," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 71-89.
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