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Optimal mechanism design with resale via bargaining


  • Zhang, Jun
  • Wang, Ruqu


In this paper, we examine the optimal mechanism design of selling an indivisible object to one regular buyer and one publicly known buyer, where inter-buyer resale cannot be prohibited. The resale market is modeled as a stochastic ultimatum bargaining game between the two buyers. We fully characterize an optimal mechanism under general conditions. Surprisingly, in this optimal mechanism, the seller never allocates the object to the regular buyer regardless of his bargaining power in the resale market. The seller sells only to the publicly known buyer, and reveals no additional information to the resale market. The possibility of resale causes the seller to sometimes hold back the object, which under our setup is never optimal if resale is prohibited. We find that the sellerʼs revenue is increasing in the publicly known buyerʼs bargaining power in the resale market. When the publicly known buyer has full bargaining power, Myersonʼs optimal revenue is achieved; when the publicly known buyer has no bargaining power, a conditionally efficient mechanism prevails.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Jun & Wang, Ruqu, 2013. "Optimal mechanism design with resale via bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(5), pages 2096-2123.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:148:y:2013:i:5:p:2096-2123 DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2013.07.013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gábor Virág, 2013. "First-price auctions with resale: the case of many bidders," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(1), pages 129-163, January.
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    6. Rod Garratt & Thomas Tröger, 2006. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 753-769, May.
    7. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:2:p:362-375 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
    9. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1987. "Auctioning Incentive Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 921-937, October.
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    11. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
    12. Charles Zhoucheng Zheng, 2002. "Optimal Auction with Resale," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2197-2224, November.
    13. Harrison Cheng & Guofu Tan, 2010. "Asymmetric common-value auctions with applications to private-value auctions with resale," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 45(1), pages 253-290, October.
    14. Molnár, József & Virág, Gábor, 2008. "Revenue maximizing auctions with market interaction and signaling," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 360-363, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:indorg:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:58-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Lang, Xu, 2016. "Essays in microeconomic theory," Other publications TiSEM 767e79ca-5c15-4a6e-86a5-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. 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.
    4. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2016. "Optimal bidding in auctions from a game theory perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 347-371.
    5. McAdams, David, 2015. "On the benefits of dynamic bidding when participation is costly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 959-972.

    More about this item


    Auctions; Mechanism design; Resale; Bargaining power;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies


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