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Revenue and efficiency effects of resale in first-price auctions

  • Hafalir, Isa
  • Krishna, Vijay

We study first-price auctions in a model with asymmetric, independent private values. Asymmetries lead to inefficient allocations, thereby creating a motive for resale after the auction is over. In our model, resale takes place via monopoly pricing--the winner of the auction makes a take-it-or-leave-it offer to the loser. Our goal is to compare equilibria of the first-price auction without resale (FPA) with those of the first-price auction with resale (FPAR). For the three major families of distributions for which equilibria of the FPA are available in closed form, we show that resale possibilities increase the revenue of the original seller. We also show by example that, somewhat paradoxically, resale may actually decrease efficiency.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Mathematical Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2009)
Issue (Month): 9-10 (September)
Pages: 589-602

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Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:45:y:2009:i:9-10:p:589-602
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  1. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2003. "Uniqueness of Equilibrium in Sealed High-Bid Auctions," Economics Working Papers 0031, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  2. Garratt, Rod & Tröger, Thomas, 2005. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 42, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Gupta, Madhurima & Lebrun, Bernard, 1999. "First price auctions with resale," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 181-185, August.
  4. Estelle Cantillon, 2000. "The Effect of Bidders' Asymmetries on Expected Revenue in Auctions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1279, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Marshall Robert C. & Meurer Michael J. & Richard Jean-Francois & Stromquist Walter, 1994. "Numerical Analysis of Asymmetric First Price Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 193-220, September.
  6. Charles Zhoucheng Zheng, 2002. "Optimal Auction with Resale," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2197-2224, November.
  7. Cheng, Harrison, 2006. "Ranking sealed high-bid and open asymmetric auctions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4-5), pages 471-498, August.
  8. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
  9. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  10. Plum, M, 1992. "Characterization and Computation of Nash-Equilibria for Auctions with Incomplete Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 393-418.
  11. Athey, Susan, 2001. "Single Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 861-89, July.
  12. Isa Hafalir & Vijay Krishna, 2008. "Asymmetric Auctions with Resale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 87-112, March.
  13. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
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