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Prices and the Winner's Curse

  • Jeremy Bulow
  • Paul Klemperer

We usually assume that increases in supply, allocation by rationing, and exclusion of potential buyers reduce prices. But all these activities raise the expected price in an important set of cases when common-value assets are sold. Furthermore, when we make the assumptions needed to rule out these ``anomalies'' for symmetric buyers, small asymmetries among the buyers necessarily cause the anomalies to reappear. Our results help explain rationing in initial public offerings and outcomes of spectrum auctions. We illustrate our results in the ``Wallet Game'' and in another new game we introduce, the ``Maximum Game.''

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Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:33:y:2002:i:spring:p:1-21
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  1. Carolyn Pitchik & Andrew Schotter, 1988. "Perfect Equilibria in Budget-Constrained Sequential Auctions: An Experimental Study," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 363-388, Autumn.
  2. Lopomo, Giuseppe, 1998. "The English Auction Is Optimal Among Simple Sequential Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 144-166, September.
  3. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "Allocation Mechanisms and the Design of Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1477-99, November.
  4. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  5. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
  6. Avery, Christopher, 1998. "Strategic Jump Bidding in English Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 185-210, April.
  7. Maria Angeles de Frutos & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1997. "On Some Myths about Sequenced Common-value Auctions," Papers 0077, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  8. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
  9. Ian Ayres & Peter Cramton, 1996. "Deficit Reduction Through Diversity: How Affirmative Action at the FCC Increased Auction Competition," Papers of Peter Cramton 96slr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  10. Vincenzo Denicolo' & Paolo Garella, 1999. "Rationing in a Durable Goods Monopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(1), pages 44-55, Spring.
  11. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Riley, John G., 1991. "Equilibria in open common value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 101-130, February.
  12. Patrick DeGraba, 1995. "Buying Frenzies and Seller-Induced Excess Demand," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 331-342, Summer.
  13. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  14. Christopher Avery & John H. Kagel, 1997. "Second-Price Auctions with Asymmetric Payoffs: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 573-603, 09.
  15. McAfee R. Preston & Vincent Daniel, 1993. "The Declining Price Anomaly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 191-212, June.
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