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A Comparison of Auctions and Multilateral Negotiations

Author

Listed:
  • Charles J. Thomas
  • Bart J. Wilson

Abstract

We compare first-price auctions to an exchange process that we term ``multilateral negotiations.'' In multilateral negotiations, a buyer solicits price offers for a homogeneous product from sellers with privately known costs, and then plays the sellers off one another to obtain additional price concessions. Using the experimental method, we find that with four sellers, transaction prices are statistically indistinguishable in the two institutions, but with two sellers, prices are higher in multilateral negotiations than in first-price auctions. The institutions are equally efficient with two sellers, but multilateral negotiations are slightly more efficient with four sellers.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles J. Thomas & Bart J. Wilson, 2002. "A Comparison of Auctions and Multilateral Negotiations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(1), pages 140-155, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:33:y:2002:i:spring:p:140-155
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2006. "Buyer Concentration As A Source Of Countervailing Power: Evidence From Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Departmental Working Papers 2006-12, McGill University, Department of Economics.
    2. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2002. "Buyer Countervailing Power versus Monopoly Power: Evidence from Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Economics Papers 2002-W14, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    3. Shakun D. Mago & Anya C. Savikhin & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Facing Your Opponents: Social identification and information feedback in contests," Working Papers 12-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. Yuen Leng Chow & Isa E. Hafalir & Abdullah Yavas, 2015. "Auction versus Negotiated Sale: Evidence from Real Estate Sales," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 432-470, June.
    5. Gregory E. Kersten & Tomasz Wachowicz & Margaret Kersten, 2016. "Competition, Transparency, and Reciprocity: A Comparative Study of Auctions and Negotiations," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 693-722, July.
    6. Georgia Kosmopoulou & Xueqi Zhou, 2014. "Price Adjustment Policies in Procurement Contracting: An Analysis of Bidding Behavior," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 77-112, March.

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