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Selling to the Mean

Listed author(s):
  • Nenad Kos
  • Matthias Messner

We study optimal selling strategies of a seller who is poorly informed about the buyer’s value for the object. When the maxmin seller only knows that the mean of the distribution of the buyer’s valuations belongs to some interval then nature can keep him to payoff zero no matter how much information the seller has about the mean. However, when the seller has information about the mean and the variance, or the mean and the upper bound of the support, the seller optimally commits to a randomization over prices and obtains a strictly positive payoff. In such a case additional information about the mean and/or the variance affects his payoff.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5443.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 5443.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5443
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  1. Alfredo Di Tillio & Nenad Kos & Matthias Messner, 2012. "The Design of Ambiguous Mechanisms," Working Papers 446, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Bose, Subir & Ozdenoren, Emre & Pape, Andreas, 2006. "Optimal auctions with ambiguity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 411-438, December.
  3. Bose, Subir & Daripa, Arup, 2009. "A dynamic mechanism and surplus extraction under ambiguity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 2084-2114, September.
  4. John Riley & Richard Zeckhauser, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-289.
  5. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  6. Garrett, Daniel F., 2014. "Robustness of simple menus of contracts in cost-based procurement," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 631-641.
  7. Bodoh-Creed, Aaron L., 2012. "Ambiguous beliefs and mechanism design," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 518-537.
  8. Kos, Nenad & Messner, Matthias, 2013. "Extremal incentive compatible transfers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 134-164.
  9. Skreta, Vasiliki, 2006. "Mechanism design for arbitrary type spaces," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 293-299, May.
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