IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Winner's Curse and the Failure of the Law of Demand


  • Bulow, Jeremy I.
  • Klemperer, Paul


We usually assume increases in supply, allocation by rationing, and exclusion of potential buyers will never raise prices. But all of 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’ when buyers are symmetric, small asymmetries among buyers necessarily cause the anomalies to reappear.

Suggested Citation

  • Bulow, Jeremy I. & Klemperer, Paul, 1997. "The Winner's Curse and the Failure of the Law of Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1754

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-1137, December.
    2. Neary, J Peter & Leahy, Dermot, 2000. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy towards Dynamic Oligopolies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 484-508, April.
    3. Neary, J Peter, 1995. "Trade Liberalisation and Shadow Prices in the Presence of Tariffs and Quotas," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 531-554, August.
    4. Neary, J. Peter, 1994. "Cost asymmetries in international subsidy games: Should governments help winners or losers?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3-4), pages 197-218, November.
    5. Falvey, Rodney E., 1988. "Tariffs, quotas and piecemeal policy reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 177-183, August.
    6. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy without Government Commitment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 322-338, October.
    7. Rod Falvey, 1994. "Revenue enhancing tariff reform," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(1), pages 175-190, March.
    8. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1997. "Public Policy towards R&D in Oligopolistic Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 642-662, September.
    9. Tatsuo Hatta, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21.
    10. W. E. Diewert & A. H. Turunen-Red & A. D. Woodland, 1989. "Productivity- and Pareto-Improving Changes in Taxes and Tariffs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 199-215.
    11. James E. Anderson, 1996. "Trade Reform with a Government Budget Constraint," NBER Working Papers 5827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. J. Peter Neary & Albert G. Schweinberger, 1986. "Factor Content Functions and the Theory of International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 421-432.
    13. Brander, James A., 1995. "Strategic trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1395-1455 Elsevier.
    14. Sandmo, Agnar, 1974. "A Note on the Structure of Optimal Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 701-706, September.
    15. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1999. "R&D Spillovers and the Case for Industrial Policy in an Open Economy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 40-59, January.
    16. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "Trade Reform with Quotas, Partial Rent Retention, and Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 57-76, January.
    17. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
    18. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1983. "International R & D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 707-722.
    19. Smith, Alasdair, 1982. "Some simple results on the gains from trade, from growth and from public production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3-4), pages 215-230, November.
    20. Angus Deaton, 1979. "The Distance Function in Consumer Behaviour with Applications to Index Numbers and Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 391-405.
    21. Turunen-Red, Arja H & Woodland, Alan D, 1991. "Strict Pareto-Improving Multilateral Reforms of Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1127-1152, July.
    22. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
    23. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406.
    24. Dixit, Avinash K, 1970. "On the Optimum Structure of Commodity Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 295-301, June.
    25. Nicholas Stern, 1986. "A Note on Commodity Taxation: The Choice of Variable and the Slutsky, Hessian and Antonelli Matrices (SHAM)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 293-299.
    26. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-366, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Pechlivanos, Lambros, 2006. "Second-price common-value auctions under multidimensional uncertainty," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 43-71, April.
    2. Klemperer, Paul, 1998. "Auctions with almost common values: The 'Wallet Game' and its applications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 757-769, May.
    3. Matthew Shum, 1998. "The Econometrics Of English Auctions," Working Papers mshum-98-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Airwaves Auction; Auction Theory; Common Value; Initial Public Offering; IPOs; PCS Auction; Spectrum Auction; Winner's Curse;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1754. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.