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When are Auctions Best?

Listed author(s):
  • Bulow, Jeremy I.
  • Klemperer, Paul

We compare the two most common bidding processes for selling a company or other asset when participation is costly to buyers. In an auction all entry decisions are made prior to any bidding. In a sequential bidding process earlier entrants can make bids before later entrants choose whether to compete. The sequential process is more efficient because entrants base their decisions on superior information. But pre-emptive bids transfer surplus from the seller to buyers. Because the auction is more conducive to entry in several ways it usually generates higher expected revenue. A substantially revised version of this paper has been published as CEPR DP7411.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6393.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6393
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  1. Robert A. Mundell & Paul J. Zak, 2005. "Introduction," Chapters,in: International Monetary Policy after the Euro, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  2. Jeremy Bulow & Ming Huang & Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Toeholds and Takeovers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 427-454, June.
  3. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
  4. Wang, Ruqu, 1995. "Bargaining versus posted-price selling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1747-1764, December.
  5. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, Diciembre.
  6. Robert Gertner & Robert Gibbons & David Scharfstein, 1988. "Simultaneous Signalling to the Capital and Product Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 173-190, Summer.
  7. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
  8. Rothkopf, Michael H. & Harstad, Ronald M., 1994. "On the role of discrete bid levels in oral auctions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 572-581, May.
  9. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-194, March.
  10. Burguet, Roberto & Sakovics, Jozsef, 1996. "Reserve Prices without Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 149-164, August.
  11. Kjerstad, Egil & Vagstad, Steinar, 2000. "Procurement auctions with entry of bidders," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(8), pages 1243-1257, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Mark Bagnoli & Barton L. Lipman, 1996. "Stock Price Manipulation Through Takeover Bids," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 124-147, Spring.
  14. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-488, June.
  15. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-1090, October.
  16. Hirshleifer, David, 1989. "Facilitation of Competing Bids and the Price of a Takeover Target," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt2496649g, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  17. Preston McAfee, R. & McMillan, John, 1988. "Search mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 99-123, February.
  18. Lopomo, Giuseppe, 2001. "Optimality and Robustness of the English Auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 219-240, August.
  19. Jacques Crémer & Yossi Spiegel & Charles Zheng, 2009. "Auctions with costly information acquisition," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 38(1), pages 41-72, January.
  20. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number auction1.
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