Auctions Versus Negotiations: The Role of Price Discrimination
Auctions are a popular and prevalent form of trading mechanism, despite the restriction that the seller cannot price-discriminate among potential buyers. To understand why this is the case, we consider an auction-like environment in which a seller with an indivisible object negotiates with two asymmetric buyers to determine who obtains the object and at what price. The trading process resembles the Dutch auction, except that the seller is allowed to offer different prices to different buyers. We show that when the seller can commit to a price path in advance, the optimal outcome can generally be implemented. When the seller lacks such commitment power, however, there instead exists an equilibrium in which the seller's expected payoff is driven down to the second-price auction level. Our analysis suggests that having the discretion to price discriminate is not necessarily beneficial for the seller, and even harmful under plausible conditions, which could explain the pervasive use of auctions in practice.
|Date of creation:||May 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/index-e.html
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Decamps, Jean-Paul & Mariotti, Thomas, 2004. "Investment timing and learning externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 80-102, September.
- Igal Hendel & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2000.
"The Role of Commitment in Dynamic Contracts: Evidence from Life Insurance,"
NBER Working Papers
7470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Igal Hendel & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2003. "The Role Of Commitment In Dynamic Contracts: Evidence From Life Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 299-327, February.
- Hannu Vartiainen, 2013.
"Auction Design Without Commitment,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 316-342, 04.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2010.
"Optimal Auction Design under Non-Commitment,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
506439000000000176, David K. Levine.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2013. "Optimal Auction Design Under Non-Commitment," Working Papers 13-08, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2005. "Optimal Auction Design under Non-Commitment," UCLA Economics Online Papers 346, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Vasiliki Skreta, 2008. "Optimal Auction Design Under Non-Commitment," Working Papers 08-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
- Ruqu Wang, 1991.
"Auctions Versus Posted-Price Selling,"
812, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Johannes H�rner & Larry Samuelson, 2011. "Managing Strategic Buyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 379 - 425.
- Moscarini, Giuseppe & Ottaviani, Marco, 2001.
"Price Competition for an Informed Buyer,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 457-493, December.
- Chia-Hui Chen, 2012. "Name Your Own Price at Priceline.com: Strategic Bidding and Lockout Periods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1341-1369.
- Bulow, Jeremy I. & Klemperer, Paul, 2009.
"Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
7411, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 2009. "Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?," Economics Series Working Papers 2009-W05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2009. "Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?," Economics Papers 2009-W05, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Samuelson, William F, 1984. "Bargaining under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 995-1005, July.
- Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1996.
"Experimentation in Markets,"
1220, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
- Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2011. "Managing Strategic Buyers," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000025, David K. Levine.
- Krishna, Vijay, 2003. "Asymmetric English auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 261-288, October.
- William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0873. 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: (Fumiko Matsumoto)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.