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Sequentially Optimal Mechanisms

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  • Vasiliki Skreta

    (University of Pittsburgh)

Abstract

We characterize the revenue maximizing mechanism in a two-period model. A risk neutral seller owns one unit of a durable good and faces a risk neutral buyer whose valuation is private information. The seller has all the bargaining power; she designs an institution to sell the object at t0 but she cannot commit not to change the institution at t1 if trade does not occur at t0. The seller's objective is to pick the revenue maximizing mechanism. We show that if the probability density function of the buyer's valuation satisfies certain conditions, the optimal mechanism is to post a price in each period. Previous work has examined price dynamics when the seller behaves sequentially rationally. We provide a reason for the seller's choice to post a price even though she can use infinitely many other possible institutions: posted price selling is the optimal strategy in the sense that it maximizes the seller's revenues. Keywords: mechanism design, optimal auctions, sequential rationality.

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  • Vasiliki Skreta, 2000. "Sequentially Optimal Mechanisms," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1521, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1521
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    Cited by:

    1. Boone, Jan & Shapiro, Joel, 2006. "Selling to Consumers with Endogenous Types," CEPR Discussion Papers 5862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Juan I. Beccuti, 2014. "Optimal Selling Mechanisms under Imperfect Commitment: Extending to the Multi-Period Case," Diskussionsschriften dp1402, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    3. Vasiliki Skreta, 2007. "Optimal Auctions with General Distributions," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000227, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Skreta, Vasiliki, 2015. "Optimal auction design under non-commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 854-890.
    5. Bisin, Alberto & Rampini, Adriano A., 2006. "Markets as beneficial constraints on the government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 601-629.
    6. Martin Pollrich, 2017. "Mediated audits," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, pages 44-68.
    7. Mylovanov, Tymofiy & Tröger, Thomas, 2006. "A Characterization of the Conditions for Optimal Auction with Resale," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 128, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    8. Jenny Simon, 2014. "Imperfect Financial Markets as a Commitment Device for the Government," CESifo Working Paper Series 4902, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Robert Evans & Sonje Reiche, 2013. "Mechanism Design and Non-Cooperative Renegotiation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1331, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    10. Juan I. Beccuti, 2014. "Optimal Selling Mechanisms under Imperfect Commitment," Diskussionsschriften dp1401, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

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