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Competing with Asking Prices (first version)

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Abstract

In many markets, sellers advertise their good with an asking price. This is a price at which the seller will take his good off the market and trade immediately, though it is understood that a buyer can submit an offer below the asking price and that this offer may be accepted if the seller receives no better offers. Despite their prevalence in a variety of real world markets, asking prices have received little attention in the academic literature. We construct an environment with a few simple, realistic ingredients and demonstrate that using an asking price is optimal: it is the pricing mechanism that maximizes sellers' revenues and it implements the efficient outcome in equilibrium. We provide a complete characterization of this equilibrium and use it to explore the positive implications of this pricing mechanism for transaction prices and allocations.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Lester & Ludo Visschers & Ronald Wolthoff, 2014. "Competing with Asking Prices (first version)," ESE Discussion Papers 243, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:243
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ed.ac.uk/papers/id243_esedps.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Albrecht, James & Gautier, Pieter & Vroman, Susan, 2012. "A note on Peters and Severinov, “Competition among sellers who offer auctions instead of prices”," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 389-392.
    2. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2009. "Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1544-75, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Lester & Guillaume Rocheteau & Pierre‐Olivier Weill, 2015. "Competing for Order Flow in OTC Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(S2), pages 77-126, June.
    2. Ronald Wolthoff, 2018. "Applications and Interviews: Firms’ Recruiting Decisions in a Frictional Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 1314-1351.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asking prices; directed search; inspection costs; efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis

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