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Auctions with imperfect commitment when the reserve may serve as a signal

Author

Listed:
  • Byoung Heon Jun

    () (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

  • Elmar G. Wolfstetter

    () (Institute of Economic Theory I, Humboldt University at Berlin, Spandauer Str. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany)

Abstract

If bidders are uncertain whether the auctioneer sticks to the announced reserve, some bidders respond by strategic non-participation, speculating that the auctioneer may revoke the reserve. However, the reserve inadvertently signals the auctioneer’s type, which drives a unique separating and a multitude of pooling equilibria. If one eliminates belief systems that violate the“intuitive criterion†, one obtains a unique equilibrium reserve price equal to the seller’s own valuation. Paradoxically, even if bidders initially believe that the auctioneer is bound by his reserve almost with certainty, commitment has no value.

Suggested Citation

  • Byoung Heon Jun & Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2013. "Auctions with imperfect commitment when the reserve may serve as a signal," Discussion Paper Series 1304, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  • Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1304
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    File URL: http://econ.korea.ac.kr/~ri/WorkingPapers/w1304.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
    2. Haile, Philip A., 2000. "Partial Pooling at the Reserve Price in Auctions with Resale Opportunities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 231-248, November.
    3. Isa Hafalir & Vijay Krishna, 2008. "Asymmetric Auctions with Resale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 87-112, March.
    4. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
    5. van Damme, Eric & Hurkens, Sjaak, 1997. "Games with Imperfectly Observable Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 282-308, October.
    6. Rod Garratt & Thomas Tröger, 2006. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 753-769, May.
    7. Caillaud, Bernard & Mezzetti, Claudio, 2004. "Equilibrium reserve prices in sequential ascending auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 78-95, July.
    8. McAfee, R. Preston & Vincent, Daniel, 1997. "Sequentially Optimal Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 246-276, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; mechanism design;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing

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