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The Buy Price in Auctions with Discrete Type Distributions


  • Yusuke Inami

    () (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University)


This paper considers second-price, sealed-bid auctions with a buy price where bidders' types are discretely distributed. We characterize all equilibria, restricting our attention to equilibria where bidders whose types are less than a buy price bid their own valuations. Budish and Takeyama (2001) analyzed the two-bidder, two-type framework, and showed that if bidders are risk-averse, a seller can obtain a higher expected revenue from the auction with a certain buy price than from the auction without a buy price. We extend their revenue improvement result to the n-bidder, two-type framework. However, in case of three or more types, bidders' risk aversion is not a sufficient condition for the revenue improvement. Our example illustrates that even if bidders are risk-averse, a seller cannot always obtain a higher expected revenue from the auction with a buy price.

Suggested Citation

  • Yusuke Inami, 2008. "The Buy Price in Auctions with Discrete Type Distributions," KIER Working Papers 657, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:657

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Matthews, Steven, 1987. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Point of View," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 633-646, May.
    2. Budish, Eric B. & Takeyama, Lisa N., 2001. "Buy prices in online auctions: irrationality on the internet?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 325-333, September.
    3. Timothy Mathews & Brett Katzman, 2006. "The role of varying risk attitudes in an auction with a buyout option," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 27(3), pages 597-613, April.
    4. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    5. Hidvegi, Zoltan & Wang, Wenli & Whinston, Andrew B., 2006. "Buy-price English auction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 31-56, July.
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    More about this item


    Auction; Buy price; Risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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