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Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?

Listed author(s):
  • Jeremy Bulow

    ()

    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA)

  • Paul Klemperer

    ()

    (Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

We compare the most common methods for selling a company or other asset when participation is costly: a simple simultaneous auction, and a sequential process in which potential buyers decide in turn whether or not to enter the bidding. The sequential process is always more efficient. But pre-emptive bids transfer surplus from the seller to buyers. Because the auction is more conducive to entry - precisely because of its inefficiency - it usually generates higher expected revenue. We also discuss the effects of lock-ups, matching rights, break-up fees (as in takeover battles), entry subsidies, etc.

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File URL: http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2009/w5/wdaforweb29jun09.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2009-W05.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2009
Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0905
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/

References listed on IDEAS
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  3. Boone, Audra L. & Harold Mulherin, J., 2008. "Do auctions induce a winner's curse? New evidence from the corporate takeover market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-19, July.
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  7. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, December.
  8. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414.
  10. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-194, March.
  11. Burguet, Roberto & Sakovics, Jozsef, 1996. "Reserve Prices without Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 149-164, August.
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  14. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
  15. Yeon-Koo Che & Tracy R. Lewis, 2007. "The role of lockups in takeover contests," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 648-669, 09.
  16. John Riley & Richard Zeckhauser, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-289.
  17. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-488, June.
  18. Myerson, Roger B, 1984. "Two-Person Bargaining Problems with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 461-487, March.
  19. Burguet, Roberto, 1996. "Optimal Repeated Purchases When Sellers Are Learning about Costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 440-455, February.
  20. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-1090, October.
  21. Hirshleifer, David, 1989. "Facilitation of Competing Bids and the Price of a Takeover Target," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt2496649g, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  22. Preston McAfee, R. & McMillan, John, 1988. "Search mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 99-123, February.
  23. Lopomo, Giuseppe, 2001. "Optimality and Robustness of the English Auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 219-240, August.
  24. Jacques Crémer & Yossi Spiegel & Charles Zheng, 2009. "Auctions with costly information acquisition," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 38(1), pages 41-72, January.
  25. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2007. "Auctions and information acquisition: sealed bid or dynamic formats?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 355-372, 06.
  26. Paul Klemperer, 2004. "Auctions: Theory and Practice," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number auction1.
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