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Common Value Auctions with Return Policies

Author

Listed:
  • Ruqu Wang

    () (Queen's University)

  • Jun Zhang

    () (Queen's University)

Abstract

This paper examines the role of return policies in common value auctions. We first characterize the unique symmetric equilibrium in first-price and second-price auctions with continuous signals and discrete common values when certain return policies are provided. We then examine how the return policies affect a seller's revenue. When the lowest common value is zero, a more generous return policy generates a higher seller's revenue; the full refund policy extracts all the surplus and therefore implements the optimal selling mechanism; given any return policy, a second-price auction generates a higher revenue than a first-price auction. In a second-price auction where the lowest common value is not zero but still smaller than the seller's reservation value, then a more generous return policy also generates a higher revenue; otherwise, the optimal return policy could be a full refund, no refund or partial refund policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruqu Wang & Jun Zhang, 2010. "Common Value Auctions with Return Policies," Working Papers 1235, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1235
    as

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    File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1235.pdf
    File Function: First version 2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Douglas K. Reece, 1978. "Competitive Bidding for Offshore Petroleum Leases," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 369-384, Autumn.
    2. Lopomo, Giuseppe, 1998. "The English Auction Is Optimal Among Simple Sequential Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 144-166, September.
    3. Jacob K. Goeree & Theo Offerman, 2003. "Competitive Bidding in Auctions with Private and Common Values," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 598-613, July.
    4. Lopomo, Giuseppe, 2001. "Optimality and Robustness of the English Auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 219-240, August.
    5. Milgrom, Paul & Weber, Robert J., 1982. "The value of information in a sealed-bid auction," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 105-114, June.
    6. Wilson, Robert B, 1985. "Incentive Efficiency of Double Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1101-1115, September.
    7. Matthews, Steven A., 1983. "Selling to risk averse buyers with unobservable tastes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 370-400, August.
    8. Robert B. Wilson, 1967. "Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(11), pages 816-820, July.
    9. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
    10. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    11. Robert Wilson, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 511-518.
    12. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    13. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-1257, November.
    14. McAfee, R Preston & Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Correlated Information and Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 395-421, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Jun, 2013. "Revenue maximizing with return policy when buyers have uncertain valuations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 452-461.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; return policies; refund;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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