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Common Value Auctions with Return Policies

  • Ruqu Wang

    ()

    (Queen's University)

  • Jun Zhang

    ()

    (Queen's University)

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.

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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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Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1235.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1235
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  1. Steven A. Matthews, 1981. "Selling to Risk Averse Buyers with Unobservable Tastes," Discussion Papers 480S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
  3. Lopomo, Giuseppe, 1998. "The English Auction Is Optimal Among Simple Sequential Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 144-166, September.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, 07.
  6. Lopomo, Giuseppe, 2001. "Optimality and Robustness of the English Auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 219-240, August.
  7. Douglas K. Reece, 1978. "Competitive Bidding for Offshore Petroleum Leases," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 369-384, Autumn.
  8. Wilson, Robert, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 511-18, October.
  9. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
  10. Robert B. Wilson, 1967. "Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(11), pages 816-820, July.
  11. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. McAfee, R Preston & Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Correlated Information and Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 395-421, March.
  13. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  14. Wilson, Robert B, 1985. "Incentive Efficiency of Double Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1101-15, September.
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