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Auctions with an asking price

This paper studies a sales mechanism, prevalent in housing markets, where the seller does not reveal or commit to a reserve price but instead publicly announces an asking price. We show that the seller sets an asking price such that, in equilibrium, buyers of certain types would accept it with positive probability. We also show that this sales mechanism, with an optimally chosen asking price set above the seller’s reservation value, does better than any standard auction with a reserve price equal to the seller’s reservation value. We then extend the analysis to the case where the asking price reveals information about the seller’s reservation value. We show that in this case there is a separating equilibrium with fully-revealing asking prices, which is revenue-equivalent to a standard auction with a reserve price set at the seller’s reservation value.

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File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/abstract/539.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series Discussion Papers Series with number 539.

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Date of creation: 14 Apr 2015
Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:539
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  1. Menezes, Flavio & Ryan, Matthew J., 2005. "Reserve price commitments in auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 35-39, April.
  2. Flavio Menezes & Paulo Monteiro, 2003. "Synergies and price trends in sequential auctions," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 8(1), pages 85-98, August.
  3. Bernard Lebrun, 1996. "Existence of an equilibrium in first price auctions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(3), pages 421-443.
  4. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Equilibrium in Sealed High Bid Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 439-454.
  5. Stephanie Rosenkranz & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2007. "Reserve Prices in Auctions as Reference Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 637-653, 04.
  6. Peyman Khezr, 2015. "Time on the market and price change: the case of Sydney housing market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(5), pages 485-498, January.
  7. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  8. Stanley Reynolds & John Wooders, 2009. "Auctions with a buy price," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 38(1), pages 9-39, January.
  9. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  10. Paul E. Carrillo, 2012. "An Empirical Stationary Equilibrium Search Model Of The Housing Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 203-234, 02.
  11. de Wit, Erik R. & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2013. "Asymmetric information and list-price reductions in the housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 507-520.
  12. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071.
  13. Plum, M, 1992. "Characterization and Computation of Nash-Equilibria for Auctions with Incomplete Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 20(4), pages 393-418.
  14. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
  15. Chen, Yongmin & Rosenthal, Robert W, 1996. "Asking Prices as Commitment Devices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 129-155, February.
  16. Jacob K. Goeree & Theo Offerman, 2004. "Notes and Comments the Amsterdam Auction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 281-294, 01.
  17. 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, 04.
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