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Reserve prices in auctions as reference points

We consider second-price and first-price auctions in the symmetric independentprivate values framework. We modify the standard model by theassumption that the bidders have reference-based utility, where the reserveprice (minimum bid) plays the role of the reference point. In contrast to theusual result, the seller’s optimal reserve price is increasing in the number ofbidders. Even if an individual bidder perceives only a very small utility losswhen he has to pay more than the reserve price, the impact on the optimalreserve price can be strong when there are many bidders.

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Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05-14.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0514
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  1. Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "A perspective on psychology and economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 657-685, May.
  2. Chen, Yongmin, 2000. "Promises, Trust, and Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 209-32, April.
  3. Horstmann, I.J. & LaCasse, C., 1995. "Secret Reserve Prices in a Bidding Model with a Re-Sale Option," Working Papers 9507e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  4. Charles Zhoucheng Zheng, 2002. "Optimal Auction with Resale," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2197-2224, November.
  5. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  7. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
  8. Alger, Ingela & Albert Ma, Ching-to, 2003. "Moral hazard, insurance, and some collusion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 225-247, February.
  9. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
  11. Ingela Alger & Régis Renault, 2006. "Screening Ethics When Honest Agents Care About Fairness ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 59-85, 02.
  12. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C, 1987. "Collusive Bidder Behavior at Single-Object Second-Price and English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1217-39, December.
  13. Mailath, George J. & Zemsky, Peter, 1991. "Collusion in second price auctions with heterogeneous bidders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 467-486, November.
  14. Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Rational irrationality: Some economics of self-management," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 633-655, May.
  15. John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979. "Optimal Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 152, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Vincent Daniel R., 1995. "Bidding Off the Wall: Why Reserve Prices May Be Kept Secret," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 575-584, April.
  17. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  18. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  19. Kamins, Michael A & Dreze, Xavier & Folkes, Valerie S, 2004. " Effects of Seller-Supplied Prices on Buyers' Product Evaluations: Reference Prices in an Internet Auction Context," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 622-28, March.
  20. Steven A. Matthews, 1995. "A Technical Primer on Auction Theory I: Independent Private Values," Discussion Papers 1096, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  21. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
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