Sequentially Optimal Auctions

Preston R. McAfee and Daniel R. Vincent , Games and Economic Behavior 18(2) , 246-276 , February 1997.

In auctions where a seller can post a reserve price but if the object fails to sell cannot commit never to attempt to resell it, revenue equivalence between repeated first price and second price auctions without commitment results. When the time between auctions goes to zero, seller expected revenues converge to those of a static auction with no reserve price. With many bidders, the seller equilibrium reserve price approaches the reserve price in an optimal static auction. An auction in which the simple equilibrium reserve price policy of the seller mirrors a policy commonly used by many auctioneers is computed.

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