Best Foot Forward or Best for Last in a Sequential Auction?
York University - Schulich School of Business
Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Finance
Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy; Indiana University - Department of Economics
Should a seller with private information sell the best or worst goods first? Considering the sequential auction of two stochastically equivalent goods, we find that the seller has an incentive to impress buyers by selling the better good first because the seller's sequencing strategy endogenously generates correlation in the values of the goods across periods. When this impression effect is strong enough, selling the better good first is the unique pure-strategy equilibrium. By credibly revealing to all buyers the seller's ranking of the goods, an equilibrium strategy of sequencing the goods reduces buyer information rents and increases expected revenues in accordance with the linkage principle.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: Sequential Auctions, Seller information, Seller Sequencing, Declining Price Anomaly, Linkage Principle, Privatization Auctions
JEL Classification: D44, D82
Date posted: April 13, 2001