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.

Auctions with an asking price

Wed 25 Mar 2015 12:00pm2:00pm


Room 629, Colin Clark Building (#39)