Jan 20, 2003

Prices and the Winner's Curse http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/1998/w2/prices/april98ver.pdf

Abstract: We usually assume that increases in supply, allocation by rationing, and exclusion of potential buyers reduce prices. But all these activities raise the expected price in an important set of cases when common-value assets are sold. Furthermore, when we make the assumptions needed to rule out these ``anomalies'' for symmetric buyers, small asymmetries among the buyers necessarily cause the anomalies to reappear. Our results help explain rationing in initial public offerings and outcomes of spectrum auctions. We illustrate our results in the ``Wallet Game'' and in another new game we introduce, the ``Maximum Game