Re: Fixed Prices

Kragen Sitaker (
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 07:14:06 -0400 (EDT)

Dave Long writes:
> If one has multiple units to auction off, the auction generalizes: the N
> highest bids each get a unit, and pay the price of the (N+1)th highest bid.
> Now, is there any difference (when N clears the market) between this price and
> the classical supply-demand price?

If the auction doesn't last long, then this price will often be lower,
because fewer interested buyers will be available, perhaps only one.

If the auction lasts a significant amount of time, then this price will
be higher, because money bid on an item is "invested" with no return
until the auction is over, or at least until you are outbid. Bidding
a little more than you really want to pay drastically reduces the
number of auctions your money has to sit through before you get what
you wanted in the first place.

> These models imply that there are theoretical, as well as practical, reasons
> for fixed-price transactions to be common.

Mm? You mean, other than transaction costs? Am I missing something?

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
According to my medieval text in the seventh century a finalizer raised a
dead object named Gorth who infected every computer in Cappidocia ending
Roman rule in the region.  -- Charles Fiterman on