Economics Letters

Volume 176, March 2019, Pages 1-4
Economics Letters

Sequential auctions and auction revenue


We consider the problem of selling multiple identical objects over two possible dates.

We show that the seller optimally chooses to sell at both available dates.

We provide conditions (and intuition) for selling most of the objects at the first date.


We consider the problem of a seller who owns K identical objects and N bidders each willing to buy at most one unit. The seller may auction the objects at two different dates. Assuming that buyer valuations are uniform and independent across periods, we show that the seller is better off by auctioning a positive number of objects in each period. We also provide sufficient conditions such that most objects should be auctioned at the first date or in the second date.

JEL classification



Sequential auctions

We have benefited from the helpful comments of the Editor, a referee, Patrick Rey, Steve Schwartz, Elmar Wolfstetter, and seminar participants at Humboldt University, EEA/ESEM, the TSE.


Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics and International Business, Stern School of Business, New York University; and Research Fellow, CEPR.

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