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Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale

By Rod Garratt and Thomas Tröger


In standard auctions with symmetric, independent private value bidders resale creates a role for a speculator—a bidder who is commonly known to have no use value for the good on sale. For second-price and English auctions the efficient value-bidding equilibrium coexists with a continuum of inefficient equilibria in which the speculator wins the auction and makes positive profits. First-price and Dutch auctions have an essentially unique equilibrium, and whether or not the speculator wins the auction and distorts the final allocation depends on the number of bidders, the value distribution, and the discount factor. Speculators do not make profits in first-price or Dutch auctions.standard auctions; speculation; resale; efficiency

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  1. (1999). Auctions With Resale,” mimeo,
  2. (1984). Differential Inclusions,
  3. (2002). First-Price Auctions where One Bidder’s Value is Commonly Known,” mimeo,

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