Optimal Dynamic Auctions for Durable Goods: Posted Prices and Fire-Sales


July 21, 2010


Andzej Skrzypacz




We consider a seller who wishes to sell K goods by time T. Potential buyers enter IID
over time and are patient. At any point in time, profit is maximized by awarding the good
to the agent with the highest valuation exceeding a cutoffs. These cutoffs are characterized
by a one-period-look-ahead rule and are deterministic, depending only on the number of
units left and the time remaining. The cutoffs decrease over time and in the inventory size,
with the hazard rate of sales increasing as the deadline approaches. In the continuous time
limit, the optimal allocation can be implemented by posted-prices with an auction at time
T. Unlike the cutoffs, the prices depend on the history of past sales.


Andzej Skrzypacz

Andrzej (Andy) Skrzypacz is the Theodore J. Kreps Professor of Economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research is on microeconomics, industrial organization, auctions, bargaining and market design. His recent papers consider auction design, innovation incentives, and collusion in markets. He teaches microeconomics in the MBA program and a PhD class on auctions, bargaining and pricing. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Rochester in 2000 and has since been working at the Stanford GSB. He is currently an associate editor for the American Economic Review, the Rand Journal of Economics and the Theoretical Economics journal.