Journal Articles

The Herodotus Paradox

2012, Games and Economic Behavior

Michael R. Baye, Dan Kovenock, Casper G. de Vries


The Babylonian bridal auction, described by Herodotus, is regarded as one of the earliest uses of an auction in history. Yet, to our knowledge, the literature lacks a formal equilibrium analysis of this auction. We provide such an analysis for the two-player case with complete and incomplete information, and in so doing identify what we call the “Herodotus Paradox.”


Baye, Michael R., Dan Kovenock, and Casper G. de Vries (2012), “The Herodotus Paradox,” Games and Economic Behavior, Vol. 74, pp. 399-406.  

Kelley School of Business

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