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Information aggregation in auctions with an unknown number of bidders

Author

Listed:
  • Harstad, Ronald M.
  • Pekec, Aleksandar Sasa
  • Tsetlin, Ilia

Abstract

Information aggregation, a key concern for uniform-price, common-value auctions with many bidders, has been characterized in models where bidders know exactly how many rivals they face. A model allowing for uncertainty over the number of bidders is essential for capturing a critical condition for information to aggregate: as the numbers of winning and losing bidders grow large, information aggregates if and only if uncertainty about the fraction of winning bidders vanishes. It may be possible for the seller to impart this information by precommitting to a specified fraction of winning bidders, via a proportional selling policy. Intuitively, this could make the proportion of winners known, and thus provide all the information that bidders need to make winner's curse corrections.

Suggested Citation

  • Harstad, Ronald M. & Pekec, Aleksandar Sasa & Tsetlin, Ilia, 2008. "Information aggregation in auctions with an unknown number of bidders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 476-508, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:62:y:2008:i:2:p:476-508
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & Jeroen M. Swinkels, 1997. "The Loser's Curse and Information Aggregation in Common Value Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1247-1282, November.
    2. Hong, Han & Shum, Matthew, 2004. "Rates of information aggregation in common value auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 1-40, May.
    3. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-286, July.
    4. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
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    6. John G. Riley, 1988. "Ex Post Information in Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 409-429.
    7. Milgrom, Paul R, 1979. "A Convergence Theorem for Competitive Bidding with Differential Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 679-688, May.
    8. Rothkopf, Michael H & Harstad, Ronald M, 1995. "Two Models of Bid-Taker Cheating in Vickrey Auctions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(2), pages 257-267, April.
    9. Matthews, Steven, 1987. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Point of View," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 633-646, May.
    10. Harstad, Ronald M. & Kagel, John H. & Levin, Dan, 1990. "Equilibrium bid functions for auctions with an uncertain number of bidders," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 35-40, May.
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    12. Robert Wilson, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 511-518.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bos, Olivier, 2012. "Wars of attrition and all-pay auctions with stochastic competition," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 83-91.
    2. Olivier Bos, 2010. "Wars of Attrition with Stochastic Competition," Working Paper Series in Economics 47, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    3. Ronald M. Harstad, 2007. "Does a Seller Really Want Another Bidder?," Working Papers 0711, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    4. Aleksandar Saša Pekev{c} & Ilia Tsetlin, 2008. "Revenue Ranking of Discriminatory and Uniform Auctions with an Unknown Number of Bidders," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(9), pages 1610-1623, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D41 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Perfect Competition

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