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Optimal auctions with information acquisition

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  • Shi, Xianwen

Abstract

This paper studies optimal auction design in a private value setting with endogenous information gathering. We develop a general framework for modeling information acquisition when a seller wants to sell an object to one of several potential buyers, who can each gather information about their valuations prior to participation in the auction. We first demonstrate that the optimal monopoly price is always lower than the standard monopoly price. We then show that standard auctions with a reserve price remain optimal among symmetric mechanisms, but the optimal reserve price lies between the ex ante mean valuation of bidders and the standard reserve price in Myerson (1981). Finally, we show that the optimal asymmetric mechanism softens the price discrimination against “strong” bidders.

Suggested Citation

  • Shi, Xianwen, 2012. "Optimal auctions with information acquisition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 666-686.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:74:y:2012:i:2:p:666-686
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2011.08.015
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    Cited by:

    1. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2018. "Signaling with costly acquisition of signals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 141-150.
    2. Szech, Nora, 2011. "Optimal disclosure of costly information packages in auctions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 462-469.
    3. Schweizer, Nikolaus & Szech, Nora, 2015. "Revenues and welfare in auctions with information release," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2015-301, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    4. Iossa, Elisabetta & Martimort, David, 2015. "Pessimistic information gathering," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 75-96.
    5. Terstiege, Stefan, 2016. "On information acquisition by buyers and information disclosure by sellers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 60-63.
    6. Lester, Benjamin & Visschers, Ludo & Wolthoff, Ronald, 2017. "Competing with asking prices," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(2), May.
    7. Terstiege, Stefan, 2012. "Endogenous information and stochastic contracts," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 535-547.
    8. Schweizer, Nikolaus & Szech, Nora, 2015. "Revenues and welfare in auctions with information release," Working Paper Series in Economics 67, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    9. Szech, Nora & Schweizer, Nikolaus, 2015. "Revenues and Welfare in Auctions with Information Release," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113041, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Terstiege, Stefan, 2016. "Gathering imperfect information before signing a contract," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 70-87.
    11. Terstiege, Stefan, 2013. "Precontractual Investigation and Sequential Screening," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 429, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    12. Pancs, Romans, 2013. "Sequential negotiations with costly information acquisition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 522-543.
    13. Roesler, Anne-Katrin & Szentes, Balázs, 2017. "Buyer-optimal learning and monopoly pricing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84061, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Ronald Wolthoff & Lodewijk Visschers & Benjamin Lester, 2012. "Asking Prices and Inspection Goods," 2012 Meeting Papers 792, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Dennis Clerck & Erik Demeulemeester, 2016. "A sequential procurement model for a PPP project pipeline," OR Spectrum: Quantitative Approaches in Management, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research e.V., vol. 38(2), pages 427-457, March.
    16. Vitali Gretschko & Alexander Rajko, 2015. "Excess information acquisition in auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 335-355, September.
    17. Johan N.M. Lagerlöf & Christoph Schotmüller, 2013. "Monopoly Insurance with Endogenous Information," Discussion Papers 13-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    18. Tian, Guoqiang & Xiao, Mingjun, 2007. "Endogenous Information Acquisition on Opponents' Valuations in Multidimensional First Price Auctions," MPRA Paper 41214, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2010.
    19. Marschak, Thomas & Shanthikumar, J. George & Zhou, Junjie, 2017. "Does more information-gathering effort raise or lower the average quantity produced?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 104-117.
    20. Kyungmin Kim & Frances Zhiyun Xu Lee, 2014. "Information Acquisition in a War of Attrition," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 37-78, May.
    21. Li, Shengyu & Tian, Guoqiang, 2008. "Equilibria in Second Price Auctions with Information Acquisition," MPRA Paper 41210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. repec:eee:jetheo:v:171:y:2017:i:c:p:174-212 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Nikolaus Schweizer & Nora Szech, 2015. "Revenues and Welfare in Auctions with Information Release," CESifo Working Paper Series 5501, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal auctions; Information acquisition; Rotation order;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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