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Efficiency and information aggregation in auctions with costly information



Consider an auction in which k identical objects are sold to n > k bidders who each have a value for one object which can have both private and common components to it. Private information concerning the common component of the object is not exogenously given, but rather endogenous and bidders face a cost to becoming informed. If the cost of information is not prohibitively high, then the equilibrium price in a uniform price auction will not aggregate private information, in contrast to the costless information case. Moreover, for a wide class of auctions if the cost of information is not prohibitively high then the objects can only be allocated in a weakly efficient sense, and then only if the equilibrium proportion of endogenously informed agents is vanishing as the economy grows. In spite of these results, it is shown that there is a mechanism for which there exist equilibria and for which (weak) efficiency is achieved as the economy grows in the face of endogenous information acquisition. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Jackson, 2003. "Efficiency and information aggregation in auctions with costly information," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 8(2), pages 121-141, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reecde:v:8:y:2003:i:2:p:121-141 DOI: 10.1007/s10058-003-0098-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xavier Vives, 2014. "On The Possibility Of Informationally Efficient Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(5), pages 1200-1239, October.
    2. García, Diego & Urošević, Branko, 2013. "Noise and aggregation of information in large markets," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 526-549.
    3. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 2005. "Allocative and Informational Externalities in Auctions and Related Mechanisms," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 142, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    4. Dirk Bergemann & Xianwen Shi & Juuso Valimaki, 2009. "Information Acquisition in Interdependent Value Actions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(1), pages 61-89, March.
    5. Bikhchandani, Sushil, 2010. "Information acquisition and full surplus extraction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(6), pages 2282-2308, November.
    6. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:130-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Braz Camargo & Kyungmin Kim & Benjamin Lester, 2016. "Information Spillovers, Gains from Trade, and Interventions in Frozen Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(5), pages 1291-1329.
    8. Tunca, Tunay I., 2008. "Information precision and asymptotic efficiency of industrial markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(9-10), pages 964-996, September.
    9. Diego García & Branko Urosevic, 2004. "Noise and aggregation of information in large markets," Economics Working Papers 785, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

    More about this item


    Auctions; efficiency; information acquisition; information aggregation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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