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Ignorance Promotes Competition: an Auction Model with Endogenous Private Valuations

  • Juan-José Ganuza
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    We study a situation in which an auctioneer wishes to sell an object to one of N risk-neutral bidders with heterogeneous preferences. The auctioneer does not know bidders' preferences but has private information about the characteristics of the object, and must decide how much information to reveal prior to the auction. We show that the auctioneer has incentives to release less information than would be efficient and that the amount of information released increases with the level of competition (as measured by the number of bidders). Furthermore, in a perfectly competitive market the auctioneer would provide the efficient level of information.

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    File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/107.pdf
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    Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 107.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:107
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    1. Nicola Persico, 2000. "Information Acquisition in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 135-148, January.
    2. Motty Perry & Philip J. Reny, 1999. "On The Failure of the Linkage Principle in Multi-Unit Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 895-900, July.
    3. Burkart, Mike, 1995. " Initial Shareholdings and Overbidding in Takeover Contests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1491-1515, December.
    4. Edlin, Aaron S. & Shannon, Chris, 1998. "Strict Monotonicity in Comparative Statics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 201-219, July.
    5. Marco Ottaviani, 2000. "The Value of Public Information in Monopoly," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1479, Econometric Society.
    6. Crémer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad, 1991. "Gathering Information before Signing a Contract," IDEI Working Papers 5, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    7. Bergemann, Dirk & Pesendorfer, Martin, 2007. "Information structures in optimal auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 580-609, November.
    8. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1997. "Market Diffusion with Two-Sided Learning," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 773-795, Winter.
    9. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
    10. Angeles de Frutos, Maria & Rosenthal, Robert W., 1998. "On Some Myths about Sequenced Common-Value Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 201-221, May.
    11. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Ottaviani, Marco, 2001. "Price Competition for an Informed Buyer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 457-493, December.
    12. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-27, May.
    13. Tan, Guofu, 1992. "Entry and R & D in procurement contracting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 41-60, October.
    14. Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Information Control in the Principal-Agent Problem," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(2), pages 259-69, May.
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