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Ignorance Promotes Competition: an Auction Model with Endogenous Private Valuations

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  • Juan-José Ganuza

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan-José Ganuza, 2003. "Ignorance Promotes Competition: an Auction Model with Endogenous Private Valuations," Working Papers 107, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 309-327, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dewatripont, Mathias & Legros, Patrick, 2005. "Public-private partnerships: contract design and risk transfer," EIB Papers 5/2005, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    2. Vasiliki Skreta, 2011. "On the informed seller problem: optimal information disclosure," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 15(1), pages 1-36, March.
    3. Joaquín Coleff & Daniel Garcia, 2017. "Information Provision in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(2), pages 426-444, April.
    4. Li, Shengyu & Tian, Guoqiang, 2008. "Equilibria in Second Price Auctions with Information Acquisition," MPRA Paper 41210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. 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.
    6. Farnia, Farnoush & Frayret, Jean-Marc & LeBel, Luc & Beaudry, Catherine, 2013. "Multiple-round timber auction design and simulation," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 129-141.
    7. Simon Board, 2009. "Revealing information in auctions: the allocation effect," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 38(1), pages 125-135, January.
    8. Olivier Compte & Andrew Postlewaite, 2010. "Simple Auctions, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-017, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Apr 2013.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Private Values; Asymmetric Information;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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