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Optimal Auction Design and Irrelevance of Private Information

  • Thomas Tröger

    ()

  • Tymofiy Mylovanov

We consider the problem of mechanism design by a principal who has private information. We point out a simple condition under which the privacy of the principal's information is irrelevant in the sense that the mechanism implemented by the principal coincides with the mechanism that would be optimal if the principal's information were publicly known. This condition is then used to show that the privacy of the principal's information is irrelevant in many environments with private values and quasi-linear preferences, including the Myerson's classical auction environments in which the seller is privately informed about her cost of selling. Our approach unifies results by Maskin and Tirole, Tan, Yilankaya, Skreta, and Balestrieri. We also provide an example of a classical principal-agent environment with private values and quasi-linear preferences where a privately informed principal can do better than when her information is public.

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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse21_2008.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse21_2008
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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  1. Isa Hafalir & Vijay Krishna, 2008. "Asymmetric Auctions with Resale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 87-112, March.
  2. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  3. Eric W. Bond & Thomas A. Gresik, 1997. "Competition between asymmetrically informed principals," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 227-240.
  4. Jost, Peter-Jurgen, 1996. "On the Role of Commitment in a Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 510-530, February.
  5. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  6. Philip J. Reny, 2005. "On the Existence of Monotone Pure Strategy Equilibria in Bayesian Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 784828000000000067, David K. Levine.
  7. Vasiliki Skreta, 2007. "On the Informed Seller Problem: Optimal Information Disclosure," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000222, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Cella, Michela, 2008. "Informed principal with correlation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 433-456, November.
  9. de CLIPPEL, Geoffroy & MINELLI, Enrico, 2002. "Two-person bargaining with verifiable information," CORE Discussion Papers 2002063, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Fleckinger, Pierre, 2007. "Informed principal and countervailing incentives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 240-244, February.
  11. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 1997. "Collusion under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 875-912, July.
  12. Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal," Discussion Papers 481, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Dilip Mookherjee & Masatoshi Tsumagari, 2004. "The Organization of Supplier Networks: Effects of Delegation and Intermediation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1179-1219, 07.
  14. Thomas Tröger & Rodney Garratt & Charles Zheng, 2008. "Collusion via Resale," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse20_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
  15. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
  16. Beaudry, Paul, 1994. "Why an Informed Principal May Leave Rents to an Agent," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(4), pages 821-32, November.
  17. Yeon-Koo Che & Jinwoo Kim, 2006. "Robustly Collusion-Proof Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 1063-1107, 07.
  18. Mezzetti, Claudio & Tsoulouhas, Theofanis, 2000. "Gathering information before signing a contract with a privately informed principal," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 667-689, May.
  19. Hector Chade & Randolph Silvers, . "Informed Principal, Moral Hazard, and the Value of a More Informative Technology," Working Papers 2133302, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  20. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
  21. Guofu Tan, 1996. "Optimal Procurement Mechanisms for an Informed Buyer," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 699-716, August.
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