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Sequential Information Disclosure in Auctions

  • Dirk Bergemann
  • Achim Wambach

We consider the design of an optimal auction in which the seller can determine the allocation and the disclosure rule of the mechanism. Thus, in contrast to the standard analysis of a optimal auctions, the seller can explicitly design the disclosure of the information received by each bidder as his private information. We show that the optimal disclosure rule is a sequential disclosure rule, implemented in an ascending price auction. In the optimal disclosure mechanism, each losing bidder learns his true valuation, but the winning bidder only learns that his valuation is sufficiently high to win the auction. We show that in the optimal auction, the posterior incentive and participation constraints of all the bidders are satisfied. In the special case in which the bidders have no private information initially, the seller can extract the entire surplus.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 786969000000000771.

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Date of creation: 19 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000771
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Blumenthal, Marsha A, 1988. "Auctions with Constrained Information: Blind Bidding for Motion Pictures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 191-98, May.
  2. Elena Grigorieva & P. Herings & Rudolf Müller & Dries Vermeulen, 2007. "The private value single item bisection auction," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 107-118, January.
  3. Dirk Bergemann & Martin Pesendorfer, 2001. "Information Structures in Optimal Auctions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1323, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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