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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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Date of creation: 19 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000771
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  1. Giacomo Calzolari & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "On the Optimality of Privacy in Sequential Contracting," Discussion Papers 1394, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  9. Hao Li & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "Discriminatory Information Disclosure," Working Papers tecipa-497, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
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  11. Boone, J. & Goeree, J.K., 2005. "Optimal Privatization Using Qualifying Auctions," Discussion Paper 2005-021, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  12. Kenney, Roy W & Klein, Benjamin, 1983. "The Economics of Block Booking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 497-540, October.
  13. Dirk Bergemann & Martin Pesendorfer, 2001. "Information Structures in Optimal Auctions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1323, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. 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.
  15. Damian R. Beil & Lawrence M. Wein, 2003. "An Inverse-Optimization-Based Auction Mechanism to Support a Multiattribute RFQ Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(11), pages 1529-1545, November.
  16. Bernard Lebrun, 2010. "First-price auctions with resale and with outcomes robust to bid disclosure," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 165-178.
  17. Green, Jerry R & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1987. "Posterior Implementability in a Two-Person Decision Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 69-94, January.
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