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First Price Auctions with General Information Structures: Implications for Bidding and Revenue

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  • Bergemann, Dirk
  • Brooks, Benjamin A
  • Morris, Stephen

Abstract

We explore the impact of private information in sealed-bid first-price auctions. For a given symmetric and arbitrarily correlated prior distribution over values, we characterize the lowest winning-bid distribution that can arise across all information structures and equilibria. The information and equilibrium attaining this minimum leave bidders indifferent between their equilibrium bids and all higher bids. Our results provide lower bounds for bids and revenue with asymmetric distributions over values. We also report further characterizations of revenue and bidder surplus including upper bounds on revenue. Our work has implications for the identification of value distributions from data on winning bids and for the informationally robust comparison of alternative bidding mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergemann, Dirk & Brooks, Benjamin A & Morris, Stephen, 2017. "First Price Auctions with General Information Structures: Implications for Bidding and Revenue," CEPR Discussion Papers 11782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11782
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    First-price auction; Information structure; Bayes correlated equilibrium; Private values; Interdependent values; Common values; Revenue; Surplus; Welfare bounds; Reserve price;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • 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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