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Should Auctions be Transparent?

We investigate the role of market transparency in repeated first-price auctions. We consider a setting with private and independent values across bidders. The values are assumed to be perfectly persistent over time. We analyze the first-price auction under three distinct disclosure regimes regarding the bid and award history. Of particular interest is the minimal disclosure regime, in which each bidder only learns privately whether he won or lost the auction at the end of each round. In equilibrium, the winner of the initial auction lowers his bids over time, while losers keep their bids constant, in anticipation of the winner’s lower future bids. This equilibrium is efficient, and all information is eventually revealed. Importantly, this disclosure regime does not give rise to pooling equilibria. We contrast the minimal disclosure setting with the case in which all bids are public, and the case in which only the winner’s bids are public. In these settings, an inefficient pooling equilibrium with low revenues always exists with a sufficiently large number of bidders.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d17b/d1764.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1764.

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Length: 70 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1764
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Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Michael Landsberger & Jacob Rubinstein & Elmar Wolfstetter & Shmuel Zamir, 1999. "First-Price Auctions when the Ranking of Valuations is Common Knowledge," Working Papers 99-18, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Albaek, Svend & Mollgaard, Peter & Overgaard, Per B, 1997. "Government-Assisted Oligopoly Coordination? A Concrete Case," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 429-43, December.
  3. Kleijnen, J.P.C. & van Schaik, F.D.J., 2007. "Sealed-Bid Auction of Dutch Mussels : Statistical Analysis," Discussion Paper 2007-83, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Estelle Cantillon & Martin Pesendorfer, 2006. "Auctioning bus routes: the London experience," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9003, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Charles J. Thomas, 2010. "INFORMATION REVELATION AND BUYER PROFITS IN REPEATED PROCUREMENT COMPETITION -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 79-105, 03.
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