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Ordinal Cheap Talk in Common Value Auctions

Author

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  • Archishman Chakraborty
  • Nandini Gupta

Abstract

Sellers benefit on average from revealing information about their goods to buyers, but the incentive to exaggerate undermines the credibility of seller statements. When multiple goods are being auctioned, we show that ordinal cheap talk, which reveals a complete or partial ordering of the different goods by value, can be credible. Ordinal statements are not susceptible to exaggeration because they simultaneously reveal favorable information about some goods and unfavorable information about other goods. Any informative ordering increases revenues in accordance with the linkage principle, and the complete ordering is asymptotically revenue-equivalent to full revelation as the number of goods becomes large. These results provide a new explanation in addition to bundling, versioning, and complementarities for how a seller benefits from the sale of multiple goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta, 2004. "Ordinal Cheap Talk in Common Value Auctions," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 605, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nawm04:605
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    Cited by:

    1. Archishman Chakraborty & Nandini Gupta & Rick Harbaugh, 2006. "Best foot forward or best for last in a sequential auction?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 176-194, March.
    2. Matthew O Jackson & Hugo F Sonnenschein, 2003. "The Linking of Collective Decisions and Efficiency," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000057, www.najecon.org.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    linkage principle; winner's curse; cheap talk;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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