IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal Auctions with Information Acquisition

  • Xianwen Shi

This paper studies optimal auction design in a private value setting with endogenous information acquisition. First, we develop a general framework for modeling information acquisition when a seller wants to sell an object to one of several potential buyers who can each gather information about their valuations prior to participation. We then show that under certain conditions, standard auctions with a reserve price remain optimal, but the optimal reserve price lies between the mean valuation and the standard reserve price in Myerson (1981). We provide sufficient conditions under which the value of information to the seller is positive, and also characterize the necessary and sufficient conditions under which equilibrium information acquisition in private value auctions is socially excessive. The key to the analysis is the insight that buyer incentives to acquire information become stronger as the reserve price moves toward the mean valuation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Main Text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-302.

in new window

Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 03 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-302
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
Phone: (416) 978-5283

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Dezso Szalay, 2006. "Contracts with Endogenous Information," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 780, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Bergemann, Dirk & Pesendorfer, Martin, 2001. "Information Structures in Optimal Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2991, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Baron, David P & Myerson, Roger B, 1982. "Regulating a Monopolist with Unknown Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 911-30, July.
  4. Ichiro Obara, 2007. "The Full Surplus Extraction Theorem with Hidden Actions," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000137, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1988. "The Private R&D Investment Response to Federal Design and Technical Competitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 550-59, June.
  6. Ye Lixin, 2004. "Optimal Auctions with Endogenous Entry," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, October.
  7. Alex Gershkov & Balazs Szentes, 2004. "Optimal Voting Schemes with Costly Information Acquisition," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000311,
  8. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1998. "Strategic Information Gathering before a Contract Is Offered," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 163-200, July.
  9. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  10. Paarsch, Harry J., 1997. "Deriving an estimate of the optimal reserve price: An application to British Columbian timber sales," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 333-357, June.
  11. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Vaimaki, 2000. "Information Acquisition and Efficient Mechanism Design," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1248, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Cremer, J. & Khalil, F., 1991. "Gathering Information Before Signing a Contract," Working Papers 91-16, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  14. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-27, May.
  15. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2007. "Auctions and Informaton Acquisition: Sealed-bid or Dynamic Formats?," Post-Print halshs-00754227, HAL.
  16. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, June.
  17. Cremer, J. & Khalil, F. & Rochet, J-C., 1997. "Contracts and Productive Information Gathering," Papers 97.468, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  18. Bergemann, Dirk & Välimäki, Juuso, 2006. "Information in Mechanism Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 5494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
  20. repec:oup:qjecon:v:98:y:1983:i:2:p:267-89 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Philip Haile, 2000. "Inference with an Incomplete Model of English Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1546, Econometric Society.
  22. repec:oup:restud:v:66:y:1999:i:1:p:3-21 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Jacques Cremer & Yossi Spiegel & Charles Z. Zheng, 2005. "Optimal Search Auctions," Discussion Papers 1421, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  24. David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2004. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," Economics Series Working Papers 185, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  25. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "The First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1357-67, November.
  26. Nicola Persico, 2000. "Information Acquisition in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 135-148, January.
  27. Péter Eső & Bal�zs Szentes, 2007. "Optimal Information Disclosure in Auctions and the Handicap Auction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 705-731.
  28. Ye, Lixin, 2007. "Indicative bidding and a theory of two-stage auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 181-207, January.
  29. Juan-JosÈ Ganuza & JosÈ S. Penalva, 2010. "Signal Orderings Based on Dispersion and the Supply of Private Information in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 1007-1030, 05.
  30. Stegeman, Mark, 1996. "Participation Costs and Efficient Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 228-259, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-302. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RePEc Maintainer)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.