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Signaling in Auctions among Competitors


  • Scarpatetti, Benedikt von
  • Wasser, Cédric


We consider a model of oligopolistic firms that have private information about their cost structure. Prior to competing in the market a competitive advantage, i.e., a cost reducing technology, is allocated to a subset of the firms by means of a multi-object auction. After the auction either all bids or only the prices to be paid are revealed to all firms. This provides an opportunity for signaling. Whether there exists an equilibrium in which bids perfectly identify the bidders’ costs generally depends on the type and fierceness of the market competition, the specific auction format, and the bid announcement policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Scarpatetti, Benedikt von & Wasser, Cédric, 2010. "Signaling in Auctions among Competitors," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 293, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:293

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, August.
    2. Goeree, Jacob K., 2003. "Bidding for the future: signaling in auctions with an aftermarket," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 345-364, February.
    3. Das Varma, Gopal, 2003. "Bidding for a process innovation under alternative modes of competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 15-37, January.
    4. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2003. "Patent licensing to Bertrand competitors," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-13, January.
    5. Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 2000. "Auctions with Downstream Interaction Among Buyers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 768-791, Winter.
    6. Giebe, Thomas & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2008. "License auctions with royalty contracts for (winners and) losers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 91-106, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chattopadhyay, Srobonti & Chatterjee, Rittwik, 2013. "Selling a Cost Reducing Production Technique through Auction in a Duopolistic Industry," MPRA Paper 52010, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 09 Oct 2013.

    More about this item


    Auction; Oligopoly; Signaling;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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