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Ignorance promotes competition: An auction model with endogenous private valuations

We study a situation in which an auctioneer wishes to sell an object to one of N risk-neutral bidders with heterogeneous preferences. The auctioneer does not know bidders’ preferences but has private information about the characteristics of the ob ject, and must decide how much information to reveal prior to the auction. We show that the auctioneer has incentives to release less information than would be efficient and that the amount of information released increases with the level of competition (as measured by the number of bidders). Furthermore, in a perfectly competitive market the auctioneer would provide the efficient level of information.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 671.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:671
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1997. "Market Diffusion with Two-Sided Learning," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 773-795, Winter.
  2. Motty Perry & Philip J. Reny, 1999. "On The Failure of the Linkage Principle in Multi-Unit Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 895-900, July.
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