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Auctions with Costly Information Acquisition

Crémer, Jacques, Yossi Spiegel and Charles Zheng
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Jacques Crémer ()

Staff General Research Papers Archive from Iowa State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: We characterize optimal selling mechanisms in auction environments where bidders must incur a cost to learn their valuations. These mechanisms specify for each period, as a function of the bids in previous periods, which new potential buyers should be asked to bid. In addition, these mechanisms must induce the bidders to acquire information about their valuations and to reveal this information truthfully. Using a generalized Groves principle, we prove a very general full extraction of the surplus result: the seller can obtain the same profit as if he had full control over the bidders' acquisition of information and could have observed directly their valuations once they are informed. We also present appealing implementations of the optimal mechanism in special cases.

Date: 2007-01-16
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com
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Published in Economic Theory, January 2009, vol. 38 no. 1, pp. 41-72

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