Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Should Auctions be Transparent?

Dirk Bergemann (Cowles Foundation, Yale University) and Johannes Horner (Cowles Foundation, Yale University) ask Should Auctions be Transparent?

ABSTRACT: We investigate the role of market transparency in repeated first-price auctions. We consider a setting with independent private and persistent values. We analyze three distinct disclosure regimes regarding the bid and award history. In the minimal disclosure regime each bidder only learns privately whether he won or lost the auction. In equilibrium the allocation is efficient and the minimal disclosure regime does not give rise to pooling equilibria. In contrast, in disclosure settings where either all or only the winner’s bids are public, an inefficient pooling equilibrium with low revenues exists.

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