Journal Of The Econometric Society

An International Society for the Advancement of Economic
Theory in its Relation to Statistics and Mathematics

Edited by: Guido W. Imbens • Print ISSN: 0012-9682 • Online ISSN: 1468-0262

Econometrica: Jan, 2017, Volume 85, Issue 1

First-Price Auctions with General Information Structures: Implications for Bidding and Revenue
p. 107-143

Dirk Bergemann, Benjamin Brooks, Stephen Morris

We explore the impact of private information in sealed‐bid first‐price auctions. For a given symmetric and arbitrarily correlated prior distribution over values, we characterize the lowest winning‐bid distribution that can arise across all information structures and equilibria. The information and equilibrium attaining this minimum leave bidders indifferent between their equilibrium bids and all higher bids. Our results provide lower bounds for bids and revenue with asymmetric distributions over values. We also report further characterizations of revenue and bidder surplus including upper bounds on revenue. Our work has implications for the identification of value distributions from data on winning bids and for the informationally robust comparison of alternative auction mechanisms.

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Supplemental Material

Supplement to "First-Price Auctions with General Information Structures: Implications for Bidding and Revenue"

This appendix contains additional material not found within the manuscript.