Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Essays on the Economics of Information in Auctions

Knudsen, Helen C. (2009) Essays on the Economics of Information in Auctions. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (589kB) | Preview


Informational assumptions are an important aspect of the study of auctions in economictheory. However, there has been limited research into how the assumptions made by theoristsimpact their results. I explore two different aspects of the information available to biddersin auctions. The information that is important to the theoretical study of auctions can bedivided into two types. First, there is information about the realized values of the bidders.I explore this through a model of an English auction with interdependent values wherebidders are able to acquire the private information that is realized by other bidders. Ifind that the ability to costlessly acquire additional information about competitors does notimpact the efficiency of the English auction. This is in line with other research into thistype of information acquisition. I also briefly explore the revenue implications of biddersbeing able to acquire this type of information. The second type of information is about theoverall structure from which the bidders values are drawn. In most theoretical treatmentsof auctions, it is assumed that bidders know this overall structure. I begin to relax thisassumption by adding a small amount of uncertainty about the structure of one of thebidders valuation functions in auctions with interdependent values. Here I find that boththe English auction and the second price auction are no longer efficient after the changein informational structure. I use data collected through economic experiments to test thetheoretical predictions of this model and find that the English auction is more efficient bothwith the standard informational assumptions and with the change made in the informationalstructure. Both of these results suggest that the open format of an English auction, whereinformation is revealed over the course of the auction, may mean that theoretical resultswith stronger assumptions about informational structures at the beginning of the auctionare somewhat robust to those assumptions.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Knudsen, Helen
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBlume, Andreasablume@pitt.eduABLUME
Committee MemberGal-Or, Estheresther@katz.pitt.eduESTHER
Committee MemberDuffy, Johnjuffy@pitt.eduJUFFY
Committee MemberBoard, Oliverojboard@pitt.eduOJBOARD
Date: 30 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 8 June 2009
Approval Date: 30 September 2009
Submission Date: 5 August 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: English auction; information; interdependent values; second-price auction; auctions; efficiency
Other ID:, etd-08052009-160309
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:57
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item