Get access

Information feedback in first price auctions


  • I am especially grateful to Susan Athey for her advice and support since the early stages of this project, and to Liran Einav, Jon Levin, and Ilya Segal for helpful discussions. I also thank the editor, Philip A. Haile, and two anonymous referees for extensive feedback and very helpful suggestions, and David McAdams, Paul Milgrom, Pedro Miranda, Muriel Niederle, Ariel Pakes, Demian Pouzo, Andy Skrzypacz, Steve Tadelis, and Larry White for their comments. I gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Bradley Graduate and Post Graduate Fellowship Program, through a grant to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.


I apply the notion of a self-confirming equilibrium (SCE) to study how feedback in first price auctions influences bidders' perceptions about their strategic environment, and consequently their bidding behavior. In a private values setting, revealing the two highest bids at the end of each auction is sufficient for bidders to have correct beliefs (justifying the assumption of Nash equilibrium). In contrast, in every symmetric SCE of a symmetric, affiliated, private values model, bidding strategies and revenue are (weakly) higher if only the highest bid is revealed. I also consider interdependent valuations and discuss implications for the empirical auction literature.