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Title: Essays on information disclosure in auctions and monopoly pricing
Author: Li, Zhiyun
ISNI:       0000 0003 6609 3716
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The existing literature on information disclosure commonly assumes full commitment to truthful disclosure and therefore revelations are always credible, which can be quite unrealistic in many circumstances. This thesis mainly contributes to the literature by studying information disclosure in the form of cheap-talk in auctions and monopoly pricing, which allows for mis-reporting and false disclosure. The thesis is composed mainly of three research papers. The first paper (Chapter 2), also the major chapter of this thesis, investigates cheap-talk information disclosure in auctions, where bidders' preferences are horizontally differentiated. The seller may reveal information of product attributes before the auction, and the disclosure policy is characterized by a partition of the attribute space. In a symmetric setting, I first show that informative equilibria reveal the feature that more precise information is provided for less popular product attributes. Second, I prove an equilibrium existence theorem that an informative equilibrium can be supported by an information partition of any degree, as long as the number of bidders is sufficiently large. And finally, the optimal disclosure policy reveals a complementarity relationship between the number of bidders and the optimal degree of equilibrium partitions. In this chapter, optimal information structure is endogenously determined. In the second paper (Chapter 3), I turn to study how a monopoly seller should reveal a product's horizontal attributes, when consumer preferences conform to a mixture distribution. I show that the optimal disclosure policy largely depends on the characteristics of the mixture distribution. Specifically, when consumer preferences are highly heterogenous, it is better for the seller to reveal information and serve different groups of consumers separately. And when the preference distribution becomes more asymmetric, cheap-talk disclosure is more likely to be dominated by no disclosure at all. In this chapter, information structure is taken as given. The third paper (Chapter 4) studies optimal regulation of risk-averse producers, in a setting of complementary production with independent cost realization. The production can be organized in the form of either component, or integrated production. I show in this paper that the relative virtues of these two forms of production depend on the degree of risk aversion of the producers.
Supervisor: Jewitt, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics ; Industrial economics ; Microeconomics ; Marketing ; information disclosure ; cheap talk ; auctions ; monopoly pricing