Ex-Post Full Surplus Extraction, Straightforwardly
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Consider an estimate of the common value of an auctioned asset that is symmetric in the bidders' types. Such an estimate can be represented solely in terms of the order statistics of those types. This representation forms the basis for a pricing rule yielding truthful bidding as an equilibrium, whether bidders' types are affiliated or independent. We highlight the link between the estimator and full surplus extraction, providing a necessary and sufficient condition for ex-post full surplus extraction, including the possibility of independent types. The results offer sharp insights into the strengths and limits of simple auctions by identifying the source of informational rents in such environments.
Department of Economics, 2005