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Cursed Equilibrium

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  • Erik Eyster
  • Matthew Rabin

Abstract

There is evidence that people do not fully take into account how other people's actions depend on these other people's information. This paper defines and applies a new equilibrium concept in games with private information, cursed equilibrium, which assumes that each player correctly predicts the distribution of other players' actions, but underestimates the degree to which these actions are correlated with other players' information. We apply the concept to common-values auctions, where cursed equilibrium captures the widely observed phenomenon of the winner's curse, and to bilateral trade, where cursedness predicts trade in adverse-selections settings for which conventional analysis predicts no trade. We also apply cursed equilibrium to voting and signalling models. We test a single-parameter variant of our model that embeds Bayesian Nash equilibrium as a special case and find that parameter values that correspond to cursedness fit a broad range of experimental datasets better than the parameter value that corresponds to Bayesian Nash equilibrium. Copyright The Econometric Society 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 73 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (09)
Pages: 1623-1672

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:73:y:2005:i:5:p:1623-1672

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  1. Lind, Barry & Plott, Charles R, 1991. "The Winner's Curse: Experiments with Buyers and with Sellers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 335-46, March.
  2. Ball, Sheryl B. & Bazerman, Max H. & Carroll, John S., 1991. "An evaluation of learning in the bilateral winner's curse," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-22, February.
  3. Jacobsen, Ben & Potters, Jan & Schram, Arthur & van Winden, Frans & Wit, Jorgen, 2000. "(In)accuracy of a European political stock market: The influence of common value structures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 205-230, February.
  4. Athey, Susan, 2001. "Single Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 861-89, July.
  5. Dyer, Douglas & Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1989. "A Comparison of Naive and Experienced Bidders in Common Value Offer Auctions: A Laboratory Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 108-15, March.
  6. Forsythe, Robert & Isaac, R. Mark & Palfrey, Thomas R., 1987. "Theories and Tests of (Blind Bidding) in Sealed Bid Auctions," Working Papers 670, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Eddie Dekel & Michele Piccione, 2000. "Sequential Voting Procedures in Symmetric Binary Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 34-55, February.
  8. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Discussion Papers 1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts," Discussion Papers 1170, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Garvin, Susan & Kagel, John H., 1994. "Learning in common value auctions: Some initial observations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 351-372, December.
  12. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  13. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  14. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
  15. Eddie Dekel & Michele Piccione, 1997. "On the Equivalence of Simultaneous and Sequential Binary Elections," Discussion Papers 1206, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Christopher Avery & John H. Kagel, 1997. "Second-Price Auctions with Asymmetric Payoffs: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 573-603, 09.
  17. Levin, Dan & Kagel, John H & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1996. "Revenue Effects and Information Processing in English Common Value Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 442-60, June.
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