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Explaining Overbidding in First Price Auctions Using Controlled Lotteries

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Author Info

  • Robert Dorsey
  • Laura Razzolini

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Abstract

In this paper, we study the behavior of individuals when facing two different, but incentive-wise identical, institutions. We pair the first price auction with an equivalent lottery. Once a subject is assigned a value for the auctioned object, the first price auction can be modeled as a lottery in which the individual faces a given probability of winning a certain payoff. This set up allows us to explore to what extent the misperception of the probability of winning in the auction is responsible for bidders in a first price auction to bidding above the risk neutral Nash equilibrium prediction. The first result we obtain is that individuals, even though facing the same choice over probability/payoff pairs, behave differently depending on the type of choice they are called to make. When facing an auction, subjects with high values tend to bid significantly above the bid they choose in the corresponding lottery environment. We further find that in both the lottery and the auction environments, subjects tend to bid in excess of the bid predicted by the risk neutral model, at least for intermediate range values. Finally, we find that the difference between the lottery behavior and the auction behavior is substantially, but not totally, eliminated by showing the subjects the probability of winning the auction. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1025375803912
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 123-140

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:6:y:2003:i:2:p:123-140

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

Related research

Keywords: auctions; lotteries; efficiency;

References

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  1. Friedman, Daniel, 1992. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1374-78, December.
  2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  3. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  4. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1984. " Theory and Behavior of Multiple Unit Discriminative Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 983-1010, September.
  5. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. " Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
  6. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1998. "A Belief-Based Account of Decision Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(7), pages 879-895, July.
  7. Merlo, Antonio & Schotter, Andrew, 1992. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1413-25, December.
  8. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1992. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1392-412, December.
  9. Harrison, Glenn W, 1992. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1426-43, December.
  10. Mark Van Boening & Stephen Rassenti & Vernon Smith, 1998. "Numerical Computation of Equilibrium Bid Functions in a First-Price Auction with Heterogeneous Risk Attitudes," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 147-159, September.
  11. Harrison, Glenn W, 1989. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 749-62, September.
  12. Kagel, John H & Roth, Alvin E, 1992. "Theory and Misbehavior in First-Price Auctions: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1379-91, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Oliver Kirchkamp, & Eva Poen, & Philipp Reiß, 2006. "Outside options: Another reason to choose the first-price auction," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 0605, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  2. Duncan James, 2007. "Stability of risk preference parameter estimates within the Becker-DeGroot-Marschak procedure," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 123-141, June.
  3. Tibor Neugebauer & Sascha Fllbrunn, 2013. "Varying the number of bidders in the first-price sealed-bid auction: experimental evidence for the one-shot game," LSF Research Working Paper Series 13-10, Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg.
  4. Neugebauer, Tibor & Selten, Reinhard, 2006. "Individual behavior of first-price auctions: The importance of information feedback in computerized experimental markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 183-204, January.
  5. Olivier Armantier & Nicolas Treich, 2006. "Overbidding in Independant Private-Values Auctions and Misperception of Probabilities," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-15, CIRANO.
  6. Marco Casari & John C. Ham & John H. Kagel, 2007. "Selection Bias, Demographic Effects, and Ability Effects in Common Value Auction Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1278-1304, September.
  7. Ertaç, Seda & Hortaçsu, Ali & Roberts, James W., 2011. "Entry into auctions: An experimental analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 168-178, March.
  8. Hu, Youxin & Kagel, John & Xu, Xiaoshu & Ye, Lixin, 2013. "Theoretical and experimental analysis of auctions with negative externalities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 269-291.
  9. Tibor Neugebauer & Javier Perote, 2008. "Bidding ‘as if’ risk neutral in experimental first price auctions without information feedback," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 190-202, June.
  10. Munetomo Ando, 2004. "Overconfidence in Economic Contests," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 708, Econometric Society.
  11. Charness, Gary B & Levin, Dan, 2007. "The Origin of the Winner’s Curse: A Laboratory Study," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt8g88c6ww, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  12. Salmon, Timothy C. & Iachini, Michael, 2007. "Continuous ascending vs. pooled multiple unit auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 67-85, October.
  13. Sascha Füllbrunn & Tibor Neugebauer, 2013. "Varying the number of bidders in the first-price sealed-bid auction: experimental evidence for the one-shot game," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(3), pages 421-447, September.
  14. Ivanov, Asen, 2011. "Attitudes to ambiguity in one-shot normal-form games: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 366-394, March.

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