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Rationalizable Bidding in General First-Price Auctions

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  • Pierpaolo Battigalli
  • Marciano Siniscalchi

Abstract

We wish to analyze the consequences of strategically sophisticated bidding without assuming equilibrium behavior. As a first step, we characterize interim rationalizable bids in first-price auctions with interdependent values and affiliated signals. We show that (1) every non-zero bid below the equilibrium is rationalizable, (2) some bids above the equilibrium are rationalizable, (3) the upper bound on rationalizable bids of a given player is a continuous, non-decreasing function of her signal/valuation. In the special case of symmetric bidders with independent signals and quasi-linear valuation functions, (i) the least upper bound on rationalizable bids is increasing and concave; hence (ii) rationalizability is consistent with substantial shading for high valuations, but only little shading for low valuations. Our main technical contribution is to show that the set of rationalizable bids is essentially determined by iteratively solving a simple one-dimensional optimization problem. We argue that our theoretical analysis may shed some light on experimental findings about deviations from the risk-neutral Nash equilibrium.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 190.

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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:190

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  1. Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2003. "Rationalizable outcomes of large private-value first-price discrete auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 175-188, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Battigalli, P., 1999. "Rationalizability in Incomplete Information Games," Economics Working Papers eco99/17, European University Institute.
  4. Dekel, E. & Wolinsky, A., 2000. "Rationalizable Outcomes of Large Independent Private-Value First-Price Discrete Auctions," Papers 2000-13, Tel Aviv.
  5. E. Dekel & D. Fudenberg, 2010. "Rational Behavior with Payoff Uncertainty," Levine's Working Paper Archive 379, David K. Levine.
  6. Klemperer, Paul, 1998. "Auctions with almost common values: The 'Wallet Game' and its applications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 757-769, May.
  7. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Stephen Morris & Skiadas Costis, 1999. "Rationalizable Trade," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1211, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Goeree, Jacob & Holt, Charles, 2000. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-value Auctions," Working Papers 1073, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. 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.
  11. Friedman, Daniel, 1992. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1374-78, December.
  12. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2222, David K. Levine.
  13. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. 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.
  15. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  16. Harrison, Glenn W, 1989. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 749-62, September.
  17. repec:wop:humbsf:2000-72 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Dekel, E. & Wolinsky, A., 2000. "Rationalizable Outcomes of Large Independent Private-Value First-Price Discrete Auctions," Papers 2000-13, Tel Aviv.
  2. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2003. "Rationalizable bidding in first-price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 38-72, October.
  3. Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2003. "Rationalizable outcomes of large private-value first-price discrete auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 175-188, May.

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