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Strategic Implications of Uncertainty over One's Own Private Value in Auctions

  • Rasmusen Eric Bennett

    ()

    (Indiana University, Kelley School of Business)

A rational bidder in a private-value auction should be reluctant to incur the cost of perfectly estimating his value if it might not matter to the success of his bidding strategy. This can explain sniping---flurries of bids at the end of auctions---as the result of other bidders trying to avoid stimulating the victim into learning more about his value. The idea of value discovery also explains why a bidder might increase his bid ceiling in the course of an auction and why he would like to know the private values of other bidders.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
Pages: 1-22

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:advances.6:y:2006:i:1:n:7
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  1. 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.
  2. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with a stochastic number of bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, October.
  3. Thomas D. Jeitschko, 1998. "Learning in Sequential Auctions," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 98-112, July.
  4. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Last-Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon Auctions on the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1093-1103, September.
  5. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 2001. "The effect of entry and information costs on oral versus sealed-bid auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 195-202, February.
  6. Eric Rasmusen, 1996. "Bertrand Competition Under Uncertainty," Industrial Organization 9607002, EconWPA.
  7. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, 2000. "Last Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Theory and Evidence from a Natural Experiment on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 7729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2000. "Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1927, Econometric Society.
  9. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  10. Eric Rasmusen, 2004. "Getting Carried Away in Auctions as Imperfect Value Discovery," Industrial Organization 0409001, EconWPA.
  11. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  12. Hirshleifer, David, 1989. "Facilitation of Competing Bids and the Price of a Takeover Target," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt2496649g, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  13. Michael J. Fishman, 1988. "A Theory of Preemptive Takeover Bidding," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 88-101, Spring.
  14. Nicola Persico, 1997. "Information Acquisition in Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 762, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Hausch, Donald B & Li, Lode, 1993. "A Common Value Auction Model with Endogenous Entry and Information Acquisition," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 315-34, April.
  16. Ye Lixin, 2004. "Optimal Auctions with Endogenous Entry," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, October.
  17. Rasmusen Eric Bennett, 2001. "Explaining Incomplete Contracts as the Result of Contract-Reading Costs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-39, October.
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