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

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  • Rasmusen Eric Bennett

    () (Indiana University, Kelley School of Business)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasmusen Eric Bennett, 2006. "Strategic Implications of Uncertainty over One's Own Private Value in Auctions," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:advances.6:y:2006:i:1:n:7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric Rasmusen, 2004. "Getting Carried Away in Auctions as Imperfect Value Discovery," Industrial Organization 0409001, EconWPA.
    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.
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    6. Nicola Persico, 2000. "Information Acquisition in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 135-148, January.
    7. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Thomas D. Jeitschko, 1998. "Learning in Sequential Auctions," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 98-112, July.
    13. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-599, June.
    14. Michael J. Fishman, 1988. "A Theory of Preemptive Takeover Bidding," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 88-101, Spring.
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    16. 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.
    17. Ye Lixin, 2004. "Optimal Auctions with Endogenous Entry," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Rasmusen, 2004. "Getting Carried Away in Auctions as Imperfect Value Discovery," Industrial Organization 0409001, EconWPA.
    2. Bose, Subir & Daripa, Arup, 2017. "Shills and snipes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 507-516.
    3. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2009. "Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1544-1575, September.
    4. Dan Ariely & Axel Ockenfels & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "An Experimental Analysis of Ending Rules in Internet Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 890-907, Winter.
    5. Cotton, Christopher, 2009. "Multiple bidding in auctions as bidders become confident of their private valuations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 148-150, September.
    6. Vitali Gretschko & Alexander Rajko, 2015. "Excess information acquisition in auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 335-355, September.
    7. repec:eee:indorg:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:125-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Tim Grebe & Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Sabine Kröger, 2009. "Buy-it-Now Prices in eBay Auctions-The Field in the Lab," Cahiers de recherche 0950, CIRPEE.
    9. Ladislav Wintr, 2008. "Some Evidence On Late Bidding In Ebay Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 369-379, July.
    10. Yuecheng Yu & Alexander Pelaez & Karl R. Lang, 2016. "Designing and evaluating business process models: an experimental approach," Information Systems and e-Business Management, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 767-789, November.
    11. Glover, Brent & Raviv, Yaron, 2012. "Revenue non-equivalence between auctions with soft and hard closing mechanisms: New evidence from Yahoo!," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 129-136.
    12. repec:spr:joecth:v:65:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00199-017-1038-z is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2003. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Axel Ockenfels & David Reiley & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2006. "Online Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Sascha Füllbrunn, 2007. "Collusion or Sniping in simultaneous ascending Auctions," FEMM Working Papers 07025, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    16. Sascha Füllbrunn, 2009. "A comparison of Candle Auctions and Hard Close Auctions with Common Values," FEMM Working Papers 09019, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.

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    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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