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Understanding Overbidding In Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study

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  • DavidJ. Cooper
  • Hanming Fang

Abstract

We present results from second price private value auction (SPA) experiments where bidders may receive noisy signals about their opponents' value. Such signals change bidders' perception about the 'strength' of their opponent, and the relationship between bidders' perception of their opponent and overbidding provides a novel channel to understand overbidding in SPA. We found that small and medium overbids are more likely to occur when bidders perceive their rivals to have similar values, supporting a modified 'joy of winning' hypothesis but large overbids are more likely to occur when bidders believe their opponents to have much higher values, consistent with the 'spite' hypothesis. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • DavidJ. Cooper & Hanming Fang, 2008. "Understanding Overbidding In Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1572-1595, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:532:p:1572-1595
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andreoni, James & Che, Yeon-Koo & Kim, Jinwoo, 2007. "Asymmetric information about rivals' types in standard auctions: An experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 240-259, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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