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Cursed Equilibrium

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  • Erik Eyster
  • Matthew Rabin

Abstract

There is evidence that people do not fully take into account how other people's actions depend on these other people's information. This paper defines and applies a new equilibrium concept in games with private information, cursed equilibrium, which assumes that each player correctly predicts the distribution of other players' actions, but underestimates the degree to which these actions are correlated with other players' information. We apply the concept to common-values auctions, where cursed equilibrium captures the widely observed phenomenon of the winner's curse, and to bilateral trade, where cursedness predicts trade in adverse-selections settings for which conventional analysis predicts no trade. We also apply cursed equilibrium to voting and signalling models. We test a single-parameter variant of our model that embeds Bayesian Nash equilibrium as a special case and find that parameter values that correspond to cursedness fit a broad range of experimental datasets better than the parameter value that corresponds to Bayesian Nash equilibrium. Copyright The Econometric Society 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Eyster & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "Cursed Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1623-1672, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:73:y:2005:i:5:p:1623-1672
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2005.00631.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jacobsen, Ben & Potters, Jan & Schram, Arthur & van Winden, Frans & Wit, Jorgen, 2000. "(In)accuracy of a European political stock market: The influence of common value structures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 205-230, February.
    2. Ball, Sheryl B. & Bazerman, Max H. & Carroll, John S., 1991. "An evaluation of learning in the bilateral winner's curse," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-22, February.
    3. Robert Forsythe & R. Mark Isaac & Thomas R. Palfrey, 1989. "Theories and Tests of "Blind Bidding" in Sealed-Bid Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 214-238, Summer.
    4. Dyer, Douglas & Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1989. "A Comparison of Naive and Experienced Bidders in Common Value Offer Auctions: A Laboratory Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 108-115, March.
    5. Eddie Dekel & Michele Piccione, 2000. "Sequential Voting Procedures in Symmetric Binary Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 34-55, February.
    6. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
    7. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-286, July.
    8. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    9. Potters, J.J.M. & Wit, J., 1996. "Bets and Bids : Favorite-Longshot Bias and Winner's Curse," Discussion Paper 1996-04, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    10. Eddie Dekel & Michele Piccione, 1997. "On the Equivalence of Simultaneous and Sequential Binary Elections," Discussion Papers 1206, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    11. Christopher Avery & John H. Kagel, 1997. "Second-Price Auctions with Asymmetric Payoffs: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 573-603, September.
    12. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:01:p:23-35_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Garvin, Susan & Kagel, John H., 1994. "Learning in common value auctions: Some initial observations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 351-372, December.
    15. Levin, Dan & Kagel, John H & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1996. "Revenue Effects and Information Processing in English Common Value Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 442-460, June.
    16. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-86, July.
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    JEL classification:

    • B49 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Other

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