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Cursed Equilibrium

  • Erik Eyster
  • Matthew Rabin

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2005.00631.x
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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 73 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (09)
Pages: 1623-1672

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:73:y:2005:i:5:p:1623-1672
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  1. 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, 09.
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  9. 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.
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  12. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts," Discussion Papers 1170, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Athey, Susan, 2001. "Single Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 861-89, July.
  14. 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 442-60, June.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Dyer, D. & Kagel, J.H. & Levin, D., 1988. "A Comparison Of Naive And Experienced Bidders In Common Value Offer Auctions A Laboratory Analysis," Papers 11, Houston - Department of Economics.
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