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Star-shaped probability weighting functions and overbidding in first-price auctions


  • Armantier, Olivier
  • Treich, Nicolas


There is a debate about whether risk aversion is the main source of overbidding in a first-price independent private values auction. As an alternative, we adopt a non-expected utility framework, and identify an interpretable property on the probability weighting function which always induces overbidding.

Suggested Citation

  • Armantier, Olivier & Treich, Nicolas, 2009. "Star-shaped probability weighting functions and overbidding in first-price auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 83-85, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:104:y:2009:i:2:p:83-85

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michèle D. Cohen, 1995. "Risk-Aversion Concepts in Expected- and Non-Expected-Utility Models," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 20(1), pages 73-91, June.
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    6. Safra, Zvi & Segal, Uzi, 2001. "Rank-dependent preferences without ranking axioms," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 547-562, July.
    7. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 247-272, May.
    8. Hong, Chew Soo & Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. "Risk aversion in the theory of expected utility with rank dependent probabilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 370-381, August.
    9. Harrison, Glenn W, 1990. "Risk Attitudes in First-Price Auction Experiments: A Bayesian Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 541-546, August.
    10. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1985. "Experimental Development of Sealed-Bid Auction Theory: Calibrating Controls for Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 160-165, May.
    11. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
    12. Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
    13. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. "Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
    14. Luce, R Duncan & Fishburn, Peter C, 1991. "Rank- and Sign-Dependent Linear Utility Models for Finite First-Order Gambles," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 29-59, January.
    15. Schmidt, Ulrich & Zank, Horst, 2001. "A new axiomatization of rank-dependent expected utility with tradeoff consistency for equally likely outcomes," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 483-491, July.
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    17. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00212281 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Filiz-Ozbay, Emel & Ozbay, Erkut Y., 2010. "Anticipated loser regret in third price auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 217-219, May.
    2. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2016. "Optimal bidding in auctions from a game theory perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 347-371.
    3. Paul Pezanis-Christou & Hang Wu, 2017. "A Naïve Approach to Bidding," School of Economics Working Papers 2017-03, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    4. Fugger, Nicolas & Gillen, Philippe & Rasch, Alexander & Zeppenfeld, Christopher, 2017. "Preferences and decision support in competitive bidding," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-057, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. repec:wyi:journl:002158 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Probability weighting function Auctions Overbidding Non-expected utility Risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


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