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How obvious is the dominant strategy in an English Auction? Experimental evidence

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Listed:
  • McGee, Peter
  • Levin, Dan

Abstract

Bidding one's value is a weakly dominant strategy (DS) in both English and second-price auctions (SPAs) with private values, but experimental studies find frequent and systematic deviations from the DS only in the latter. To explain the difference, Li (2017) proposes a stronger solution concept, obviously dominant strategies (ODS), that is present in English auctions but not SPAs. We introduce a treatment to English auctions that affects expected payoffs but not the DS. We observe little change in bidding in response to the manipulation in English auctions where the DS is also an ODS, whereas this manipulation has been shown to drastically affect bidding in SPAs (Georganas et al., 2017) where the DS is not an ODS.

Suggested Citation

  • McGee, Peter & Levin, Dan, 2019. "How obvious is the dominant strategy in an English Auction? Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 355-365.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:159:y:2019:i:c:p:355-365
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.02.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    3. 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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    5. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:11:p:3257-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Shengwu Li, 2017. "Obviously Strategy-Proof Mechanisms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3257-3287, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
    9. Maskin, Eric & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2002. "Implementation theory," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare,in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 237-288 Elsevier.
    10. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9510-y is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Overbidding; Obvious dominant strategy;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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