Impact of valuation ranking information on bidding in first-price auctions: A laboratory study
Landsberger et al. [Landsberger, M., Rubinstein, J., Wolfstetter, E., Zamir, S., 2001. First-price auctions when the ranking of valuations is common knowledge. Review of Economic Design 6, 461-480] identified optimal bidder behavior in first-price private-value auctions when the ranking of valuations is common knowledge, and they derived comparative-statics predictions regarding the auctioneer's expected revenue and the efficiency of the allocation. The experiment reported here tests the behavioral components of these comparative-statics predictions. The results support the prediction that buyers are inclined to bid more aggressively when they learn they have the low value. Contrary to the theory, buyers are inclined to bid less when they learn they have the high value. Consistent with theory, the overall proportion of efficient allocations is lower than in the first-price auction before information is revealed. But as a result of high-value bidders decreasing their bids, the expected revenue does not increase on a regular basis, contrary to the theory's predictions.
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