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Subjective Probabilities In Games: An Application To The Overbidding Puzzle

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  • Olivier Armantier
  • Nicolas Treich

Abstract

This article illustrates how the joint elicitation of subjective probabilities and preferences may help us understand behavior in games. We conduct an experiment to test whether biased probabilistic beliefs may explain overbidding in first-price auctions. The experimental outcomes indicate that subjects underestimate their probability of winning the auction, and indeed overbid. When provided with feedback on the precision of their predictions, subjects learn to make better predictions, and to curb significantly overbidding. The structural estimation of different behavioral models suggests that biased probabilistic beliefs are a driving force behind overbidding, and that risk aversion plays a lesser role than previously believed. Copyright © (2009) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Armantier & Nicolas Treich, 2009. "Subjective Probabilities In Games: An Application To The Overbidding Puzzle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1079-1102, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:50:y:2009:i:4:p:1079-1102
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Corazzini & Stefano Galavotti & Rupert Sausgruber & Paola Valbonesi, 2017. "Allotment in first-price auctions: an experimental investigation," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 70-99, March.
    2. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Halladay, Brianna, 2016. "Experimental methods: Pay one or pay all," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 141-150.
    3. Marco Pagnozzi & Krista Jabs Saral, 2013. "Multi-Object Auctions with Resale: An Experimental Analysis," CSEF Working Papers 328, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:eee:ecolet:v:161:y:2017:i:c:p:71-73 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Florian Artinger & Filippos Exadaktylos & Hannes Koppel & Lauri Sääksvuori, 2010. "Applying Quadratic Scoring Rule transparently in multiple choice settings: A note," ThE Papers 10/01, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    7. Armantier, Olivier & Treich, Nicolas, 2013. "Eliciting beliefs: Proper scoring rules, incentives, stakes and hedging," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 17-40.
    8. Sascha Füllbrunn & Tibor Neugebauer, 2013. "Varying the number of bidders in the first-price sealed-bid auction: experimental evidence for the one-shot game," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(3), pages 421-447, September.
    9. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
    10. Mariana Blanco & Dirk Engelmann & Alexander Koch & Hans-Theo Normann, 2010. "Belief elicitation in experiments: is there a hedging problem?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(4), pages 412-438, December.
    11. Fugger, Nicolas & Gillen, Philippe & Rasch, Alexander & Zeppenfeld, Christopher, 2016. "Preferences and Decision Support in Competitive Bidding," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145849, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñigo & Ponti, Giovanni & Tomás, Josefa & Ubeda, Luis, 2011. "Framing effects in public goods: Prospect Theory and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 439-447, June.
    13. Ratan, Anmol, 2015. "Does displaying probabilities affect bidding in first-price auctions?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 119-121.
    14. repec:wyi:journl:002158 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Stefan T. Trautmann & Gijs Kuilen, 2015. "Belief Elicitation: A Horse Race among Truth Serums," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 2116-2135, December.
    16. Claudia Neri, 2015. "Eliciting beliefs in continuous-choice games: a double auction experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 569-608, December.

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