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An experimental study of bidding in contests of incomplete information

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  • Philip Brookins
  • Dmitry Ryvkin

Abstract

In many contest situations, such as R&D competition and rent seeking, participants’ costs are private information. We report the results of an experimental study of bidding in contests under different information and symmetry conditions about players’ costs of effort. The theory predicts qualitatively different comparative statics between bids under complete and incomplete information in contests of two and more than two players. We use a 2×3 experimental design, (n=2, n=4)×(symmetric complete information, asymmetric complete information, incomplete information), to test the theoretical predictions. We find the comparative statics of bids across the information and symmetry conditions, and the qualitative differences in comparative statics across group sizes, in partial agreement with the theory. Copyright Economic Science Association 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Brookins & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2014. "An experimental study of bidding in contests of incomplete information," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(2), pages 245-261, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:17:y:2014:i:2:p:245-261
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-013-9365-9
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contest; Incomplete information; Bidding; Experiment; C72; C91; D72; D82;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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