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Resolving Uncertainty about the Number of Bidders in Independent Private-Value Auctions: An Experimental Analysis

Author

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  • Douglas Dyer
  • John H. Kagel
  • Dan Levin

Abstract

Results from first-price, sealed-bid auctions, in which there is uncertainty regarding the number of bidders, are reported. Consistent with recent theoretical findings, concealing information regarding the number of bidders raises more revenue for the seller than revealing information. Individual bids show that (1) narrowly interpreted, the Nash equilibrium bidding theory underlying these theoretical predictions is rejected, as less than 50% of all bids satisfy the strict inequality requirements of the theory, but (2) a majority of the deviations from these inequality requirements favor the revenue-raising predictions of the Nash model, and, in a large number of cases, involve marginal violations of the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Dyer & John H. Kagel & Dan Levin, 1989. "Resolving Uncertainty about the Number of Bidders in Independent Private-Value Auctions: An Experimental Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 268-279, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:20:y:1989:i:summer:p:268-279
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Pezanis-Christou & Andres Romeu, 2016. "Structural Analysis of First-Price Auction Data: Insights from the Laboratory," School of Economics Working Papers 2016-17, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    2. Ravi Kashyap, 2016. "Securities Lending Strategies, Exclusive Auction Bids," Papers 1603.00987, arXiv.org, revised May 2016.
    3. Henderson, Daniel J. & List, John A. & Millimet, Daniel L. & Parmeter, Christopher F. & Price, Michael K., 2012. "Empirical implementation of nonparametric first-price auction models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 168(1), pages 17-28.
    4. Joy A. Buchanan & Steven Gjerstad & David Porter, 2012. "Information Effects in Multi-Unit Dutch Auctions," Working Papers 12-08, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    5. Mark Isaac & Svetlana Pevnitskaya & Kurt S. Schnier, 2012. "Individual Behavior And Bidding Heterogeneity In Sealed Bid Auctions Where The Number Of Bidders Is Unknown," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 516-533, April.
    6. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2005. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 703-741, August.
    7. Lansdowne, Z. F., 1996. "Extensions of bidding theory: Concealed bidding, optimal number of bidders, and follow-on contracts," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 107-114, February.
    8. Breitmoser, Yves, 2015. "Knowing me, imagining you: Projection and overbidding in auctions," MPRA Paper 62052, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Boosey, Luke & Brookins, Philip & Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2017. "Contests with group size uncertainty: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 212-229.
    10. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1997. "Game theory and empirical economics: The case of auction data 1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 1-35, January.
    11. Ertaç, Seda & Hortaçsu, Ali & Roberts, James W., 2011. "Entry into auctions: An experimental analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 168-178, March.
    12. Breitmoser, Yves, 2017. "Knowing Me, Imagining You:," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 36, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Henderson, Daniel J. & List, John A. & Millimet, Daniel L. & Parmeter, Christopher F. & Price, Michael K., 2008. "Imposing Monotonicity Nonparametrically in First-Price Auctions," MPRA Paper 8769, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Neugebauer, Tibor & Selten, Reinhard, 2006. "Individual behavior of first-price auctions: The importance of information feedback in computerized experimental markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 183-204, January.
    17. Vleugels, Jan, 1997. "Bidding against an unknown number of competitors sharing affiliated information," Papers 97-13, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    18. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9510-y is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Ferona, Angeliki & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2012. "Measurement of excess bidding in auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 377-380.
    20. Kumbhakar, Subal C. & Parmeter, Christopher F. & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2012. "Bayesian estimation approaches to first-price auctions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 168(1), pages 47-59.

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