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Signalling in Auctions: Experimental Evidence

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  • Olivier Bos
  • Francisco Gomez-Martinez
  • Sander Onderstal
  • Tom Truyts

Abstract

We study the relative performance of the first‐price sealed‐bid auction and the second-price sealed‐bid auction in a laboratory experiment where bidders can signal information through their bidding behaviour to an outside observer. We consider two different information settings: the auctioneer reveals either the identity of the winning bidder only, or she also reveals the winner’s payment to an outside observer. We find that the first‐price sealed‐bid auction in which the winner’s payment is revealed outperforms the other mechanisms in terms of revenue and efficiency. Our findings may have implications for the design of charity auctions, art auctions, and spectrum auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Bos & Francisco Gomez-Martinez & Sander Onderstal & Tom Truyts, 2018. "Signalling in Auctions: Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 7261, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7261
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel A. Fonseca & Francesco Giovannoni & Miltiadis Makris, 2020. "Auctions with external incentives: experimental evidence," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1003-1043, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; signalling; experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing

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