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Knowing me, imagining you: Projection and overbidding in auctions

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  • Breitmoser, Yves

Abstract

People overestimate the probability that others share their values or preferences. I introduce type projection equilibrium (TPE) to capture such projection in Bayesian games. TPE allows each player to believe his opponents share his type with intermediate probability \rho. After establishing existence, I address my main question: How does projection affect behavior in games? I analyze auctions and distribution games. In auctions, projection implies an increased sense of competition, which induces overbidding in all (first-price) auctions. In addition, it biases the perceived value distribution, which induces cursed bidding in common value auctions. Thus, projection induces a hitherto neglected bias in bidding. It is novel in that it explains behavior across conditions and it is independently founded in psychology. I test projection equilibrium in multiple ways on existing data and find that it substantially improves on alternative concepts, both in isolation and in addition to them. The findings are cross-validated by testing projection of social preferences in distribution games.

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  • Breitmoser, Yves, 2015. "Knowing me, imagining you: Projection and overbidding in auctions," MPRA Paper 62052, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:62052
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    9. Sotiris Georganas & Dan Levin & Peter McGee, 2017. "Optimistic irrationality and overbidding in private value auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(4), pages 772-792, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; overbidding; winner's curse; projection; risk aversion; cursed equilibrium; level-k; social preferences;
    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
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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