An Experimental Study of Information Revelation Policies in Sequential Auctions
Theoretical models of information asymmetry have identi ed a tradeoff between the desire to learn and the desire to prevent an opponent from learning private information. This paper reports a laboratory experiment that investigates if actual bidders account for this tradeoff, using a sequential procurement auction with private cost information and varying information revelation policies. Speci cally, the Complete Information Policy, where all submitted bids are revealed between auctions, is compared against the Incomplete Information Policy, where only the winning bid is revealed. The experimental results are largely consistent with the theoretical predictions. For example, bidders pool with other types to prevent an opponent from learning signi cantly more often under a Complete Information Policy. Also as predicted, the procurer pays less when employing an Incomplete Information Policy only when the market is highly competitive. Bids are usually more aggressive than the risk neutral quantitative prediction, which is usually consistent with risk aversion.
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