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An Experimental Study of Information Revelation Policies in Sequential Auctions

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  • Timothy N. Cason
  • Karthik N. Kannan
  • Ralph Siebert

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy N. Cason & Karthik N. Kannan & Ralph Siebert, 2010. "An Experimental Study of Information Revelation Policies in Sequential Auctions," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1235, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1235
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    Cited by:

    1. Azacis, Helmuts, 2017. "Information Disclosure by a Seller in a Sequential First-Price Auction," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2017/2, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    2. Naoko Nishimura & Timothy N. Cason & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Yoshikazu Ikeda, 2011. "Spite and Reciprocity in Auctions," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-47, September.
    3. Dirk Bergemann & Johannes Horner, 2010. "Should Auctions be Transparent?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1764R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 2017.
    4. Ingebretsen Carlson, Jim & Wu, Tingting, 2018. "Shill Bidding and Information in Sequential Auctions: A Laboratory Study," Working Papers 2018:18, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    5. Olivier Bos & Francisco Gomez-Martinez & Sander Onderstal & Tom Truyts, 2017. "Signaling in auctions: experimental evidence," Working Papers Department of Economics 585499, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    6. Lu, Y. & Gupta, A. & Ketter, W. & van Heck, H.W.G.M., 2017. "Information Transparency in B2B Auction Markets: The Role of Winner Identity Disclosure," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2017-006-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Complete and Incomplete Information Revelation Policies; Laboratory Study; Procurement Auction; Multistage Game;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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