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Projection of Private Values in Auctions

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Abstract

We explore how taste projection – the tendency to overestimate how similar others’ tastes are to one’s own – affects bidding in auctions. Taste-projecting bidders underestimate the dispersion in valuations and exaggerate the intensity of competition. Consequently, they overbid in firstprice auctions – irrespective of whether values are independent, correlated, or (a)symmetrically distributed – but not in second-price auctions. Hence, first-price auctions raise more revenue. Moreover, the optimal reserve price in first-price auctions is lower than the rational benchmark, and decreasing in the extent of projection and the number of bidders. With an uncertain common-value component, projecting bidders draw distorted inferences about others’ information. This misinference is stronger in second-price and English auctions, reducing their allocative efficiency compared to first-price auctions.

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  • Tristan Gagnon-Bartsch & Marco Pagnozzi & Antonio Rosato, 2020. "Projection of Private Values in Auctions," CSEF Working Papers 571, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:571
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John H. Kagel & Alvin E. Roth, 2016. "The Handbook of Experimental Economics, Volume 2," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 2, number 10874.
    2. Jacob K. Goeree & Theo Offerman, 2003. "Competitive Bidding in Auctions with Private and Common Values," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 598-613, July.
    3. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
    4. Bajari, Patrick & Hortacsu, Ali, 2003. "The Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices, and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 329-355, Summer.
    5. Heumann, Tibor, 2019. "An ascending auction with multi-dimensional signals," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    6. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1993. "Independent Private Value Auctions: Bidder Behaviour in First-, Second- and Third-Price Auctions with Varying Numbers of Bidders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 868-879, July.
    7. Mira Frick & Ryota Iijima & Yves Le Yaouanq, 2019. "Dispersed Behavior and Perceptions in Assortative Societies," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2180, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Mira Frick & Ryota Iijima & Yuhta Ishii, 2018. "Dispersed Behavior and Perceptions in Assortative Societies," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2128R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Mar 2019.
    9. Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2003. "Auctions and the Price of Art," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 763-787, September.
    10. Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2007. "Auctions with Anticipated Regret: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1407-1418, September.
    11. Kirkegaard, René, 2009. "Asymmetric first price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1617-1635, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Projection Bias; False-Consensus Effect; Overbidding.;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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