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Can Relaxation of Beliefs Rationalize the Winner’s Curse?: An Experimental Study

  • Asen Ivanov


    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Dan Levin


    (Department of Economics, The Ohio State University)

  • Muriel Niederle


    (Stanford University)

We use a second-price common-value auction, the maximal game, to experimentally study whether the Winner’s Curse (WC) can be explained by models which retain best-response behavior but allow for inconsistent beliefs. In the maximal game, the WC can be rationalized only by a belief that others use weakly-dominated strategies. Yet, we find that the WC is widespread. In addition, we create environments where, regardless of beliefs, there should be a correction of the WC. We find little evidence of such a correction. Overall, our study suggests that the WC, at least in initial periods of play in the laboratory, represents a more fundamental departure from NE than a mere inconsistency of beliefs.

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Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0803.

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Publication status: Forthcoming in Econometrica
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0803
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  7. Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2010. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 542, David K. Levine.
  8. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H & Boudreau, Bryan, 1987. "Information, Returns, and Bidding Behavior in OCS Auctions: 1954-1969," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 517-42, June.
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  11. Erik Eyster & Matt Rabin, 2003. "Cursed Equilibrium," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0303002, EconWPA.
  12. Asen Ivanov & Dan Levin & James Peck, 2008. "Hindsight, Foresight, and Insight: An Experimental Study of a Small-Market Investment Game with Common and Private Values," Working Papers 0801, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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  16. Lind, Barry & Plott, Charles., 1989. "The Winner's Curse: Experiments with Buyers and with Sellers," Working Papers 699, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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