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Hypothetical thinking and the winner's curse: An experimental investigation

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  • Moser, Johannes

Abstract

There is evidence that bidders fall prey to the winner's curse because they fail to extract information from hypothetical events - like winning an auction. This paper investigates experimentally whether bidders in a common value auction perform better when the requirements for this cognitive issue – also denoted by contingent reasoning - are relaxed, leaving all other parameters unchanged. The overall pattern of the data suggests that the problem of irrational over- and underbidding can be weakened by giving the subjects ex ante feedback about their bid, but unlike related studies I also find negative effects of additional information.

Suggested Citation

  • Moser, Johannes, 2018. "Hypothetical thinking and the winner's curse: An experimental investigation," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181506, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc18:181506
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Nonequilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1721-1770, November.
    2. Max H. Bazerman & William F. Samuelson, 1983. "I Won the Auction But Don't Want the Prize," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 27(4), pages 618-634, December.
    3. Miguel A. Costa‐Gomes & Makoto Shimoji, 2015. "A Comment on “Can Relaxation of Beliefs Rationalize the Winner's Curse?: An Experimental Study”," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 375-383, January.
    4. Camerer, Colin & Nunnari, Salvatore & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2016. "Quantal response and nonequilibrium beliefs explain overbidding in maximum-value auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 243-263.
    5. Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "Anomalies: The Winner's Curse," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 191-202, Winter.
    6. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE 2.0 - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Working Paper Series in Economics 10, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
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    9. Christopher Avery & John H. Kagel, 1997. "Second‐Price Auctions with Asymmetric Payoffs: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 573-603, September.
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    11. Kagel, John H. & Levin, Dan, 1986. "The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 894-920, December.
    12. Shengwu Li, 2017. "Obviously Strategy-Proof Mechanisms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3257-3287, November.
    13. Asen Ivanov & Dan Levin & Muriel Niederle, 2010. "Can Relaxation of Beliefs Rationalize the Winner's Curse?: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1435-1452, July.
    14. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hypothetical thinking; cursed equilibrium; winner's curse;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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