Regret in auctions: theory and evidence
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The sealed-bid first-price auction of a single object in the case of independent privately-known values is the simplest auction setting and understanding it is important for understanding more complex mechanisms. But bidders bid above the risk-neutral Nash equilibrium theory prediction. The reasons for this “over bidding” remain an unsolved puzzle. Several explanations have been offered, including risk aversion, social comparisons, and learning. We present a new explanation based on regret and a model that explains not only the observed over bidding in sealed-bid first-price auctions, but also behavior in several other settings that is inconsistent with risk aversion.
KeywordsAuctions Competitive bidding Regret Risk-aversion Learning Experimental economics
JEL Classification NumbersD44 C91
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