In this paper, we examine which auction format, first-price or second-price, a seller will choose when he can profitably cheat in a second price auction by observing all bids by possible buyers and submitting a shill bid as pretending to be a buyer. We model this choice of auction format in seller cheating as a signaling game in which the buyers may regard the selection of a second price auction by the seller as a signal that he is a shill bidder. By introducing trembling-hand perfectness as a refinement of signaling equilibrium, we find two possible strictly perfect signaling equilibria. One is a separating equilibrium in which a noncheating honest seller selects a first price auction and a cheating seller does a second price auction. In another pooling equilibrium, however, both cheating and non-cheating sellers select a second price auction. The conclusion that a seller chooses a second price auction even if he cannot cheat is in contrast to the previous literature, which focused on the case of independent values.
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