Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Cognitive Ability and Bidding Behavior in Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study

Lee, Ji Yong and Nayga, Rodolfo and Deck, Cary and Drichoutis, Andreas C. (2017): Cognitive Ability and Bidding Behavior in Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study.

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Abstract

Behavioral biases are more pronounced for individuals with lower cognitive abilities. This paper examines what connection if any there is between cognitive ability and bidding strategy in second price auctions. Despite truthful revelation being a weakly dominant strategy, previous experiments have consistently observed overbidding, which makes use of such auctions for inferring homegrown value problematic. Examining the effect of cognitive ability is important as it may help identify when one can reliably recover values from bids. The results indicate that more cognitively able subjects behave in closer accordance with theory, and that cognitive ability partially explains heterogeneity in bidding behavior.

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