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Sophisticated Bidders in beauty-context auctions (R&R to American Economic Journal: Microeconomics)
  • Stefano Galavotti
  • Luigi Moretti
  • Paola Valbonesi
In this paper, we study bidding behavior by firms in beauty-contest auctions, i.e. auctions in which the winning bid is the one which gets closest to some function (average) of all submitted bids. Using a dataset on public procurement beauty-contest auctions in Italy and exploiting a change in the auction format, we show that firms’ observed bidding behavior departs from equilibrium and can be predicted by an index of sophistication, which captures the firms’ accumulated capacity of bidding well (i.e., close to optimality) in the past. We show that our empirical evidence is consistent with a Cognitive Hierarchy model of bidders’ behavior. We also investigate whether and how firms learn to think and bid strategically through experience.
  • cognitive hierarchy; auctions; beauty-contest; public procurement.
Publication Date
Fall September 23, 2014
Working Paper N.187/2014 - Department of Economics and Management "Marco Fanno" - University of Padova, Revision Required by American Economic Journal: Microeconomics
Citation Information
Stefano Galavotti, Luigi Moretti and Paola Valbonesi. "Sophisticated Bidders in beauty-context auctions (R&R to American Economic Journal: Microeconomics)" (2014)
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