Going... going... wrong: a test of the level-k (and cognitive hierarchy) models of bidding behaviour

Last registered on September 06, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Going... going... wrong: a test of the level-k (and cognitive hierarchy) models of bidding behaviour
Initial registration date
August 06, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 10, 2021, 2:08 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
September 06, 2021, 3:35 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


Primary Investigator

Sciences Po & Paris School of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In this paper, I design and implement a series of tests of the level-k model of auctions. I begin by studying which (simple) environments can best disentangle the level-k model from its leading rival, Bayes-Nash equilibrium. I then implement these environments in the (virtual) laboratory to see which theory, if either, can explain the observed bidding behaviour.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Rasooly, Itzhak. 2021. "Going... going... wrong: a test of the level-k (and cognitive hierarchy) models of bidding behaviour." AEA RCT Registry. September 06. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8011-1.1
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The bids submitted by participants
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment proceeds as follows:

1. Subjects provide some basic demographic information in an introductory survey.
2. Subjects take part in a first-price auction with "cancelled" bids. Before the auction, subjects must successfully complete a quiz that verifies that they understand the auction rules.
3. Subjects take part in an all-pay auction (again, they are first quizzed on their understanding of the rules).
4. Subjects play Alaoui and Penta's version of the 11-20 game.
5. Finally, subjects complete Crosetto and Filippin's "bomb risk elicitation task".

There are 2 treatments. In one treatment (to which 2/3 of subjects are randomly allocated), subject bids are integers. In the other treatment, bids are multiples of 5.
Experimental Design Details
The full experiment may be viewed here: https://auction-experiment.herokuapp.com/
Randomization Method
By computer
Randomization Unit
At the individual level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
I anticipate that there will be around 90 subjects (the exact number depends on the number of recruited participants who show up to the experiment).
Sample size: planned number of observations
See previous
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
See previous
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Oxford
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Analysis plan

MD5: f9cdb9c83def1b39beeba4535edffa3f

SHA1: c5c09d850fcfe85fc935576096309ad0d7b19f76

Uploaded At: July 30, 2021


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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials