The auction literature indicates that uncertainty about the value of auctioned goods increases underpricing in discriminatory price auctions. Such uncertainty has a smaller effect on uniform price auctions because the pricing rule aggregates bidders' information. We find that uncertainty resulting from inexperience with an auction mechanism has similar effects. Using initial public offering (IPO) data from Japan and Israel, we find that average underpricing increases temporarily in Japan's discriminatory price auctions after changes in the auction rules, which suggests that bidders reduce their bids in response to uncertainty. Underpricing in Israel's uniform price auctions is not affected by rule changes. 2007 The Southern Finance Association and the Southwestern Finance Association.
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