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Using Field Experiments to Test Equivalence between Auction Formats: Magic on the Internet

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  • David Lucking-Reiley

Abstract

William Vickrey's predicted equivalences between first-price sealed-bid and Dutch auctions, and between second-price sealed-bid and English auctions, are tested using field experiments that auctioned off collectible trading cards over the Internet. The results indicate that the Dutch auction produces 30-percent higher revenues than the first-price auction format, a violation of the theoretical prediction and a reversal of previous laboratory results, and that the English and second-price formats produce roughly equivalent revenues.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.89.5.1063
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 89 (1999)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1063-1080

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:89:y:1999:i:5:p:1063-1080

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.5.1063
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  1. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Riley, John G, 1989. "Expected Revenue from Open and Sealed Bid Auctions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 41-50, Summer.
  3. Kenneth Hendricks & Harry J. Paarsch, 1995. "A Survey of Recent Empirical Work Concerning Auctions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 403-26, May.
  4. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
  5. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  6. Kagel, J.H. & Levin, D., 1988. "Independent Private Value Auctions: Bidder Behavior In First, Second And Third-Price Auctions With Varying Numbers Of Bidders," Papers 13, Houston - Department of Economics.
  7. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  8. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  9. Hansen, Robert G, 1985. "Empirical Testing of Auction Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 156-59, May.
  10. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  11. Coppinger, Vicki M & Smith, Vernon L & Titus, Jon A, 1980. "Incentives and Behavior in English, Dutch and Sealed-Bid Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 1-22, January.
  12. Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
  13. Tenorio, Rafael, 1993. "Revenue Equivalence and Bidding Behavior in a Multi-unit Auction Market: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 302-14, May.
  14. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  15. Wilson, Robert, 1992. "Strategic analysis of auctions," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 227-279 Elsevier.
  16. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
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