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Indicative bidding: An experimental analysis

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  • Kagel, John
  • Pevnitskaya, Svetlana
  • Ye, Lixin

Abstract

Indicative bidding is a practice commonly used in sales of complex and very expensive assets. Theoretical analysis shows that efficient entry is not guaranteed under indicative bidding, since there is no equilibrium in which more qualified bidders are more likely to be selected for the final sale. Furthermore, there exist alternative bid procedures that, in theory at least, guarantee 100% efficiency and higher revenue for the seller. We employ experiments to compare actual performance between indicative bidding and one of these alternative procedures. The data shows that indicative bidding performs as well as the alternative procedure in terms of entry efficiency, while having other characteristics that favor it over the alternative procedure. Our results provide an explanation for the widespread use of indicative bidding despite the potential problem identified in the equilibrium analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 62 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 697-721

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:62:y:2008:i:2:p:697-721

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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References

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  1. Svetlana Pevnitskaya, 2003. "Endogenous Entry in First-Price Private Value Auctions: the Self-Selection Effect," Working Papers 03-03, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Perry, Motty & Wolfstetter, Elmar & Zamir, Shmuel, 1998. "A sealed-bid auction that matches the English auction," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,63, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  3. Boone, J. & Goeree, J.K., 2005. "Optimal Privatization Using Qualifying Auctions," Discussion Paper 2005-72, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Jan Boone & Roy Chen & Jacob Goeree & Angelo Polydoro, 2009. "Risky procurement with an insider bidder," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 417-436, December.
  5. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
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  7. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  8. Klemperer, Paul, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 2581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Landsberger, Michael, 2007. "Non-existence of monotone equilibria in games with correlated signals," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 119-136, January.
  10. Van Huyck John B. & Battalio Raymond C. & Beil Richard O., 1993. "Asset Markets as an Equilibrium Selection Mechanism: Coordination Failure, Game Form Auctions, and Tacit Communication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 485-504, July.
  11. French, Kenneth R & McCormick, Robert E, 1984. "Sealed Bids, Sunk Costs, and the Process of Competition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 417-41, October.
  12. Gal, Shmuel & Landsberger, Michael & Nemirovski, Arkadi, 2007. "Participation in auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 75-103, July.
  13. Ye, Lixin, 2007. "Indicative bidding and a theory of two-stage auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 181-207, January.
  14. Ye Lixin, 2004. "Optimal Auctions with Endogenous Entry," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, October.
  15. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  16. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, April.
  17. Samuelson, William F., 1985. "Competitive bidding with entry costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 53-57.
  18. Cachon, Gerard P & Camerer, Colin F, 1996. "Loss-Avoidance and Forward Induction in Experimental Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 165-94, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ham, John C. & Kagel, John H., 2006. "Gender effects in private value auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 375-382, September.
  2. Vivek Bhattacharya & James W. Roberts & Andrew Sweeting, 2013. "Regulating Bidder Participation in Auctions," NBER Working Papers 19352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Boone, J. & Goeree, J.K., 2005. "Optimal Privatization Using Qualifying Auctions," Discussion Paper 2005-021, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  4. Marco Casari & John C. Ham & John H. Kagel, 2007. "Selection Bias, Demographic Effects, and Ability Effects in Common Value Auction Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1278-1304, September.
  5. Fan, Cuihong & Wolfstetter, Elmar G., 2006. "Procurement with Costly Bidding, Optimal Shortlisting, and Rebates," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 166, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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