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Explaining deviations from equilibrium in auctions with avoidable fixed costs

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  • Elmaghraby, Wedad J.
  • Larson, Nathan

Abstract

Bidders often face avoidable fixed costs or other synergies that can make bidding decisions complex and risky, and market outcomes volatile. If bidders deviate from risk neutral best responses, either due to faulty optimization or a preference to avoid volatility, then equilibrium predictions can perform poorly. In this paper, we confront laboratory bidders with three auction formats that make bidding difficult in different ways. We find that measures of ‘difficulty’ provide a consistent explanation of deviations from best response bidding across the three formats.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 76 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 131-159

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:76:y:2012:i:1:p:131-159

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

Related research

Keywords: Auctions; Experimental; Procurement; Synergies; Asymmetric bidders; Learning; Optimization errors;

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  1. Terry Jones & Stephanie Forrest, 1995. "Fitness Distance Correlation as a Measure of Problem Difficulty for Genetic Algorithms," Working Papers 95-02-022, Santa Fe Institute.
  2. Elena Katok & Alvin E. Roth, 2004. "Auctions of Homogeneous Goods with Increasing Returns: Experimental Comparison of Alternative "Dutch" Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(8), pages 1044-1063, August.
  3. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 2001. "Behavior in Multi-unit Demand Auctions: Experiments with Uniform Price and Dynamic Vickrey Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 413-54, March.
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  5. Kagel, John H. & Levin, Dan, 2005. "Multi-unit demand auctions with synergies: behavior in sealed-bid versus ascending-bid uniform-price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 170-207, November.
  6. Page, Scott E, 1996. "Two Measures of Difficulty," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 321-46, August.
  7. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
  8. Wilcox, Nathaniel, 2007. "Stochastically more risk averse: A contextual theory of stochastic discrete choice under risk," MPRA Paper 11851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Scott E. Page, 1996. "Two measures of difficulty (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 321-346.
  10. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
  11. Blavatskyy, Pavlo R., 2011. "Probabilistic risk aversion with an arbitrary outcome set," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 34-37, July.
  12. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  13. Van Boening, Mark V & Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1996. "Avoidable Cost: Ride a Double Auction Roller Coaster," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 461-77, June.
  14. Mark V. Van Boening & Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2005. "A Limit of Bilateral Contracting Institutions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 840-854, October.
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