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Bidding in Common Value Auctions: How the Commercial Construction Industry Corrects for the Winner's Curse

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Author Info

  • Douglas Dyer

    (Dyerwolf Consulting, Crystal Beach, Texas 77650)

  • John H. Kagel

    (Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260)

Abstract

Experienced construction industry executives suffer from a winner's curse in laboratory common value auction markets (Dyer et al. [Dyer, D., J. H. Kagel, D. Levin. 1989. A comparison of naive and experienced bidders in common value offer auctions: Laboratory analysis. Econom. J. 99 108--115.]). This paper identifies essential differences between field environments and the economic theory underlying the laboratory markets that account for the executives' success in the field and a winner's curse in the lab. These are (1) industry-specific mechanisms which enable contractors to escape the winner's curse even when they bid too low, (2) learned, industry-specific evaluative processes which enable experienced contractors to avoid the winner's curse in the first place, and (3) important private value elements that underlie bidding. Also identified are a number of industry-specific bidding characteristics whose evolution can be explained using modern auction theory. Lessons are drawn regarding the use of experimental methods in economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 42 (1996)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 1463-1475

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:42:y:1996:i:10:p:1463-1475

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Keywords: auctions; construction industry; winner's curse; field data; experiments;

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Cited by:
  1. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment: Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 499-522, December.
  2. GlennW. Harrison & JohnA. List, 2008. "Naturally Occurring Markets and Exogenous Laboratory Experiments: A Case Study of the Winner's Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 822-843, 04.
  3. Maria Vittoria Levati & Topi Miettinen & Birendra K. Rai, 2010. "Context and Interpretation in Laboratory Experiments: The Case of Reciprocity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-090, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Fangcheng Tang & Weizhou Zhong & Shunfeng Song, 2006. "Tenders with Different Risk Preferences in Construction Industry," Working Papers 06-006, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics & University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
  5. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  6. Alan Mehlenbacher, 2007. "Multiagent System Platform for Auction Simulations," Department Discussion Papers 0706, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  7. João Adelino Ribeiro & Paulo Jorge Pereira & Elísio Brandão, 2013. "Volume Uncertainty in Construction Projects: a Real Options Approach," CEF.UP Working Papers 1309, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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