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Experimental Sealed Bid First Price Auctions with Directly Observed Bid Functions


Author Info

  • Selten, Reinhard
  • Joachim Buchta


Nine groups of three subjects each repeatedly interacted in sealed bid first price auctions for fifty periods. In every period each subject specified a piecewise linear bid function shown on the computer screen. Then random values were drawn for each subject and bids were determined according to the bid functions. The object was sold to the highest bidder at the price of his bid. Many bid functions were almost linear but a substantial fraction of them was non-monotonous. The subjects changed their bid functions considerably during the fifty periods of play. The direction of change exhibits marked regularities which can be explained by a "learning direction theory". The bid at last period's value tends to be lowered or not to be increased after the object has been obtained; it tends to be increased or not to be lowered if the object was not obtained but the price was below the value. A typicity analysis shows that subjects conform to the predictions of learning direction theory the more strongly the more typical they are.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Discussion Paper Serie B with number 270.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: Feb 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonsfb:270

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Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
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