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Behavior in Second-Price Auctions by Highly Experienced eBay Buyers and Sellers

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  • Garratt, Rod
  • Walker, Mark
  • Wooders, John

Abstract

When second-price auctions have been conducted in the laboratory, most of the observed bids have been “overbids†(bids that exceed the bidder’s value) and there are very few underbids. Few if any of the subjects in those experiments had any prior experience bidding in auctions. We report on sealed-bid second-price auctions that we conducted on the Internet using subjects with substantial prior experience: they were highly experienced participants in eBay auctions. Unlike the novice bidders in previous (laboratory) experiments, the experienced bidders exhibited no greater tendency to overbid than to underbid. However, even subjects with substantial prior experience tend not to bid their values, suggesting that the non-optimal bidding of novice subjects is robust to substantial experience in non-experimental auctions. A key determinant of bidding behavior was whether a subject had ever been a seller on eBay.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt7s72r56p.

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Date of creation: 29 Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt7s72r56p

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Keywords: auctions; overbidding; eBay; experienced bidders; buyers; sellers;

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References

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  1. Güth, Werner & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2001. "Bidding behavior in asymmetric auctions: An experimental study," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,15, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  2. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Last-Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon Auctions on the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1093-1103, September.
  3. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71, February.
  4. Oliver Kirchkamp, & Philipp Reiß, 2006. "Another explanation for overbidding and another bias for underbidding in first-price auctions," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 0606, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
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  6. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1993. "Independent Private Value Auctions: Bidder Behaviour in First-, Second- and Third-Price Auctions with Varying Numbers of Bidders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 868-79, July.
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  12. Harstad, Ronald M., 1996. "Dominant Strategy Adoption, Efficiency, and Bidders' Experience with Pricing Rules," Discussion Paper Serie B 357, University of Bonn, Germany.
  13. Rodney Garratt & Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2012. "Behavior in second-price auctions by highly experienced eBay buyers and sellers," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 44-57, March.
  14. Werner G¸th & Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Manfred K–nigstein & Martin Strobel, 2003. "Learning to bid - an experimental study of bid function adjustments in auctions and fair division games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 477-494, 04.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Grebe, Tim & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Kröger, Sabine, 2010. "Buy-It-Now prices in eBay Auctions - The Field in the Lab," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 294, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Garratt, Rod & Walker, Mark & Wooders, John, 2004. "Behavior in Second-Price Auctions by Highly Experienced eBay Buyers and Sellers," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7s72r56p, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. Daniel McFadden, 2009. "The human side of mechanism design: a tribute to Leo Hurwicz and Jean-Jacque Laffont," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 77-100, April.
  4. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Timothy N. Cason & Tomas Sjostrom, 2003. "Secure Implementation Experiments:Do Strategy-proof Mechanisms Really Work?," Discussion papers 03012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  5. Depositario, Dinah Pura T. & Nayga Jr., Rodolfo M. & Wu, Ximing & Laude, Tiffany P., 2009. "Should students be used as subjects in experimental auctions?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 122-124, February.
  6. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2007. "Choice Over Time," IZA Discussion Papers 2993, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Ulrike Malmendier & Young Han Lee, 2011. "The Bidder's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 749-87, April.
  8. Matt Van Essen & John Wooders, 2013. "Blind Stealing: Experience and Expertise in a Mixed-Strategy Poker Experiment," Working Paper Series 6, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  9. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Reiss, J. Philipp & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2008. "A pure variation of risk in private-value auctions," Research Memorandum 050, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  10. Jones, Matthew T., 2011. "Bidding fever in eBay auctions of Amazon.com gift certificates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 5-7, October.
  11. Evans, Mary F. & Vossler, Christian A. & Flores, Nicholas E., 2009. "Hybrid allocation mechanisms for publicly provided goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 311-325, February.
  12. Genti Kostandini & Elton Mykerezi & Eftila Tanellari & Nour Dib, 2011. "Does Buyer Experience Pay Off? Evidence from eBay," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 253-265, November.
  13. Ertaç, Seda & Hortaçsu, Ali & Roberts, James W., 2011. "Entry into auctions: An experimental analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 168-178, March.
  14. Kevin Hasker & Robin Sickles, 2010. "eBay in the Economic Literature: Analysis of an Auction Marketplace," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 3-42, August.

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