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Intimidation or Impatience? Jump Bidding in On-line Ascending Automobile Auctions

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  • David Grether

    (Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)

  • David Porter

    ()
    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

  • Matthew Shum

    (Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)

Abstract

We run a large field experiment with an online company specializing in selling used automobiles via ascending auctions. We manipulate experimentally the maximum amount which bidders can bid above the current standing price, thus affecting the ease with which bidders can engage in jump bidding. We test between the intimidation vs. costly bidding hypotheses of jump bidding by looking at the effect of these jump-bidding restrictions on average seller revenue. We find evidence consistent with costly bidding in one market (Texas), but intimidation in the other market (New York). This difference in findings between the two markets appears partly attributable to the more prominent presence of sellers who are car dealers in the Texas market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 11-07.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:11-07

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  1. Elyakime, Bernard & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Loisel, Patrice & Vuong, Quang, 1993. "First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions with Secret Reservation Prices," IDEI Working Papers 27, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2003. "Auctions and the Price of Art," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 763-787, September.
  4. Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C. & Zillante, Arthur, 2007. "A theory of jump bidding in ascending auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 144-164, January.
  5. Grether, David M. & Plott, Charles R., 2009. "Sequencing strategies in large, competitive, ascending price automobile auctions: An experimental examination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 75-88, August.
  6. Tadelis, Steve & Zettelmeyer, Florian, 2009. "The Effect of Information on Auction Outcomes: A Large Scale Field Experiment," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t4834h2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. R. Isaac & Timothy Salmon & Arthur Zillante, 2005. "An experimental test of alternative models of bidding in ascending auctions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 287-313, 06.
  8. Plott, Charles R. & Salmon, Timothy C., 2004. "The simultaneous, ascending auction: dynamics of price adjustment in experiments and in the UK3G spectrum auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-383, March.
  9. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2000. "Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1927, Econometric Society.
  10. Avery, Christopher, 1998. "Strategic Jump Bidding in English Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 185-210, April.
  11. McCabe, Kevin A & Rassenti, Stephen J & Smith, Vernon L, 1990. "Auction Institutional Design: Theory and Behavior of Simultaneous Multiple-Unit Generalizations of the Dutch and English Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1276-83, December.
  12. Johannes H�rner & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2007. "Costly Signalling in Auctions -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 173-206.
  13. Banks, Jeffrey & Olson, Mark & Porter, David & Rassenti, Stephen & Smith, Vernon, 2003. "Theory, experiment and the federal communications commission spectrum auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 303-350, July.
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