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Naturally occurring markets and exogenous laboratory experiments: A case study of the winner's curse

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  • Glenn Harrison
  • John List

Abstract

There has been a dramatic increase in the use of experimental methods in the past two decades. An oft-cited reason for this rise in popularity is that experimental methods provide the necessary control to estimate treatment effects in isolation of other confounding factors. We examine the relevance of experimental findings from laboratory settings that abstract from the field context of the task that theory purports to explain. Using common value auction theory as our guide, we identify naturally occurring settings in which one can test the theory. In our treatments the subjects are not picked at random, as in lab experiments with student subjects, but are deliberately identified by their trading roles in the natural field setting. We find that experienced agents bidding in familiar roles do not fall prey to the winner's curse. Yet, when experienced agents are observed bidding in an unfamiliar role, we find that they frequently fall prey to the winner's curse. We conclude that the theory predicts field behavior well when one is able to identify naturally occurring field counterparts to the key theoretical conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Framed Field Experiments with number 00266.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00266

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Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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  1. Peter Bohm & Hans Lind, 1993. "Preference reversal, real-world lotteries, and lottery-interested subjects," Framed Field Experiments 00131, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H, 1988. "An Empirical Study of an Auction with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 865-83, December.
  3. Plott, Charles R. & Sunder, Shyam., . "Efficiency of Experimental Security Markets with Insider Information: An Application of Rational Expectations Models," Working Papers 331, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Douglas Dyer & John H. Kagel, 1996. "Bidding in Common Value Auctions: How the Commercial Construction Industry Corrects for the Winner's Curse," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(10), pages 1463-1475, October.
  5. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  6. Harrison, Glenn W, 1990. "Risk Attitudes in First-Price Auction Experiments: A Bayesian Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 541-46, August.
  7. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
  8. Dyer, D. & Kagel, J.H. & Levin, D., 1988. "A Comparison Of Naive And Experienced Bidders In Common Value Offer Auctions A Laboratory Analysis," Papers 11, Houston - Department of Economics.
  9. John List, 2001. "Do explicit warnings eliminate the hypothetical bias in elicitation procedures? Evidence from field auctions for sportscards," Framed Field Experiments 00163, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Sarah Lichtenstein & Paul Slovic, 1973. "Response-induced reversals of preference in gambling: An extended replication in las vegas," Framed Field Experiments 00169, The Field Experiments Website.
  11. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Milgrom, Paul R. & Weber, Robert J., 1983. "Competitive bidding and proprietary information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 161-169, April.
  12. David Lucking-Reiley & John A. List, 2000. "Demand Reduction in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 961-972, September.
  13. John H. Kagel & Colin M. Campbell & Dan Levin, 1999. "The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 325-334, March.
  14. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. John H. Kagel & Dan Levin, 1999. "Common Value Auctions with Insider Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1219-1238, September.
  16. Friedman, Daniel & Harrison, Glenn W & Salmon, Jon W, 1984. "The Informational Efficiency of Experimental Asset Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 349-408, June.
  17. Levin, Dan & Kagel, John H & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1996. "Revenue Effects and Information Processing in English Common Value Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 442-60, June.
  18. Bohm, Peter & Lind, Hans, 1993. "Preference reversal, real-world lotteries, and lottery-interested subjects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 327-348, December.
  19. Laskowski, Michael C. & Slonim, Robert L., 1999. "An Asymptotic Solution for Sealed Bid Common-Value Auctions with Bidders Having Asymmetric Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 238-255, August.
  20. Robert B. Wilson, 1967. "Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(11), pages 816-820, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Boettke, Peter, 2010. "Markets as economizers of information: Field experimental examination of the “Hayek Hypothesis”," MPRA Paper 27660, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2009. "Subject pool effects in a corruption experiment: A comparison of Indonesian public servants and Indonesian students," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 113-132, March.
  3. Steven Levitt & John List & David Reiley, 2010. "What happens in the field stays in the field: Professionals do not play minimax in laboratory experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00080, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2007-17 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Jack Stecher & Radhika Lunawat & Kira Pronin & John Dickhaut, 2007. "Decision Making and Trade without Probabilities," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-21, CIRANO.
  7. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González & Stephen Rassenti, 2011. "Real Effort, Real Leisure and Real-time Supervision: Incentives and Peer Pressure in Virtual Organizations," Working Papers 11-05, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  8. Fiore, Stephen M. & Harrison, Glenn W. & Hughes, Charles E. & Rutstrm, E. Elisabet, 2009. "Virtual experiments and environmental policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 65-86, January.
  9. François Cochard & Anne Rozan, 2010. "Taxe ambiante : un outil adapté à la lutte contre les coulées de boue ? Une étude expérimentale," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 91(3), pages 296-326.
  10. Cunningham, Thomas, 2013. "Biases and Implicit Knowledge," MPRA Paper 50292, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Michèle Belot & Marco Francesconi, 2013. "Dating Preferences and Meeting Opportunities in Mate Choice Decisions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 474-508.
  12. Jan Hanousek & Evzen Kocenda, 2005. "Learning by Bidding: Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Experiment," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp247, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  13. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2008. "Motivating Altruism: A Field Study," IZA Discussion Papers 3770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & David H. Reiley, 2010. "What Happens in the Field Stays in the Field: Exploring Whether Professionals Play Minimax in Laboratory Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1413-1434, 07.
  15. Arthur Zillante, 2005. "Survival in a Declining Industry: The Case of Baseball Cards," Industrial Organization 0505004, EconWPA.

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