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Auctions with Resale When Private Values Are Uncertain: Evidence from the Lab and Field

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  • Andreas Lange
  • John A. List
  • Michael K. Price

Abstract

Auction theory represents one of the richest areas of research in economics over the past three decades. Yet, whether, and to what extent, the introduction of secondary resale markets influences bidding behavior in sealed bid first-price auctions remains under researched. This study begins by examining field data from a unique data set that includes nearly 3,000 auctions (over 10,000 individual bids) for cutting rights of standing timber in British Columbia from 1996-2000. In comparing bidding patterns across agents who are likely to have resale opportunities with those who likely do not, we find evidence that is consistent with theory. Critical evaluation of the reduced-form bidding model, however, reveals that sharp tests of the theoretical predictions are not possible because several other differences may exist across these bidder types. We therefore use a laboratory experiment to examine if the resale opportunity by itself can have the predicted theoretical effect. We find that while it does have the predicted effect, a theoretical model based on risk-averse bidders explains the overall data patterns more accurately than a model based on risk-neutral bidders. Beyond testing theory, the paper highlights the inferential power of combining naturally occurring data with laboratory data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16360.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as Lange, Andreas & List, John A. & Price, Michael K., 2011. "Auctions with resale when private values are uncertain: Evidence from the lab and field," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 54-64, January.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16360

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  1. Georganas, Sotiris & Kagel, John, 2011. "Asymmetric auctions with resale: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 359-371, January.
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  10. Haile, Philip A., 2000. "Partial Pooling at the Reserve Price in Auctions with Resale Opportunities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 231-248, November.
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  12. Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1997. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," NBER Working Papers 6037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Georganas, Sotiris, 2011. "English auctions with resale: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 147-166, September.
  16. Jonathan Levin & Susan Athey & Enrique Seira, 2004. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Working Papers 2004.142, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  17. Haile,P.A., 1999. "Auctions with resale," Working papers 33, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  18. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
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  22. Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price, 2004. "Auctions with Resale When Private Values Are Uncertain: Theory and Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Rod Garrat & Thomas Tröger, 2005. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse10_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Banerjee, Prasenjit & Shogren, Jason F., 2014. "Bidding behavior given point and interval values in a second-price auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 126-137.
  2. Saral, Krista Jabs, 2010. "Speculation and Demand Reduction in English Clock Auctions with Resale," MPRA Paper 25139, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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