IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Bidder's Curse

  • Ulrike Malmendier
  • Young Han Lee

We employ a novel approach to identify overbidding in auctions. We compare online auction prices to fixed prices for the same item on the same webpage. In detailed data on auctions of a board game, 42 percent of auctions exceed the simultaneous fixed price. The result replicates in a broad cross-section of auctions (48 percent overbidding). A small fraction of overbidders, 17 percent of bidders, suffices to generate the large fraction of auctions with overbidding. We show that the observed behavior is inconsistent with rational behavior, even allowing for uncertainty about prices and switching costs, since the expected auction price also exceeds the fixed price. Limited attention best explains our results. (JEL D12, D44)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.2.749
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/april2011/20080534_data.zip
File Function: dataset accompanying article
Download Restriction: no

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 749-87

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:2:p:749-87
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Nicholas Shunda, 2007. "Auctions with a Buy Price: The Case of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Working papers 2007-42, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2004. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 10570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John W. Pratt & David A. Wise & Richard Zeckhauser, 1979. "Price Differences in almost Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 189-211.
  4. Bernardo, Antonio E & Cornell, Bradford, 1997. " The Valuation of Complex Derivatives by Major Investment Firms: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 785-98, June.
  5. Erik Eyster & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "Cursed Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1623-1672, 09.
  6. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Poen, Eva & Rei, J. Philipp, 2009. "Outside options: Another reason to choose the first-price auction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 153-169, February.
  7. Lucking-Reiley, David, 2000. "Auctions on the Internet: What's Being Auctioned, and How?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 227-52, September.
  8. Tanjim Hossain & John Morgan, 2006. "...plus shipping and handling: Revenue (non) equivalence in field experiments on ebay," Natural Field Experiments 00270, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Oster Sharon M. & Scott Morton Fiona M., 2005. "Behavioral Biases Meet the Market: The Case of Magazine Subscription Prices," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, March.
  10. Wang, Ruqu, 1993. "Auctions versus Posted-Price Selling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 838-51, September.
  11. Orley Ashenfelter & David Genesove, 1992. "Testing for Price Anomalies in Real Estate Auctions," NBER Working Papers 4036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 247-272, May.
  13. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  14. Heidhues, Paul & Köszegi, Botond, 2005. "The Impact of Consumer Loss Aversion on Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. 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.
  16. Paul Klemperer, 2001. "How (Not) to Run Auctions: the European 3G Telecom Auctions," Economics Papers 2002-W5, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  17. Kultti, Klaus, 1999. "Equivalence of Auctions and Posted Prices," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 106-113, April.
  18. Binmore, Kenneth & Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: The Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Dennis Halcoussis & Timothy Mathews, 2007. "eBay auctions for Third Eye Blind concert tickets," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 31(1), pages 65-78, March.
  20. Ritter, Jay R, 1991. " The Long-run Performance of Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 3-27, March.
  21. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2006. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Non-Equilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000256, UCLA Department of Economics.
  23. Stoll, Hans R. & Curley, Anthony J., 1970. "Small Business and the New Issues Market for Equities," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 309-322, September.
  24. Thomas Palfrey, 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private Value Auctions," Theory workshop papers 357966000000000089, UCLA Department of Economics.
  25. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
  26. Uri Simonsohn & Dan Ariely, 2008. "When Rational Sellers Face Nonrational Buyers: Evidence from Herding on eBay," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(9), pages 1624-1637, September.
  27. Sanjeev Dewan & Vernon Hsu, 2004. "Adverse Selection In Electronic Markets: Evidence From Online Stamp Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 497-516, December.
  28. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. "Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
  29. Edward Lazear & Ulrike Malmendier & Roberto Weber, 2006. "Sorting, Prices, and Social Preferences," NBER Working Papers 12041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  31. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:983-1005 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Pekka Hietala & Steven N. Kaplan & David T. Robinson, 2002. "What is the Price of Hubris? Using Takeover Battles to Infer Overpayments and Synergies," NBER Working Papers 9264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Price Dispersion In The Small And In The Large: Evidence From An Internet Price Comparison Site," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 463-496, December.
  34. Ravi Jagannathan & Ann E. Sherman, 2006. "Why Do IPO Auctions Fail?," NBER Working Papers 12151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2004. "Contract Design and Self-Control: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 353-402.
  36. Bajari, Patrick & Hortacsu, Ali, 2003. " The Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices, and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 329-55, Summer.
  37. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71.
  38. Glenn Ellison, 2003. "A Model of Add-on Pricing," NBER Working Papers 9721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  40. Anna Dodonova & Yuri Khoroshilov, 2004. "Anchoring and transaction utility: evidence from on-line auctions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(5), pages 307-310.
  41. David J. Cooper & Hanming Fang, 2006. "Understanding Overbidding in Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1557, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  42. 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.
  43. Daniel Houser & John Wooders, 2006. "Reputation in Auctions: Theory, and Evidence from eBay," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 353-369, 06.
  44. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
  45. Ginger Zhe Jin & Andrew Kato, 2006. "Price, quality, and reputation: evidence from an online field experiment," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 983-1005, December.
  46. Glenn Ellison, 2005. "A Model of Add-On Pricing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 585-637.
  47. Eliaz, Kfir & Offerman, Theo & Schotter, Andrew, 2008. "Creating competition out of thin air: An experimental study of right-to-choose auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 383-416, March.
  48. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortaçsu, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
  49. Ronald Harstad, 2000. "Dominant Strategy Adoption and Bidders' Experience with Pricing Rules," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(3), pages 261-280, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. The Bidder's Curse (AER 2011) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:2:p:749-87. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.