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Individual Behavior And Bidding Heterogeneity In Sealed Bid Auctions Where The Number Of Bidders Is Unknown

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  • MARK ISAAC
  • SVETLANA PEVNITSKAYA
  • KURT S. SCHNIER

Abstract

This paper analyzes individual bidding data from a series of first price (FP) and second price (SP) sealed-bid auctions in which the number of bidders is unknown. In SP auctions we find a substantial amount of coincidence with theory. We observe systematic deviations from risk neutral bidding in FP auctions and show theoretically that these deviations are consistent with risk averse preferences. We find essentially no heterogeneity in bidding in SP auctions where risk preferences and the number of bidders do not affect the optimal bid, while in the FP auctions heterogeneity in bidding persists and increases with experience. We conclude that heterogeneity in bidding in FP auctions is consistent with heterogeneity in risk preferences, the attempt to count the number of bidders in the auction, and bidder specific noise. (JEL D44, C91)
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Suggested Citation

  • Mark Isaac & Svetlana Pevnitskaya & Kurt S. Schnier, 2012. "Individual Behavior And Bidding Heterogeneity In Sealed Bid Auctions Where The Number Of Bidders Is Unknown," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 516-533, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:50:y:2012:i:2:p:516-533
    DOI: j.1465-7295.2011.00393.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Grether, David M., 1995. "Are People Bayesian? Uncovering Behavioral Strategies," Working Papers 919, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shachat, Jason & Wei, Lijia, 2013. "Discrete Rule Learning and the Bidding of the Sexes," MPRA Paper 47953, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Boosey, Luke & Brookins, Philip & Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2017. "Contests with group size uncertainty: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 212-229.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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