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Buy or wait, that is the option: the buyer's option in sequential laboratory auctions

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  • Philippe Février
  • Laurent Linnemer
  • Michael Visser

Abstract

This paper reports the results from an experiment on two-unit sequential auctions with and without a buyer’s option (which gives the winner of the first auction the right to buy the second unit at the winning price). The demand for the two items is either decreasing, flat, or increasing. The 4 main auction institutions (first-price, Dutch, second-price, English) are studied. We find that observed bidding behavior is close to Nash equilibrium bidding in the auctions for the second unit, but there are substantial deviations in the auctions for the first unit. Despite these deviations, the buyer’s option is correctly used in most cases. The revenue-ranking of the 4 auction institutions is the same as in single-unit experiments. Finally, successive prices are declining when the buyer’s option is available. The last 2 results are used to compare real-life auctions and to discuss the findings in related field-data studies.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Février & Laurent Linnemer & Michael Visser, 2007. "Buy or wait, that is the option: the buyer's option in sequential laboratory auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 98-118, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:38:y:2007:i:1:p:98-118
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1756-2171.2007.tb00046.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Février & William Roos & Michael Visser, 2005. "The Buyer's Option in Multi-Unit Ascending Auctions: The Case of Wine Auctions at Drouot," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 813-847, December.
    2. Jane Black & David de Meza, 1992. "Systematic Price Differences Between Successive Auctionsare no Anomaly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(4), pages 607-628, December.
    3. Burns, Penny, 1985. "Market structure and buyer behaviour : Price adjustment in a multi-object progressive oral auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 275-300, September.
    4. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
    5. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Victor A. Ginsburgh, 1998. "Absentee Bidders and the Declining Price Anomaly in Wine Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1302-1331, December.
    7. Kagel, John H. & Levin, Dan, 2005. "Multi-unit demand auctions with synergies: behavior in sealed-bid versus ascending-bid uniform-price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 170-207, November.
    8. McAfee R. Preston & Vincent Daniel, 1993. "The Declining Price Anomaly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 191-212, June.
    9. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 2001. "Behavior in Multi-unit Demand Auctions: Experiments with Uniform Price and Dynamic Vickrey Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 413-454, March.
    10. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64:p:03 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Branco, Fernando, 1997. "Sequential auctions with synergies: An example," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 159-163, February.
    12. Coppinger, Vicki M & Smith, Vernon L & Titus, Jon A, 1980. "Incentives and Behavior in English, Dutch and Sealed-Bid Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 1-22, January.
    13. 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.
    14. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1993. "Independent Private Value Auctions: Bidder Behaviour in First-, Second- and Third-Price Auctions with Varying Numbers of Bidders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 868-879, July.
    15. Daniel J. Zizzo & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Are People Willing to Pay to Reduce Others'Incomes?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 63-64, pages 39-65.
    16. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-1326, December.
    17. Elena Katok & Alvin E. Roth, 2004. "Auctions of Homogeneous Goods with Increasing Returns: Experimental Comparison of Alternative "Dutch" Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(8), pages 1044-1063, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2013. "Multiunit Auctions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 461-490, July.
    2. Rosato, Antonio, 2014. "Loss Aversion in Sequential Auctions: Endogenous Interdependence, Informational Externalities and the "Afternoon Effect"," MPRA Paper 56824, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dejan Trifunovic, 2014. "Sequential Auctions And Price Anomalies," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 59(200), pages 7-42, January –.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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