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Auctions with Anticipated Emotions: Overbidding, Underbidding, and Optimal Reserve Prices

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  • Andreas Roider
  • Patrick W. Schmitz

Abstract

The experimental literature has documented that there is overbidding in second-price auctions, regardless of bidders' valuations. In contrast, in first-price auctions there tends to be overbidding for large valuations, but underbidding for small valuations. We show that the experimental evidence can be explained by a simple extension of the standard auction model, where bidders anticipate positive or negative emotions caused by the mere fact of winning or losing. Even if the "emotional" (dis-)utility is very small, the seller's optimal reserve price r* may be significantly different from the standard model. Moreover, r* is decreasing in the number of bidders.
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  • Andreas Roider & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2012. "Auctions with Anticipated Emotions: Overbidding, Underbidding, and Optimal Reserve Prices," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 808-830, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:114:y:2012:i:3:p:808-830
    DOI: j.1467-9442.2012.01709.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Corazzini & Stefano Galavotti & Rupert Sausgruber & Paola Valbonesi, 2017. "Allotment in first-price auctions: an experimental investigation," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 70-99, March.
    2. Maurizio Canavari & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Jayson L. Lusk & Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr., 2018. "How to run an experimental auction: A review of recent advances," Working Papers 2018-5, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
    3. Bartling, Björn & Netzer, Nick, 2016. "An externality-robust auction: Theory and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 186-204.
    4. Brown, Alexander L. & Velez, Rodrigo A., 2016. "The costs and benefits of symmetry in common-ownership allocation problems," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 115-131.
    5. Botond Köszegi, 2014. "Behavioral Contract Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1075-1118, December.
    6. Li, Yanhai, 2020. "Optimal reserve prices in sealed-bid auctions with reference effects," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    7. Ahmad, Husnain Fateh, 2015. "Endogenous price expectations as reference points in auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 46-63.
    8. Pantelis Koutroumpis & Martin Cave, 2018. "Auction design and auction outcomes," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 275-297, June.
    9. Alexander L. Brown & Rodrigo A. Velez, 2019. "Empirical bias and efficiency of alpha-auctions: experimental evidence," Papers 1905.03876, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2020.
    10. Ziyi Tan & Shulin Liu, 2022. "The Generalized First- and Second-Price Auctions: Overbidding, Underbidding, and Optimal Reserve Price," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 10(3), pages 1-15, January.
    11. Brown, Alexander L. & Van Essen, Matt, 2022. "Breaking-up should not be hard to do! Designing contracts to avoid wars of attrition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    12. Ferona, Angeliki & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2012. "Measurement of excess bidding in auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 377-380.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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