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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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Suggested Citation

  • 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. Bartling, Björn & Netzer, Nick, 2016. "An externality-robust auction: Theory and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 186-204.
    3. 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.
    4. Botond Köszegi, 2014. "Behavioral Contract Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1075-1118, December.
    5. Ahmad, Husnain Fateh, 2015. "Endogenous price expectations as reference points in auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 46-63.
    6. Ferona, Angeliki & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2012. "Measurement of excess bidding in auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 377-380.

    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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