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Learning to bid - an experimental study of bid function adjustments in auctions and fair division games

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  • Werner G¸th
  • Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel
  • Manfred K–nigstein
  • Martin Strobel

Abstract

We examine learning behaviour in auction and fair division experiments with independent private values under two different price rules, first and second price. Participants play all four games repeatedly and submit complete bid functions rather than single bids. This allows us to study how institutional changes are anticipated and whether learning is influenced by the structural differences between games. We find that learning does not drive bidding towards the benchmark solution. Bid functions are adjusted globally rather than locally. Directional learning theory offers a partial explanation for bid changes. The data support a cognitive approach to learning. Copyright 2003 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner G¸th & Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Manfred K–nigstein & Martin Strobel, 2003. "Learning to bid - an experimental study of bid function adjustments in auctions and fair division games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 477-494, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:113:y:2003:i:487:p:477-494
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
    2. Abbink, Klaus & Bolton, Gary E. & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Tang, Fang-Fang, 2001. "Adaptive Learning versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-25, October.
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    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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