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Naturally Occurring Markets and Exogenous Laboratory Experiments: A Case Study of the Winner's Curse

  • GlennW. Harrison
  • JohnA. List

We examine the relevance of experimental findings from laboratory settings that abstract from the field context of the task that theory purports to explain. Using common value auction theory as our guide, we identify naturally occurring settings in which one can test the theory. Experienced agents bidding in familiar roles do not fall prey to the winner's curse. Yet, experienced agents fall prey to the winner's curse when bidding in an unfamiliar role. We conclude that the theory predicts field behaviour well when one is able to identify naturally occurring field counterparts to the key theoretical conditions. Copyright � 2008 The Author(s).

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 528 (04)
Pages: 822-843

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:528:p:822-843
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  1. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  2. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  3. Robert B. Wilson, 1967. "Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(11), pages 816-820, July.
  4. Plott, Charles R. & Sunder, Shyam., . "Efficiency of Experimental Security Markets with Insider Information: An Application of Rational Expectations Models," Working Papers 331, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1991. "The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 362-69, March.
  6. Bohm, Peter & Lind, Hans, 1993. "Preference reversal, real-world lotteries, and lottery-interested subjects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 327-348, December.
  7. Friedman, Daniel & Harrison, Glenn W & Salmon, Jon W, 1984. "The Informational Efficiency of Experimental Asset Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 349-408, June.
  8. David Lucking-Reiley & John A. List, 2000. "Demand Reduction in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 961-972, September.
  9. Laskowski, Michael C. & Slonim, Robert L., 1999. "An Asymptotic Solution for Sealed Bid Common-Value Auctions with Bidders Having Asymmetric Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 238-255, August.
  10. John H. Kagel & Dan Levin, 1999. "Common Value Auctions with Insider Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1219-1238, September.
  11. Dyer, Douglas & Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1989. "A Comparison of Naive and Experienced Bidders in Common Value Offer Auctions: A Laboratory Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 108-15, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Harrison, Glenn W, 1990. "Risk Attitudes in First-Price Auction Experiments: A Bayesian Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 541-46, August.
  14. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Milgrom, Paul R. & Weber, Robert J., 1983. "Competitive bidding and proprietary information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 161-169, April.
  15. John List, 2001. "Do explicit warnings eliminate the hypothetical bias in elicitation procedures? Evidence from field auctions for sportscards," Framed Field Experiments 00163, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Douglas Dyer & John H. Kagel, 1996. "Bidding in Common Value Auctions: How the Commercial Construction Industry Corrects for the Winner's Curse," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(10), pages 1463-1475, October.
  17. Hans Lind & Peter Bohm, 1993. "Preference reversal, real-world lotteries, and lottery-interested subjects," Framed Field Experiments 00131, The Field Experiments Website.
  18. Levin, Dan & Kagel, John H & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1996. "Revenue Effects and Information Processing in English Common Value Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 442-60, June.
  19. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H, 1988. "An Empirical Study of an Auction with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 865-83, December.
  20. Paul Slovic & Sarah Lichtenstein, 1973. "Response-induced reversals of preference in gambling: An extended replication in las vegas," Framed Field Experiments 00169, The Field Experiments Website.
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