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

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  • GlennW. Harrison
  • JohnA. List

Abstract

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).

Suggested Citation

  • GlennW. Harrison & JohnA. List, 2008. "Naturally Occurring Markets and Exogenous Laboratory Experiments: A Case Study of the Winner's Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 822-843, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:528:p:822-843
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Plott, Charles R & Sunder, Shyam, 1982. "Efficiency of Experimental Security Markets with Insider Information: An Application of Rational-Expectations Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 663-698, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General

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