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Indicative bidding: An experimental analysis

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  • Kagel, John
  • Pevnitskaya, Svetlana
  • Ye, Lixin

Abstract

Indicative bidding is a practice commonly used in sales of complex and very expensive assets. Theoretical analysis shows that efficient entry is not guaranteed under indicative bidding, since there is no equilibrium in which more qualified bidders are more likely to be selected for the final sale. Furthermore, there exist alternative bid procedures that, in theory at least, guarantee 100% efficiency and higher revenue for the seller. We employ experiments to compare actual performance between indicative bidding and one of these alternative procedures. The data shows that indicative bidding performs as well as the alternative procedure in terms of entry efficiency, while having other characteristics that favor it over the alternative procedure. Our results provide an explanation for the widespread use of indicative bidding despite the potential problem identified in the equilibrium analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Kagel, John & Pevnitskaya, Svetlana & Ye, Lixin, 2008. "Indicative bidding: An experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 697-721, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:62:y:2008:i:2:p:697-721
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vivek Bhattacharya & James W. Roberts & Andrew Sweeting, 2014. "Regulating bidder participation in auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(4), pages 675-704, December.
    2. Jan Boone & JacobK. Goeree, 2009. "Optimal Privatisation Using Qualifying Auctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 277-297, January.
    3. Fan, Cuihong & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2008. "Procurement with costly bidding, optimal shortlisting, and rebates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 327-334, March.
    4. Katerina Sherstyuk & Nina Karmanskaya & Pavel Teslia, 2016. "Bidding with money or action plans? Asset allocation under strategic uncertainty," Working Papers 201603, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    5. Marco Casari & John C. Ham & John H. Kagel, 2007. "Selection Bias, Demographic Effects, and Ability Effects in Common Value Auction Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1278-1304, September.
    6. Ham, John C. & Kagel, John H., 2006. "Gender effects in private value auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 375-382, September.
    7. Bligh, David C. & Ismet Ugursal, V., 2012. "Extended exergy analysis of the economy of Nova Scotia, Canada," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 878-890.

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