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Auctions with resale when private values are uncertain: Evidence from the lab and field

  • Lange, Andreas
  • List, John A.
  • Price, Michael K.

Auction theory represents one of the richest areas of research in economics over the past three decades. Yet, whether, and to what extent, the introduction of secondary resale markets influences bidding behavior in sealed-bid first-price auctions remains under researched. This study begins by examining field data from a unique data set that includes nearly 3000 auctions (over 10,000 individual bids) for cutting rights of standing timber in British Columbia from 1996 to 2000. In comparing bidding patterns across agents who are likely to have resale opportunities with those who likely do not, we find evidence that is consistent with theory. Critical evaluation of the reduced-form bidding model, however, reveals that sharp tests of the theoretical predictions are not possible because several other differences may exist across these bidder types. We therefore use a laboratory experiment to examine if the resale opportunity by itself can have the predicted theoretical effect. We find that while it does have the predicted effect, a theoretical model based on risk-averse bidders explains the overall data patterns more accurately than a model based on risk-neutral bidders. Beyond testing theory, the paper highlights the inferential power of combining naturally occurring data with laboratory data.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 54-64

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:29:y:2011:i:1:p:54-64
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Garratt, Rod & Tröger, Thomas, 2005. "Speculation in Standard Auctions with Resale," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 42, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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  9. Laffont & Ossard & Vuong, 1995. "Econometrics of first-price auctions," Working Papers 153731, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
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  13. Klemperer, P., 1999. "Auction Theory: a Guide to the Literature," Economics Papers 1999-w12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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  15. Jehiel, Phillipe & Moldovanu, Benny, 1998. "Efficient Design with Interdependent Valuations," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-22, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  16. Georganas, Sotiris & Kagel, John, 2011. "Asymmetric auctions with resale: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 359-371, January.
  17. Susan Athey, 2005. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000098, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. Haile, Philip A., 2000. "Partial Pooling at the Reserve Price in Auctions with Resale Opportunities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 231-248, November.
  19. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
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  22. Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price, 2004. "Auctions with Resale When Private Values Are Uncertain: Theory and Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
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