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Spite and Reciprocity in Auctions

  • Naoko Nishimura

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Shinshu University, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan)

  • Timothy N. Cason

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2076, USA)

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    ()

    (ISER, Osaka University, Ibaraki, 567-0047, Japan
    CASSEL, University of California—Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1484, USA)

  • Yoshikazu Ikeda

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 802-0841, Japan)

The paper presents a complete information model of bidding in second price sealed-bid and ascending-bid (English) auctions, in which potential buyers know the unit valuation of other bidders and may spitefully prefer that their rivals earn a lower surplus. Bidders with spiteful preferences should overbid in equilibrium when they know their rival has a higher value than their own, and bidders with a higher value underbid to reciprocate the spiteful overbidding of the lower value bidders. The model also predicts different bidding behavior in second price as compared to ascending-bid auctions. The paper also presents experimental evidence broadly consistent with the model. In the complete information environment, lower value bidders overbid more than higher value bidders, and they overbid more frequently in the second price auction than in the ascending price auction. Overall, the lower value bidder submits bids that exceed value about half the time. These patterns are not found in the incomplete information environment, consistent with the model.

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Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

Volume (Year): 2 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 365-411

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:2:y:2011:i:3:p:365-411:d:13998
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  1. Cason, Timothy N. & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi & Sjostrom, Tomas & Yamato, Takehiko, 2003. "Secure Implementation Experiments: Do Strategy-proof Mechanisms Really Work?," Working Papers 4-03-1, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Tomas Sjostrom & Takehiko Yamato, 2005. "Secure Implementation," Economics Working Papers 0056, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  3. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  4. DavidJ. Cooper & Hanming Fang, 2008. "Understanding Overbidding In Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1572-1595, October.
  5. Benjamin Edelman & Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2005. "Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords," NBER Working Papers 11765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  7. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  8. Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2008. "The appearance of homo rivalis: Social preferences and the nature of rent seeking," Discussion Papers 2008-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  9. Segal, Uzi & Sobel, Joel, 1999. "Tit for Tat: Foundations of Preferences for Reciprocity in Strategic Settings," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt9xf8836g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  10. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  11. Kawagoe, Toshiji & Mori, Toru, 2001. " Can the Pivotal Mechanism Induce Truth-Telling? An Experimental Study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(3-4), pages 331-54, September.
  12. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  13. 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.
  14. Attiyeh, Greg & Franciosi, Robert & Isaac, R Mark, 2000. " Experiments with the Pivot Process for Providing Public Goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 95-114, January.
  15. Hong, Chew Soo & Nishimura, Naoko, 2003. "Revenue non-equivalence between the English and the second-price auctions: experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 443-458, August.
  16. Ronald Harstad, 2000. "Dominant Strategy Adoption and Bidders' Experience with Pricing Rules," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 261-280, December.
  17. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Hideki Nakamura, 2001. "The 'Spite' Dilemma in Voluntary Contribution Mechanism Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000155, David K. Levine.
  18. Ashish Arora & Amy Greenwald & Karthik Kannan & Ramayya Krishnan, 2007. "Effects of Information-Revelation Policies Under Market-Structure Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(8), pages 1234-1248, August.
  19. Timothy N. Cason & Karthik N. Kannan & Ralph Siebert, 2010. "An Experimental Study of Information Revelation Policies in Sequential Auctions," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1235, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
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