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Bimodal Bidding in Experimental All-Pay Auctions

Author

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  • Christiane Ernst

    (Alumna of the London School of Economics, London WC2A 2AE, UK)

  • Christian Thöni

    (Walras Pareto Center, University of Lausanne, Lausanne-Dorigny CH-1015, Switzerland)

Abstract

We report results from experimental first-price, sealed-bid, all-pay auctions for a good with a common and known value. We observe bidding strategies in groups of two and three bidders and under two extreme information conditions. As predicted by the Nash equilibrium, subjects use mixed strategies. In contrast to the prediction under standard assumptions, bids are drawn from a bimodal distribution: very high and very low bids are much more frequent than intermediate bids. Standard risk preferences cannot account for our results. Bidding behavior is, however, consistent with the predictions of a model with reference dependent preferences as proposed by the prospect theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Christiane Ernst & Christian Thöni, 2013. "Bimodal Bidding in Experimental All-Pay Auctions," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-16, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:4:y:2013:i:4:p:608-623:d:29431
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel G. Stephenson & Alexander L. Brown, 2021. "Playing the field in all-pay auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 489-514, June.
    2. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    3. Baptiste Massenot & Maria Maraki & Christian Thoeni, 2016. "Legal compliance and litigation spending under the English and American rule: Experimental evidence," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 16.19, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
    4. Dietmar Fehr & Julia Schmid, 2018. "Exclusion in all‐pay auctions: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 326-339, June.
    5. Oliver Kirchkamp & Wladislaw Mill, 2019. "Spite vs. risk: explaining overbidding," CESifo Working Paper Series 7631, CESifo.
    6. Gelder, Alan & Kovenock, Dan, 2017. "Dynamic behavior and player types in majoritarian multi-battle contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 444-455.
    7. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Joo Young Jeon & Abhijit Ramalingam, 2018. "Property Rights And Loss Aversion In Contests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(3), pages 1492-1511, July.
    8. Adriana Breaban & Charles N. Noussair & Andreea Victoria Popescu, 2018. "Your money or your time? Experimental evidence on overbidding in all-pay auctions," Working Papers 18-20, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    9. Foster, Joshua, 2020. "Loss aversion and sunk cost sensitivity in all-pay auctions for charity: Theory and experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    10. Tracy Xiao Liu, 2018. "All-pay auctions with endogenous bid timing: an experimental study," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 47(1), pages 247-271, March.
    11. Popescu, Andreea Victoria, 2020. "Essays in asset pricing and auctions," Other publications TiSEM 879f7643-7123-4bc8-a5e7-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. Gelder, Alan & Kovenock, Dan & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "Behavior in All-Pay Auctions with Ties," MPRA Paper 67517, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Astrid, Gamba & Luca, Stanca, 2016. "Mis-Judging Merit: The Effects of Adjudication Errors in Contests," Working Papers 345, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 14 Jul 2016.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    all-pay auction; prospect theory; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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