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Demand Reduction In Multi-Unit Auctions With Varying Numbers Of Bidders: Theory And Evidence From A Field Experiment


  • Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans
  • John A. List
  • David H. Reiley


Recent auction theory and experimental results document strategic demand reduction by bidders in uniform-price auctions. The present article extends this area of research to consider the effects of varying the number of bidders. Our theoretical model predicts that demand reduction should decrease with an increase in the number of bidders. Considerable demand reduction remains even in the asymptotic limit, although truthful bidding yields profits very close to those of equilibrium play. We experimentally confirm several of our predictions by examining bidding behavior of subjects in an actual marketplace, auctioning dozens of sportscards using both uniform-price and Vickrey auction formats. Copyright 2006 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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  • Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & John A. List & David H. Reiley, 2006. "Demand Reduction In Multi-Unit Auctions With Varying Numbers Of Bidders: Theory And Evidence From A Field Experiment ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 203-231, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:47:y:2006:i:1:p:203-231

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. David Lucking-Reiley & John A. List, 2000. "Demand Reduction in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 961-972, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schnitzlein, Charles R. & Shao, Minjie, 2013. "Capacity constraints and the winner's curse in multi-unit common value auctions," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 188-201.
    2. Li, Hao & Elbakidze, Levan, 2016. "Application of Regression Discontinuity Approach in Experimental Auctions: A Case Study of Gaining Participants’ Trust and Their Willingness to Pay," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236149, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Ping Zhang, 2006. "A Complete Characterization of Pure Strategy Equilibrium in Uniform Price IPO Auctions," Discussion Papers 2006-06, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    4. Dormady, Noah C., 2014. "Carbon auctions, energy markets & market power: An experimental analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 468-482.
    5. Manzano, Carolina & Vives, Xavier, 2016. "Market Power and Welfare in Asymmetric Divisible Good Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 11731, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Porter, David & Rassenti, Stephen & Shobe, William & Smith, Vernon & Winn, Abel, 2009. "The design, testing and implementation of Virginia's NOx allowance auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 190-200, February.
    7. Levitt, Steven D. & List, John A., 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-18, January.
    8. Katkar Rama & Reiley David H, 2007. "Public versus Secret Reserve Prices in eBay Auctions: Results from a Pokémon Field Experiment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-25, January.
    9. Tchuindjo, Leonard, 2015. "Pre-auction short positions and impacts on primary dealers’ bidding behavior in US Treasury auctions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 193-201.
    10. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Haeringer, Guillaume & Klijn, Flip, 2011. "A comment on "School choice: An experimental study" [J. Econ. Theory 127 (1) (2006) 202-231]," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 392-396, January.
    11. Axel Ockenfels & David Reiley & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2006. "Online Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Christopher M. Anderson & Daniel S. Holland, 2006. "Auctions for Initial Sale of Annual Catch Entitlement," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(3), pages 333-352.
    13. Dormady, Noah C., 2013. "Market power in cap-and-trade auctions: A Monte Carlo approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 788-797.
    14. Akaichi, Faical & Nayga, Rodolfo M. & Gil, José M., 2014. "Demand reduction in multi-unit auctions with varying number of bidders and units," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 443-445.
    15. Raphaële Préget & Sophie Thoyer, 2009. "Multi-Unit Auctions and Competition Stricture," Working Papers 09-18, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2009.
    16. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2002. "Identification of Standard Auction Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2107-2140, November.
    17. Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2013. "Multiunit Auctions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 461-490, July.
    18. Elskamp, Rebecca, 2016. "Asymmetric Effects of Winning and Losing Experience in Multi-Unit Auctions," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236279, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2006. "E-sourcing in Procurement: Theory and Behavior in Reverse Auctions with Noncompetitive Contracts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 581-596, April.
    20. Noah Dormady, 2016. "Carbon Auction Revenue and Market Power: An Experimental Analysis," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(11), pages 1-20, November.
    21. Levan Elbakidze & Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr. & Hao Li & Chris McIntosh, 2014. "Value elicitation for multiple quantities of a quasi-public good using open ended choice experiments and uniform price auctions," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(2), pages 253-265, March.
    22. Ping Zhang, 2009. "Characterization of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Uniform Price IPO Auctions," Discussion Papers 2009-05, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    23. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2003. "Bidding Behavior in Multi-Unit Auctions - An Experimental Investigation and some Theoretical Insights," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp210, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    24. Ahlberg , Joakim, 2012. "Multi-unit common value auctions: a laboratory experiment with three sealed-bid mechanisms," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:23, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    25. Maurice Doyon & Lota Dabio Tamini & Virginie Simard & Kent Messer & Harry M. Kaiser, 2006. "L'économie expérimentale pour l'analyse de modifications au système centralisé de vente du quota laitier au Québec," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-23, CIRANO.

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