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The Impact of Online Auction Duration


  • Ernan Haruvy

    () (School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75083)

  • Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszczyc

    () (Marketing Department, School of Business, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6, Canada)


One view regarding auction duration suggests that longer auctions would result in more bidders and more bids, which in turn would result in higher prices. An opposing view is that shorter auctions might appeal to impatient bidders, or alternatively, that shorter duration might lead to more competitive dynamics. To examine these competing notions, we conduct pairwise comparisons of simultaneous auctions identical in all but duration. The auctions are conducted on two different platforms---eBay and a local auction site. We find that in eBay auctions, longer duration increases the number of bidders and bids, and consequently increases final prices by about 11%. On the local auction website, with far fewer auctions and a more steady set of participants, the effect is reversed, and shorter auctions generate higher prices by about 20%. Both sets of effects are robust and significant. We look at bidding activity on both sites to try to get at the root of that reversal. We find that in eBay auctions, the higher price in the longer-duration auction is accompanied by a higher number of participating bidders and a higher number of bids placed in the auction. In the local site, we find that the auction duration does not significantly affect the number of participating bidders or the number of bids placed in an auction. However, the magnitude of jump bids is negatively and significantly correlated with duration. These jump bids are in turn shown to impact final prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernan Haruvy & Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszczyc, 2010. "The Impact of Online Auction Duration," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 99-106, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ordeca:v:7:y:2010:i:1:p:99-106
    DOI: 10.1287/deca.1090.0149

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C. & Zillante, Arthur, 2007. "A theory of jump bidding in ascending auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 144-164, January.
    2. Ernan Haruvy & Peter Popkowski Leszczyc & Octavian Carare & James Cox & Eric Greenleaf & Wolfgang Jank & Sandy Jap & Young-Hoon Park & Michael Rothkopf, 2008. "Competition between auctions," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 431-448, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam, Marc T.P. & Krämer, Jan & Müller, Marius B., 2015. "Auction Fever! How Time Pressure and Social Competition Affect Bidders’ Arousal and Bids in Retail Auctions," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 468-485.
    2. Haji, Anouar El & Krawczyk, Michał & Sylwestrzak, Marta & Zawojska, Ewa, 2019. "Time pressure and risk taking in auctions: A field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 68-79.
    3. Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Ott, Marion, 2019. "How the auction design influences procurement prices: An experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-061, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Emmanuel W. Ayaburi & Jaeung Lee & Michele Maasberg, 0. "Understanding Crowdsourcing Contest Fitness Strategic Decision Factors and Performance: An Expectation-Confirmation Theory Perspective," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-14.
    5. Yongfu He & Peter Popkowski Leszczyc, 2013. "The impact of jump bidding in online auctions," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 387-397, December.
    6. Nicola Lacetera & Bradley J. Larsen & Devin G. Pope & Justin R. Sydnor, 2016. "Bid Takers or Market Makers? The Effect of Auctioneers on Auction Outcome," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 195-229, November.
    7. Ernan Haruvy & Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszczyc, 2010. "Search and Choice in Online Consumer Auctions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(6), pages 1152-1164, 11-12.
    8. Robert F. Bordley & Elena Katok & L. Robin Keller, 2010. "Honoring Michael H. Rothkopf's Legacy of Rigor and Relevance in Auction Theory: From the Editors," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 1-4, March.
    9. Wedad Elmaghraby & Anandasivam Gopal & Ali Pilehvar, 2012. "Reference Prices and Bidder Heterogeneity in Secondary Market Online B2B Auctions," Working Papers 12-06, NET Institute, revised Sep 2012.
    10. Wedad J. Elmaghraby & Elena Katok & Natalia Santamaría, 2012. "A Laboratory Investigation of Rank Feedback in Procurement Auctions," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 14(1), pages 128-144, January.
    11. Martin Spann & Robert Zeithammer & Marco Bertini & Ernan Haruvy & Sandy D. Jap & Oded Koenigsberg & Vincent Mak & Peter Popkowski Leszczyc & Bernd Skiera & Manoj Thomas, 2018. "Beyond Posted Prices: the Past, Present, and Future of Participative Pricing Mechanisms," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 5(1), pages 121-136, March.
    12. Emmanuel W. Ayaburi & Jaeung Lee & Michele Maasberg, 2020. "Understanding Crowdsourcing Contest Fitness Strategic Decision Factors and Performance: An Expectation-Confirmation Theory Perspective," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 1227-1240, October.
    13. Ronald Peeters & Martin Strobel & Dries Vermeulen & Markus Walzl, 2016. "The Impact of the Irrelevant: Temporary Buy-Options and Bidding Behavior in Auctions," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, March.

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    auctions; field experiments; duration; frenzy; jump bids;


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