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The Effect of Regret on Optimal Bidding in Auctions

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans

    (Department of Business Administration, University of Illinois, 1206 South Sixth Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820)

Abstract

While most models of auctions and competitive bidding assume that each bidder's utility for an outcome depends only on his own profit, we allow the utility to also depend on any regret that a bidder suffers after the fact and characterize when and how this affects bidding. Specifically, a winner might regret "money left on the table" in Federal offshore oil lease sales, while a loser might regret seeing an object sell for less than his own value for it. We show that for risk-neutral bidders who, after the fact, know the winner's price for the object, a bidder's optimal bidding strategy will not depend on the relative weight given to profit versus regret if both forms of regret weigh equally heavily. However, if bidders weight money-left-on-the-table regret more heavily, then the bid taker suffers. Likewise, if losers do not learn the winner's price, then the bid taker also suffers. Thus, the existing models' exclusion of regret from risk neutral bidders' utility functions affects the applicability of the resulting theory under certain, now clearly delineated, conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans, 1989. "The Effect of Regret on Optimal Bidding in Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(6), pages 685-692, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:35:y:1989:i:6:p:685-692
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.35.6.685
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Baye & Dan Kovenock & Casper Vries, 2012. "Contests with rank-order spillovers," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(2), pages 315-350, October.
    2. Katuščák, Peter & Michelucci, Fabio & Zajíček, Miroslav, 2015. "Does feedback really matter in one-shot first-price auctions?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 139-152.
    3. Andreas Roider & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2012. "Auctions with Anticipated Emotions: Overbidding, Underbidding, and Optimal Reserve Prices," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 808-830, September.
    4. Theodore L. Turocy & Elizabeth Watson, 2012. "Reservation Values and Regret in Laboratory First-Price Auctions: Context and Bidding Behavior," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1163-1180, April.
    5. Todd R. Kaplan & Shmuel Zamir, 2014. "Advances in Auctions," Discussion Papers 1405, University of Exeter, Department of Economics.
    6. Dirk Bergemann & Karl Schlag, 2012. "Robust Monopoly Pricing," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Robust Mechanism Design The Role of Private Information and Higher Order Beliefs, chapter 13, pages 417-441 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Amar Cheema & Peter Leszczyc & Rajesh Bagchi & Richard Bagozzi & James Cox & Utpal Dholakia & Eric Greenleaf & Amit Pazgal & Michael Rothkopf & Michael Shen & Shyam Sunder & Robert Zeithammer, 2005. "Economics, Psychology, and Social Dynamics of Consumer Bidding in Auctions," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 401-413, December.
    8. Axel Ockenfels & David Reiley & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2006. "Online Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Breitmoser, Yves, 2015. "Knowing me, imagining you: Projection and overbidding in auctions," MPRA Paper 62052, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Anna Dodonova & Yuri Khoroshilov, 2009. "Behavioral biases in auctions: an experimental study," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 2218-2226.
    11. Andrés Romeu, 2011. "Cluster Detection in Laboratory Auction Data: A Model-Based Approach," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(4), pages 473-488, December.
    12. Breitmoser, Yves, 2017. "Knowing Me, Imagining You:," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 36, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    13. Andrew M. Davis & Elena Katok & Anthony M. Kwasnica, 2011. "Do Auctioneers Pick Optimal Reserve Prices?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(1), pages 177-192, January.
    14. Filiz-Ozbay, Emel & Ozbay, Erkut Y., 2010. "Anticipated loser regret in third price auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 217-219, May.
    15. repec:eee:ejores:v:261:y:2017:i:3:p:994-1000 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Vitali Gretschko & Alexander Rajko, 2015. "Excess information acquisition in auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 335-355, September.
    17. Wei Lim & Joo Lee-Partridge & Soo Tan, 2008. "Revenue implication of auction value in k-price sealed-bid auctions: An experimental study," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 25-38, March.
    18. Kaplan, Todd R. & Zamir, Shmuel, 2015. "Advances in Auctions," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, Elsevier.
    19. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & John A. List & David H. Reiley, 2005. "Demand Reduction in Multi-Unit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 472-476, March.
    20. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2008. "Regret and Feedback Information in First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(4), pages 808-819, April.

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