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Common Value Auctions with Default: An Experimental Approach


  • Matthew Roelofs



This paper examines a common value auction in which bidder default is explicitly allowed. The lack of contractual enforcement has implications for the formation of bids as well as the revenue properties of the auction. Using a common value procurement auction, we explore these implications in an experimental setting. Our results show that bidders are more aggressive when default is allowed. A theoretical result shows that allowing default can actually be in the best interest of the auctioneer. Experimental evidence, however, indicates that this result does not hold true in practice. One possible reason for this discrepancy is that the data in our experiments is consistent with winner's curse behavior. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Roelofs, 2002. "Common Value Auctions with Default: An Experimental Approach," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(3), pages 233-252, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:5:y:2002:i:3:p:233-252
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1020840420643

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Robert G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1991. "The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 347-361, March.
    2. Zheng, Charles Z., 2001. "High Bids and Broke Winners," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 129-171, September.
    3. von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1991. "Swiss Auctions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(231), pages 341-357, August.
    4. Waehrer Keith, 1995. "A Model of Auction Contracts with Liquidated Damages," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 531-555, December.
    5. Kagel, John H. & Levin, Dan, 1986. "The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 894-920, December.
    6. John H. Kagel & Colin M. Campbell & Dan Levin, 1999. "The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 325-334, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wei-Shiun Chang & Timothy C. Salmon & Krista J. Saral, 2016. "Procurement Auctions With Renegotiation And Wealth Constraints," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1684-1704, July.
    2. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2014. "Bidding under auctioneer default risk," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 123-133.


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