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Presidential Memorabilia on eBay: Value, Minimum Bid, and Popularity


  • Jannett Highfill

    (Bradley University)

  • Kevin O’Brien

    (Bradley University)


The paper develops a simple theoretical framework for empirical investigation of the final price, number of bids, and whether an item sold for eBay auction data collected in 2009-2010 for presidential memorabilia items. The explanatory variables include the eBay auction variables minimum bid, seller feedback, shipping and handling, and the buy-it-now feature, as well as some political variables and a measure of popularity. One contribution of the paper is the introduction of the popularity measure to the empirical analysis. The second contribution to the literature is a very simple theoretical model that distinguishes between a “seller” and a “dealer” to make a prediction about the effect of the minimum bid on the final price. The major empirical results are that (1) the coefficient on the minimum bid in the final price regressions is between zero and one as the theory predicts, and (2) the popularity variable has an effect on the final price but only via its effect on bids.

Suggested Citation

  • Jannett Highfill & Kevin O’Brien, 2012. "Presidential Memorabilia on eBay: Value, Minimum Bid, and Popularity," Journal of Economic Insight (formerly the Journal of Economics (MVEA)), Missouri Valley Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 1-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:mve:journl:v:38:y:2012:i:2:p:1-22

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services


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