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Bidding Behavior and Decision Costs in Field Experiments

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  • John A. List
  • David Lucking-Reiley

Abstract

Whether rationality of economic behavior increases with expected payoffs and decreases with the cognitive cost it takes to formulate an optimal strategy remains an open question. We explore these issues with field data, using individual bids from sealed-bid auctions in which we sold nearly $10,000 worth of sports cards. Our results indicate that stakes do indeed matter, as high-priced ($70) cards produced more of the theoretically predicted strategic behavior than did lower-priced ($3) cards. We find additional evidence consistent with the importance of cognitive costs, as subjects more experienced with sports card auctions exhibited a greater tendency to behave strategically than did less experienced bidders. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "Bidding Behavior and Decision Costs in Field Experiments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 611-619, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:40:y:2002:i:4:p:611-619
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Tenorio, Rafael, 1997. "On Strategic Quantity Bidding in Multiple Unit Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 207-217, June.
    3. John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
    4. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
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    6. Noussair, Charles, 1995. "Equilibria in a Multi-object Uniform Price Sealed Bid Auction with Multi-unit Demands," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(2), pages 337-351, March.
    7. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
    8. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-261, April.
    9. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Charles M. Kahn, 1998. "Multi-unit auctions with uniform prices," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 12(2), pages 227-258.
    10. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
    11. List, John A & Shogren, Jason F, 1998. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1350-1355, December.
    12. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-631, July.
    13. repec:feb:framed:0043 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. John List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2000. "Demand reduction in a multi-unit auction: Evidence from a sportscard field experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00180, The Field Experiments Website.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rolfe, John & Windle, Jill, 2006. "Using Field Experiments to Explore the Use of Multiple Bidding Rounds in Conservation Auctions," Discussion Papers 25801, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Kelly Shue & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2009. "Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 229-257, February.
    3. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:130-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jennifer Brown & John Morgan, 2009. "How Much Is a Dollar Worth? Tipping versus Equilibrium Coexistence on Competing Online Auction Sites," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 668-700, August.
    5. Daniel McFadden, 2009. "The human side of mechanism design: a tribute to Leo Hurwicz and Jean-Jacque Laffont," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 13(1), pages 77-100, April.
    6. Jannett Highfill & Kevin O’Brien, 2007. "Bidding and prices for online art auctions: sofa art or investment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 31(4), pages 279-292, December.
    7. David Porter & Roumen Vragov, 2006. "An experimental examination of demand reduction in multi-unit versions of the Uniform-price, Vickrey, and English auctions," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(6), pages 445-458.
    8. Bresky, Michal, 2013. "Revenue and efficiency in multi-unit uniform-price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 205-217.
    9. Rolfe, John & Windle, Jill, 2011. "Using auction mechanisms to reveal costs for water quality improvements in Great Barrier Reef catchments in Australia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(4), pages 493-501, February.
    10. Axel Ockenfels & David Reiley & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2006. "Online Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Anna Bassi & Kenneth C. Williams, 2014. "Examining Monotonicity and Saliency Using Level- k Reasoning in a Voting Game," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, February.
    12. Amar Cheema & Dipankar Chakravarti & Atanu R. Sinha, 2012. "Bidding Behavior in Descending and Ascending Auctions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(5), pages 779-800, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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