IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Does the absence of human sellers bias bidding behavior in auction experiments?

Listed author(s):
  • Björn Bartling

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

  • Tobias Gesche

    ()

    (University College London)

  • Nick Netzer

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

Abstract This paper studies the impact of human subjects in the role of a seller on bidding in experimental second-price auctions. Overbidding is a robust finding in second-price auctions, and spite among bidders has been advanced as an explanation. If spite extends to the seller, then the absence of human sellers who receive the auction revenue may bias upwards the bidding behavior in existing experimental auctions. We derive the equilibrium bidding function in a model where bidders have preferences regarding both the payoffs of other bidders and the seller’s revenue. Overbidding is optimal when buyers are spiteful only towards other buyers. However, optimal bids are lower and potentially even truthful when spite extends to the seller. We experimentally test the model predictions by exogenously varying the presence of human subjects in the roles of the seller and competing bidders. We do not detect a systematic effect of the presence of a human seller on overbidding. We conclude that overbidding is not an artefact of the standard experimental implementation of second-price auctions in which human sellers are absent.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s40881-017-0037-y
File Function: Abstract
Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer & Economic Science Association in its journal Journal of the Economic Science Association.

Volume (Year): 3 (2017)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 44-61

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:jesaex:v:3:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40881-017-0037-y
DOI: 10.1007/s40881-017-0037-y
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Web page: https://www.economicscience.org/index.html
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/journal/40881

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Bartling, Björn & Netzer, Nick, 2016. "An externality-robust auction: Theory and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 186-204.
  2. DavidJ. Cooper & Hanming Fang, 2008. "Understanding Overbidding In Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1572-1595, October.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
  4. Grebe, Tim & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Kröger, Sabine, 2016. "“Buy-It-Now” or “Sell-It-Now” auctions: Effects of changing bargaining power in sequential trading mechanisms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 27-30.
  5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5431 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Ty Feldkamp & Ted C. Schroeder, 2004. "Experimental Auction Procedure: Impact on Valuation of Quality Differentiated Goods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 389-405.
  7. Martin Dufwenberg & Paul Heidhues & Georg Kirchsteiger & Frank Riedel & Joel Sobel, 2011. "Other-Regarding Preferences in General Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 613-639.
  8. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2011. "Fair Pricing," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 952-981, October.
  9. Singh, Rajdeep, 1998. "Takeover Bidding with Toeholds: The Case of the Owner's Curse," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(4), pages 679-704.
  10. Burkart, Mike, 1995. " Initial Shareholdings and Overbidding in Takeover Contests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1491-1515, December.
  11. Bierbrauer, Felix & Netzer, Nick, 2016. "Mechanism design and intentions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 557-603.
  12. Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Experimental comparison of multi-stage and one-stage contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 731-747, March.
  13. Drichoutis, Andreas & Lusk, Jayson & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2013. "The veil of experimental currency units," MPRA Paper 46906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Maxim Engers & Brian McManus, 2007. "Charity Auctions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 953-994, 08.
  15. David Ettinger, 2008. "Auctions and Shareholdings," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 90, pages 233-257.
  16. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5448 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. repec:adr:anecst:y:2008:i:90 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
  19. Ettinger, David, 2003. "Efficiency in auctions with crossholdings," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 1-7, July.
  20. McDonald, Ian M. & Nikiforakis, Nikos & Olekalns, Nilss & Sibly, Hugh, 2013. "Social comparisons and reference group formation: Some experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 75-89.
  21. Emiel Maasland & Sander Onderstal, 2007. "Auctions with Financial Externalities," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(3), pages 551-574, September.
  22. Andreoni, James & Che, Yeon-Koo & Kim, Jinwoo, 2007. "Asymmetric information about rivals' types in standard auctions: An experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 240-259, May.
  23. Niall Flynn & Christopher Kah & Rudolf Kerschbamer, 2016. "Vickrey auction vs BDM: difference in bidding behaviour and the impact of other-regarding motives," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(2), pages 101-108, November.
  24. Naoko Nishimura & Timothy N. Cason & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Yoshikazu Ikeda, 2011. "Spite and Reciprocity in Auctions," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-47, September.
  25. Sudipto Dasgupta & Kevin Tsui, 2004. "Auctions with cross-shareholdings," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(1), pages 163-194, 07.
  26. Kimbrough Erik O. & Reiss J. Philipp, 2012. "Measuring the Distribution of Spitefulness," Research Memorandum 040, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  27. Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Kröger, Sabine, 2008. "Price formation in a sequential selling mechanism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 832-843, September.
  28. Bartling Björn & Grieder Manuel & Zehnder Christian, 2014. "Does competition justify inequality?," ECON - Working Papers 158, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2015.
  29. Bock, Olaf & Baetge, Ingmar & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2014. "hroot: Hamburg Registration and Organization Online Tool," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 117-120.
  30. Lu, Jingfeng, 2012. "Optimal auctions with asymmetric financial externalities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 561-575.
  31. Chillemi, Ottorino, 2005. "Cross-owned firms competing in auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-19, April.
  32. Arthur J.H.C. Schram & Sander Onderstal, 2009. "Bidding To Give: An Experimental Comparison Of Auctions For Charity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 431-457, 05.
  33. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  34. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  35. Jacob K. Goeree & Emiel Maasland & Sander Onderstal & John L. Turner, 2005. "How (Not) to Raise Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 897-926, August.
  36. repec:adr:anecst:y:2008:i:90:p:09 is not listed on IDEAS
  37. R. Isaac & Svetlana Pevnitskaya & Timothy Salmon, 2010. "Do preferences for charitable giving help auctioneers?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 14-44, March.
  38. Holger Herz & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2016. "What Makes a Price Fair? An Experimental Study of Transaction Experience and Endogenous Fairness Views," CESifo Working Paper Series 5936, CESifo Group Munich.
  39. Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszczyc & Michael H. Rothkopf (deceased), 2010. "Charitable Motives and Bidding in Charity Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(3), pages 399-413, March.
  40. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
  41. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jesaex:v:3:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40881-017-0037-y. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.