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Bidding at Sequential First-Price Auctions with(out) Supply Uncertainty: a Laboratory Analysis

  • Tibor Neugebauer
  • Paul Pezanis-Christou

We report on a series of experiments that test the effects of an uncertain supply on the formation of bids and prices in sequential first-price auctions with private-independent values and unit-demands. Supply is assumed uncertain when buyers do not know the exact number of units to be sold (i.e., the length of the sequence). Although we observe an important overbidding and a behavior that is nonmonotone in values when supply is certain, the data qualitatively support our price trend predictions and the risk neutral Nash equilibrium model of bidding for the last stage of a sequence, whether supply is certain or not. Our study shows that behavior in these markets changes significantly with the presence of an uncertain supply, and that it can be explained by assuming bidders formulate pessimistic beliefs about the occurrence of another stage.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 24.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:24
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  1. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Ossard, Herve & Vuong, Quang, 1995. "Econometrics of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 953-80, July.
  2. Hausch, Donald B., 1988. "A model of sequential auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 227-233.
  3. Laffont, J.-J. & Loisel, P. & Robert, J., 1998. "Intra-Day Dynamics in Sequential Auctions: Theory and Estimation," Papers 98.488, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  4. Jane Black & David de Meza, 1992. "Systematic Price Differences Between Successive Auctionsare no Anomaly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(4), pages 607-628, December.
  5. Ashenfelter, O. & Genesove, D., 1992. "Testing for Price Anomalies in Real Estate Auctions," Working papers 92-2, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Elena Katok & Anthony Kwasnica, 2008. "Time is money: The effect of clock speed on seller’s revenue in Dutch auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 344-357, December.
  7. Bernhardt, Dan & Scoones, David, 1994. "A Note on Sequential Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 653-57, June.
  8. Beggs, A. & Graddy, K., 1996. "Declining Values and the Afternoon Effect: Evidence from Art Auctions," Economics Series Working Papers 99184, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Donald B. Hausch, 1986. "Multi-Object Auctions: Sequential vs. Simultaneous Sales," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(12), pages 1599-1610, December.
  10. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  11. Chen, Kay-Yut & Plott, Charles R., 1998. "Nonlinear Behavior in Sealed Bid First Price Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 34-78, October.
  12. Pitchik, Carolyn & Schotter, Andrew, 1986. "Perfect Equilibria in Budget Constrained Sequential Auctions: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 86-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  13. Gandal, Neil, 1997. "Sequential Auctions of Interdependent Objects: Israeli Cable Television Licenses," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 227-44, September.
  14. McAfee R. Preston & Vincent Daniel, 1993. "The Declining Price Anomaly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 191-212, June.
  15. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Pezanis-Christou, P., 1996. "Sequential Auctions with Supply Uncertainty," Papers 96/15, New South Wales - School of Economics.
  17. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1994. "Sequential auctions of stochastically equivalent objects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 87-90.
  18. Jeitschko, Thomas D., 1999. "Equilibrium price paths in sequential auctions with stochastic supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 67-72, July.
  19. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. " Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
  20. Katzman, Brett, 1999. "A Two Stage Sequential Auction with Multi-Unit Demands," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 77-99, May.
  21. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1995. "RatImage - research Assistance Toolbox for Computer-Aided Human Behavior Experiments," Discussion Paper Serie B 325, University of Bonn, Germany.
  22. Victor Ginsburgh, 1998. "Absentee bidders and the declining price anomaly in wine auctions," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1701, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  23. Gale Ian L. & Hausch Donald B., 1994. "Bottom-Fishing and Declining Prices in Sequential Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 318-331, November.
  24. repec:feb:framed:00135 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Pitchik, Carolyn & Schotter, Andrew, 1986. "Budget Constrained Sequential Auctions," Working Papers 86-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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