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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
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:24
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  1. 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.
  2. Carolyn Pitchik & Andrew Schotter, 1988. "Perfect Equilibria in Budget-Constrained Sequential Auctions: An Experimental Study," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 363-388, Autumn.
  3. Pitchik, Carolyn & Schotter, Andrew, 1986. "Budget Constrained Sequential Auctions," Working Papers 86-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Laffont, J.-J. & Loisel, P. & Robert, J., 1998. "Intra-Day Dynamics in Sequential Auctions: Theory and Estimation," Papers 98.488, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  5. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 1997. "Declining Values and the Afternoon Effect: Evidence from Art Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 544-565, Autumn.
  6. 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.
  7. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  8. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1994. "Sequential auctions of stochastically equivalent objects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 87-90.
  9. Bernhardt, Dan & Scoones, David, 1993. "A Note on Sequential Auctions," Working Papers 829, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. Katzman, Brett, 1999. "A Two Stage Sequential Auction with Multi-Unit Demands," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 77-99, May.
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  12. Victor A. Ginsburgh, 1998. "Absentee Bidders and the Declining Price Anomaly in Wine Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1302-1331, December.
  13. Donald B. Hausch, 1986. "Multi-Object Auctions: Sequential vs. Simultaneous Sales," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(12), pages 1599-1610, December.
  14. Orley Ashenfelter & David Genesove, 1992. "Testing for Price Anomalies in Real Estate Auctions," NBER Working Papers 4036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Pezanis-Christou, P., 1996. "Sequential Auctions with Supply Uncertainty," Papers 96/15, New South Wales - School of Economics.
  17. McAfee R. Preston & Vincent Daniel, 1993. "The Declining Price Anomaly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 191-212, June.
  18. Hausch, Donald B., 1988. "A model of sequential auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 227-233.
  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. Jeitschko, Thomas D., 1999. "Equilibrium price paths in sequential auctions with stochastic supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 67-72, July.
  21. 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.
  22. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1995. "RatImage - research Assistance Toolbox for Computer-Aided Human Behavior Experiments," Discussion Paper Serie B 325, University of Bonn, Germany.
  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. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Ossard, Herve & Vuong, Quang, 1995. "Econometrics of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 953-80, July.
  25. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
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