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Curious about the price? Consumers' behavior in price reveal auctions

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  • Andrea Gallice
  • Giuseppe Sorrenti

Abstract

We exploit several specific features of a recent online selling mechanism, the so- called price reveal auction, to empirically investigate how consumers' behavior changes in response to an item's intrinsic characteristics and 'social attributes'. We document a significant effect of the item's brand and intended use (outdoor vs. indoor) in influencing an agent's degree of impatience and willingness to pay. We show that, while both vari- ables have some explanatory power when considered in isolation, it is their interaction that really matters. We also study the determinants of the mechanism's profitability and show how, in the context of a price reveal auction, the sale of positional goods may backfire and harm revenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Gallice & Giuseppe Sorrenti, 2015. "Curious about the price? Consumers' behavior in price reveal auctions," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 432, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:432
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    File URL: http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.432.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gallice Andrea, 2016. "Price Reveal Auctions," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 485-514, June.
    2. Brennan C. Platt & Joseph Price & Henry Tappen, 2010. "Pay-to-Bid Auctions," NBER Working Papers 15695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrea Gallice, 2009. "Lowest Unique Bid Auctions with Signals," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 112, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised Sep 2009.
    4. Harold Houba & Dinard Laan & Dirk Veldhuizen, 2011. "Endogenous entry in lowest-unique sealed-bid auctions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(2), pages 269-295, August.
    5. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071.
    6. Robert Östling & Joseph Tao-yi Wang & Eileen Y. Chou & Colin F. Camerer, 2011. "Testing Game Theory in the Field: Swedish LUPI Lottery Games," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 1-33, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gallice Andrea, 2016. "Price Reveal Auctions," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 485-514, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    price reveal auction; willingness to pay; social attributes; positional goods;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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