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Spite vs. risk: explaining overbidding

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  • Oliver Kirchkamp
  • Wladislaw Mill

Abstract

In this paper we use an experiment to compare a theory of risk aversion and a theory of spite as an explanation for overbidding in auctions. As a workhorse we use the second-price all-pay and the first-price winner-pay auction. Both risk and spite can be used to rationalize deviations from risk neutral equilibrium bids in auctions. We exploit that equilibrium predictions in the second-price all-pay auctions for spiteful preferences are different than those for risk averse preferences. Indeed, we find that spite is a more convincing explanation for bidding behavior for the second-price all-pay auction. Not only can spite rationalize observed bids, also our measure for spite is consistent with observed bids.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Kirchkamp & Wladislaw Mill, 2019. "Spite vs. risk: explaining overbidding," CESifo Working Paper Series 7631, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7631
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    auction; overbidding; spite; risk; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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