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Endogenous Entry and Self-selection in Private Value Auctions: An Experimental Study

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  • Palfrey, Thomas R.
  • Pevnitskaya, Svetlana

Abstract

This paper presents the results of an experimental study of endogenous entry and bidding behavior in first-price independent private value auctions. In the first stage N potential bidders simultaneously decide whether to participate in an auction or to claim a fixed outside option. At this stage all potential bidders know N, the distribution of possible values, and the value of the outside option. In the second stage, each entering bidder submits a bid after learning their own private value for the object and the number of entering bidders. We find evidence of self-selection effect, as predicted by an equilibrium model of heterogeneous risk averse bidders. The theoretical model predicts that bidding in the auction will be lower with endogenous entry because only the less risk averse bidders will choose to enter. We also find that entry decreases with the value of the outside option, as predicted. One surprising finding is that we observe over-entry relative to the theoretical predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Palfrey, Thomas R. & Pevnitskaya, Svetlana, 2003. "Endogenous Entry and Self-selection in Private Value Auctions: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 1172, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1172
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 247-272, May.
    2. James Cox & Sam Dinkin & James Swarthout, 2001. "Endogenous Entry and Exit in Common Value Auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(2), pages 163-181, October.
    3. Fey, Mark & McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1996. "An Experimental Study of Constant-Sum Centipede Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 269-287.
    4. Morgan John & Steiglitz Ken & Reis George, 2003. "The Spite Motive and Equilibrium Behavior in Auctions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-27, April.
    5. Svetlana Pevnitskaya, 2003. "Endogenous Entry in First-Price Private Value Auctions: the Self-Selection Effect," Working Papers 03-03, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    6. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
    7. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Poen, Eva & Reiß, J. Philipp, 2004. "Bidding with outside options," Papers 04-21, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    8. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-599, June.
    9. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. James W. Roberts & Andrew Sweeting, 2016. "Bailouts and the Preservation of Competition: The Case of the Federal Timber Contract Payment Modification Act," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 257-288, August.
    2. Ertaç, Seda & Hortaçsu, Ali & Roberts, James W., 2011. "Entry into auctions: An experimental analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 168-178, March.
    3. Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Timothy C. Salmon, 2008. "Robustness Of Bidder Preferences Among Auction Institutions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 355-368, July.
    4. Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Salmon, Timothy C., 2011. "The high/low divide: Self-selection by values in auction choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 200-214, September.
    5. Michalis Drouvelis & Julian C. Jamison, 2015. "Selecting public goods institutions: Who likes to punish and reward?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 501-534, October.
    6. Glenn Dutcher, E., 2012. "The effects of telecommuting on productivity: An experimental examination. The role of dull and creative tasks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 355-363.
    7. Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten I. & Elisabet Rutström, E., 2009. "Risk attitudes, randomization to treatment, and self-selection into experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 498-507, June.
    8. David Reiley, 2004. "Experimental evidence on the endogenous entry of bidders in internet auctions," Framed Field Experiments 00196, The Field Experiments Website.
    9. repec:eee:gamebe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:212-229 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Mark Isaac & Svetlana Pevnitskaya & Kurt S. Schnier, 2012. "Individual Behavior And Bidding Heterogeneity In Sealed Bid Auctions Where The Number Of Bidders Is Unknown," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 516-533, April.
    11. J.M.J. Delnoij & K.J.M. De Jaegher & S. Rosenkranz, 2014. "Understanding preferences for ascending auctions, Buy-It-Now auctions and fixed prices," Working Papers 14-02, Utrecht School of Economics.
    12. Sheng, Li, 2010. "Competing or cooperating to host mega events: A simple model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 375-379, January.
    13. Gentry, Matthew & Li, Tong & Lu, Jingfeng, 2015. "Existence of monotone equilibrium in first price auctions with private risk aversion and private initial wealth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 214-221.
    14. repec:spr:jogath:v:47:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00182-017-0583-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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.
    16. J.M.J. Delnoij & K.J.M. De Jaegher, 2016. "Competing first-price and second-price auctions," Working Papers 16-07, Utrecht School of Economics.
    17. Boosey, Luke & Brookins, Philip & Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2017. "Contests with group size uncertainty: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 212-229.

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    Keywords

    auctions; experimental economics; game theory;

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