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A random nth-price auction

Author

Listed:
  • Cannon Koo
  • John List
  • Michael Margolis
  • Jason Shogren

Abstract

Second-price auctions are designed to induce people to reveal their private preferences for a good. Laboratory evidence suggests that while these auctions do a reasonable job on aggregate, they fall short at the individual level, especially for bidders who are off-margin of the market-clearing price. Herein we introduce and explore whether a random nth-price auction can engage all bidders to bid sincerely. Our results first show that the random nth-price auction can induce sincere bidding in theory and practice. We then compare the random nth-price to the second-price auction. We find that the second-price auction works better on-margin, and the random nth-price auction works better off-margin.

Suggested Citation

  • Cannon Koo & John List & Michael Margolis & Jason Shogren, 2001. "A random nth-price auction," Artefactual Field Experiments 00517, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00517
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