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Bidding behavior and decision costs in field experiments

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  • John List
  • David Lucking-Reiley

Abstract

Whether rationality of economic behavior increases with expected payoffs and decreases with the cognitive cost it takes to formulate an optimal strategy remains an open question. We explore these issues with field data, using individual bids from sealed-bid auctions in which we sold nearly $10,000 worth of sportscards. Our results indicate that stakes do indeed matter, as high-priced ($70) cards produced more of the theoretically predicted strategic behavior than did lower-priced ($3) cards. We find additional evidence consistent with the importance of cognitive costs, as subjects more experienced with sportscard auctions exhibited a greater tendency to behave strategically than did less experienced bidders.

Suggested Citation

  • John List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "Bidding behavior and decision costs in field experiments," Framed Field Experiments 00181, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00181
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-261, April.
    2. Tenorio, Rafael, 1997. "On Strategic Quantity Bidding in Multiple Unit Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 207-217, June.
    3. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Charles M. Kahn, 1998. "Multi-unit auctions with uniform prices," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 12(2), pages 227-258.
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    6. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    7. David Lucking-Reiley & John A. List, 2000. "Demand Reduction in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 961-972, September.
    8. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-631, July.
    9. repec:feb:framed:0052 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Noussair, Charles, 1995. "Equilibria in a Multi-object Uniform Price Sealed Bid Auction with Multi-unit Demands," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(2), pages 337-351, March.
    11. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
    12. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
    13. repec:feb:framed:0043 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. John List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2000. "Demand reduction in a multi-unit auction: Evidence from a sportscard field experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00180, The Field Experiments Website.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jannett Highfill & Kevin O’Brien, 2007. "Bidding and prices for online art auctions: sofa art or investment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 31(4), pages 279-292, December.
    2. Rolfe, John & Windle, Jill, 2006. "Using Field Experiments to Explore the Use of Multiple Bidding Rounds in Conservation Auctions," Discussion Papers 25801, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. David Porter & Roumen Vragov, 2006. "An experimental examination of demand reduction in multi-unit versions of the Uniform-price, Vickrey, and English auctions," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(6), pages 445-458.
    4. Kelly Shue & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2009. "Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 229-257, February.
    5. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:130-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jennifer Brown & John Morgan, 2009. "How Much Is a Dollar Worth? Tipping versus Equilibrium Coexistence on Competing Online Auction Sites," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 668-700, August.
    7. Bresky, Michal, 2013. "Revenue and efficiency in multi-unit uniform-price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 205-217.
    8. Rolfe, John & Windle, Jill, 2011. "Using auction mechanisms to reveal costs for water quality improvements in Great Barrier Reef catchments in Australia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(4), pages 493-501, February.
    9. Axel Ockenfels & David Reiley & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2006. "Online Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Anna Bassi & Kenneth C. Williams, 2014. "Examining Monotonicity and Saliency Using Level- k Reasoning in a Voting Game," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, February.
    11. Daniel McFadden, 2009. "The human side of mechanism design: a tribute to Leo Hurwicz and Jean-Jacque Laffont," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 13(1), pages 77-100, April.
    12. Amar Cheema & Dipankar Chakravarti & Atanu R. Sinha, 2012. "Bidding Behavior in Descending and Ascending Auctions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(5), pages 779-800, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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