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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

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
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    3. Holzer, Jorge & DePiper, Geret & Lipton, Douglas, 2017. "Buybacks with costly participation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 130-145.
    4. Ravi Bapna & Wolfgang Jank & Galit Shmueli, 2008. "Consumer Surplus in Online Auctions," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 19(4), pages 400-416, December.
    5. John Rolfe & Jill Windle & Juliana McCosker, 2009. "Testing and Implementing the Use of Multiple Bidding Rounds in Conservation Auctions: A Case Study Application," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(3), pages 287-303, September.
    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. 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.
    8. Janne Tukiainen, 2017. "Effects of Minimum Bid Increments in Internet Auctions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 597-622, September.
    9. Lusk, Jayson L., 2019. "Income and (Ir) rational food choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 630-645.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Bresky, Michal, 2013. "Revenue and efficiency in multi-unit uniform-price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 205-217.
    13. 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.
    14. Paulo B. Goes & Gilbert G. Karuga & Arvind K. Tripathi, 2010. "Understanding Willingness-to-Pay Formation of Repeat Bidders in Sequential Online Auctions," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 21(4), pages 907-924, December.
    15. Cong Feng & Scott Fay & K. Sivakumar, 2016. "Overbidding in electronic auctions: factors influencing the propensity to overbid and the magnitude of overbidding," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 241-260, March.
    16. Axel Ockenfels & David Reiley & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2006. "Online Auctions," NBER Working Papers 12785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. 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.
    18. Ravi Bapna & Paulo Goes & Alok Gupta, 2003. "Replicating Online Yankee Auctions to Analyze Auctioneers' and Bidders' Strategies," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 14(3), pages 244-268, September.
    19. Diego Aycinena & Lucas Rentschler, 2018. "Auctions with endogenous participation and an uncertain number of bidders: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 924-949, December.
    20. 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.

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    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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