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Procuring Commodities: First Price Sealed Bid or English Auction?

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  • Jason Shachat

    () (Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Xiamen University)

Abstract

I use laboratory experiments to examine the relative performance of the English auction (EA) and the first price sealed bid auction (FPA) when procuring a commodity. The mean and variance of prices are lower in the FPA than in the EA. Bids and prices in EA agree with game theoretic predictions while they don’t in the FPA. To resolve these deviations found in the FPA, I consider a mixture model with three bidding rules: constant absolute mark-up, constant percentage mark-up, and strategic best response. A dynamic specification is estimated as a hidden Markov model. Initially about three quarters of the subjects are strategic bidders, but over time the number of strategic bidders falls to below sixty-five percent. There is a corresponding growth in those who bid a constant absolute mark-up above realized cost. This model provides an explanation of the dynamics of the mean and variance of price.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Shachat, 2009. "Procuring Commodities: First Price Sealed Bid or English Auction?," Working Papers 0901, Xiamen Unversity, The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Finance and Economics Experimental Laboratory, revised 26 Apr 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:fee:wpaper:0901
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    Cited by:

    1. Jason Shachat & Lijia Tan, 2015. "An Experimental Investigation of Auctions and Bargaining in Procurement," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(5), pages 1036-1051, May.
    2. Jason Shachat & Lijia Wei, 2013. "Discrete Rule Learning and the Bidding of the Sexes," Working Papers 1302, Xiamen Unversity, The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Finance and Economics Experimental Laboratory, revised 02 Jul 2013.
    3. He, Haoran & Chen, Yefeng & Last Name, First Name, 2014. "Auction Mechanisms for Allocating Subsidies for Carbon Emissions Reduction: An Experimental Investigation," Discussion Papers dp-14-06-efd, Resources For the Future.
    4. Brisset, Karine & Cochard, François & Le Gallo, Julie, 2015. "Secret versus public reserve price in an “outcry” English procurement auction: Experimental results," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 285-298.
    5. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2016. "Optimal bidding in auctions from a game theory perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 347-371.
    6. Philippe Gillen & Alexander Rasch & Achim Wambach & Peter Werner, 2016. "Bid pooling in reverse multi-unit Dutch auctions: an experimental investigation," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 511-534, November.

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