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An experimental investigation of auctions and bargaining in procurement

Author

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  • Jason Shachat

    () (The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, and MOE Key Laboratory in Econometrics, Xiamen University)

  • Lijia Tan

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

Abstract

In reverse auctions, buyers often retain the right to bargain further concessions from the winner. The optimal form of such procurement is an English auction followed by an auctioneer’s option to engage in ultimatum bargaining with the winner. We study behavior and performance in this procurement format using a laboratory experiment. Sellers closely follow the equilibrium strategy of exiting the auction at their costs and then accepting strictly profitable offers. Buyers generally exercise their option to bargain according to their equilibrium strategy, but their take-it-or-leave-it offers vary positively with auction prices when they should be invariant. We explain this deviation by modeling buyers’ subjective posteriors regarding the winners’ costs as distortions, calculated using a formulation of probability weighting, of the Bayesian posteriors. We show alternative models based upon risk aversion and anticipated regret can’t explain these price dependencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Shachat & Lijia Tan, 2012. "An experimental investigation of auctions and bargaining in procurement," Working Papers 1203, Xiamen Unversity, The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Finance and Economics Experimental Laboratory, revised 17 Oct 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:fee:wpaper:1203
    as

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    File URL: http://feel.xmu.edu.cn/RePEc/wpaper/An_Experimental_Investigation_of_Auctions_and_Bargaining_in_Procurement.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-194, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Herweg, Fabian & Schwarz, Marco A., 2016. "Optimal Cost Overruns: Procurement Auctions and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 11179, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Herweg, Fabian & Schwarz, Marco A., 2017. "Optimal Cost Overruns: Procurement Auctions with Renegotiation," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 56, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auction; Bargaining; Experiment; Subjective Posterior;

    JEL classification:

    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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