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Discrete Rule Learning and the Bidding of the Sexes

  • Jason Shachat

    ()

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

  • Lijia Wei

    ()

    (School of Economics and Management,Wuhan University)

We present a hidden Markov model of discrete strategic heterogeneity and learning in first price independent private values auctions. The model includes three latent bidding rules: constant absolute mark-up, constant percentage mark-up, and strategic best response. Rule switching probabilities depend upon a bidder's past auction outcomes. We apply this model to a new experiment that varies the number of bidders, the auction frame between forward and reverse, and includes the collection of saliva samples - used to measure subjects' sex hormone levels. We find the proportion of bidders following constant absolute mark-up increases with experience, particularly when the number of bidders is large. The primary driver here is subjects' increased propensity to switch strategies when they experience a loss (win) reinforcement when following a strategic (heuristic) rule. This affect is stronger for women and leads them spend more time following boundedly rational rules. We also find women in the Luteal and Menstrual phases of their menstrual cycle bid less aggressively, in terms of surplus demanded, when following the best response rule. This combined with spending more time following simple rules of thumbs explains gender differences in earnings.

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File URL: http://feel.xmu.edu.cn/RePEc/wpaper/Discrete_Rule_Learning_and_the_Bidding_of_the_Sexes.pdf
File Function: 2013
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Paper provided by Xiamen Unversity, The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Finance and Economics Experimental Laboratory in its series Working Papers with number 1302.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 02 Jul 2013
Date of revision: 02 Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:fee:wpaper:1302
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  1. Jason Shachat, 2013. "Procuring Commodities: First Price Sealed Bid or English Auction?," Papers 2013-10-14, Working Paper.
  2. Matthew Pearson & Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Menstrual Cycle and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 1110, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 247-272, May.
  4. Filardo, Andrew J. & Gordon, Stephen F., 1998. "Business cycle durations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 99-123, July.
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  8. Mark Isaac & Svetlana Pevnitskaya & Kurt S. Schnier, 2012. "Individual Behavior And Bidding Heterogeneity In Sealed Bid Auctions Where The Number Of Bidders Is Unknown," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 516-533, 04.
  9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  10. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Nonequilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1721-1770, November.
  11. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  12. Oliver Kirchkamp & J. Philipp Reiß, 2008. "Heterogeneous bids in auctions with rational and markdown bidders - Theory and Experiment," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-066, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  13. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2014. "Gender differences and dynamics in competition: The role of luck," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 351-376, 07.
  14. Chen, Yan & Katuščák, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2013. "Why canʼt a woman bid more like a man?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 181-213.
  15. Werner G¸th & Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Manfred K–nigstein & Martin Strobel, 2003. "Learning to bid - an experimental study of bid function adjustments in auctions and fair division games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 477-494, 04.
  16. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1993. "Independent Private Value Auctions: Bidder Behaviour in First-, Second- and Third-Price Auctions with Varying Numbers of Bidders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 868-79, July.
  17. Neugebauer, Tibor & Selten, Reinhard, 2006. "Individual behavior of first-price auctions: The importance of information feedback in computerized experimental markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 183-204, January.
  18. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
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