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Individual Behavior In Auctions with Price Proportional Benefits

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Isaac

    () (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

  • Svetlana Pevnitskaya

    () (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

  • Tim C. Salmon

    () (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

Abstract

Auctions with price proportional benefits involve situations in which bidders receive utility from the revenue raised by the auctioneer. We conduct experimental treatments with three classes of induced preferences and find that while bidders' response to incentives is on average consistent with theory, only one class of preferences leads to a significant increase in revenue. We then test for the presence of such preferences in experiments where auction revenue is donated to an actual charity. The latter sessions were conducted with a standard subject pool and with a special subject pool consisting of individuals with a very strong connection to the relevant charity. Subjects with a strong connection to charity evidence slightly more aggressive bidding behavior when the revenue is going to a charity but this is not strong enough to generate a significant increase in revenue. These results suggest that preferences in the natural environment are consistent with the manner of preferences assumed in the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Isaac & Svetlana Pevnitskaya & Tim C. Salmon, 2008. "Individual Behavior In Auctions with Price Proportional Benefits," Working Papers wp2008_07_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2008_07_01
    as

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    File URL: ftp://econpapers.fsu.edu/RePEc/fsu/wpaper/wp2008_07_01.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008-07
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew Schotter & Allan Corns, 1999. "Can Affirmative Action Be Cost Effective? An Experimental Examination of Price-Preference Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 291-305, March.
    2. Douglas D. Davis & Laura Razzolini & Robert Reilly & Bart J. Wilson, 2003. "Raising Revenues for Charity: Auctions versus Lotteries," Working Papers 0301, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
    3. Jason Shachat & J. Todd Swarthout, 2010. "Procurement Auctions for Differentiated Goods," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 6-22, March.
    4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    5. Morgan John & Steiglitz Ken & Reis George, 2003. "The Spite Motive and Equilibrium Behavior in Auctions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-27, April.
    6. Jeffrey Carpenter & Jessica Holmes & PeterHans Matthews, 2008. "Charity auctions: a field experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 92-113, January.
    7. Jacob K. Goeree & Emiel Maasland & Sander Onderstal & John L. Turner, 2005. "How (Not) to Raise Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 897-926, August.
    8. Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszczyc & Michael H. Rothkopf (deceased), 2010. "Charitable Motives and Bidding in Charity Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(3), pages 399-413, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Holmes, Jessica & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2010. "Endogenous participation in charity auctions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 921-935, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; charitable giving; economic experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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