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Individual Behavior In Auctions with Price Proportional Benefits

  • 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)

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.

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File URL: ftp://econpapers.fsu.edu/RePEc/fsu/wpaper/wp2008_07_01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008-07
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Florida State University in its series Working Papers with number wp2008_07_01.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2008_07_01
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  1. 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.
  2. Corns, Allan & Schotter, Andrew, 1996. "Can Affirmative Action be Cost-Effective? An Experimental Examination of Price-Preference Auctions," Working Papers 96-02, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Jason Shachat & J. Todd Swarthout, 2003. "Procurement Auctions for Differentiated Goods," Experimental 0310004, EconWPA.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. Jeffrey Carpenter & Jessica Holmes & PeterHans Matthews, 2008. "Charity auctions: a field experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 92-113, 01.
  8. 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.
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