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Individual Behaavior and Bidding Heterogeneity in Sealed Bid Auctions Where the Number of Bidders is Unknown

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  • R. Mark Isaac

    (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

  • Svetlana Pevnitskaya

    (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

  • Kurt Schnier

    (University of Rhode Island)

Abstract

This paper analyzes individual bidding data from a series of first price (FP) and second price (SP) sealed-bid auctions in which the number of bidders is unknown. In SP auctions we find a substantial amount of coincidence with theory. We observe systematic deviations from risk neutral bidding in FP auctions and show theoretically that these deviations are consistent with risk averse preferences. We find essentially no heterogeneity in bidding in SP auctions where risk preferences and the number of bidders do not affect the optimal bid, while in the FP auctions heterogeneity in bidding persists and increases with experience. We conclude that heterogeneity in bidding in FP auctions is consistent with heterogeneity in risk preferences, the attempt to count the number of bidders in the auction, and bidder specific noise. (JEL D44, C91)

Suggested Citation

  • R. Mark Isaac & Svetlana Pevnitskaya & Kurt Schnier, 2008. "Individual Behaavior and Bidding Heterogeneity in Sealed Bid Auctions Where the Number of Bidders is Unknown," Working Papers wp2008_07_02, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2008_07_02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Luke Boosey & Philip Brookins & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2020. "Entry in group contests," Working Papers wp2020_02_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    4. Yunmi Kong, 2020. "Not knowing the competition: evidence and implications for auction design," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 51(3), pages 840-867, September.
    5. Li, Zhen & Yue, Jinfeng & Kuo, Ching-Chung, 2018. "Design of discrete Dutch auctions with consideration of time," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 265(3), pages 1159-1171.
    6. Luke Boosey & Philip Brookins & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2020. "Information Disclosure in Contests with Endogenous Entry: An Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(11), pages 5128-5150, November.
    7. Diego Aycinena & Lucas Rentschler, 2018. "Auctions with endogenous participation and an uncertain number of bidders: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 924-949, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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