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Explaining The Breadth Of Expert Estimate Ranges In Auctions Of Rare Books

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    This paper uses data from 3144 rare book auctions to study the breadth of auctioneers’ estimate ranges. The ‘information hypothesis’ proposes that wider ranges reflect greater uncertainty. The ‘reserve hypothesis’ proposes that a narrower range indicates a higher reserve price. The information hypothesis is tested by seeing whether estimate breadths are related to the presence of greater information about likely prices. The reserve hypothesis is tested by seeing whether narrower estimate ranges predict ‘no sales’. Evidence is found in support of the information hypothesis but not the reserve hypothesis. The paper identifies differences between the auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s in the estimate strategies they adopt.

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    Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 873.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:873
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
    Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
    Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
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    1. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    2. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
    3. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 1997. "Declining Values and the Afternoon Effect: Evidence from Art Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 544-565, Autumn.
    4. McAfee R. Preston & Vincent Daniel, 1993. "The Declining Price Anomaly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 191-212, June.
    5. Laffont, J.J., 1996. "Game Theory and Empirical Economics: The Case of Auction Data," Papers 95.394, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
    6. Luc BAUWENS & Victor GINSBURGH, 2000. "Art experts and auctions Are pre-sale estimates unbiased and fully informative?," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2000022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    7. Menezes, Flavio Marques & Monteiro, Paulo Klinger, 1999. "Synergies and Price Trends in Sequential Auctions," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 360, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    8. Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Jane Black & David de Meza, 1992. "Systematic Price Differences Between Successive Auctionsare no Anomaly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(4), pages 607-628, December.
    10. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Kahn, Charles M., 1999. "Calibration of a model of declining prices in cattle auctions," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 113-128.
    11. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the arts: selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1655, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Lusht, Kenneth M, 1994. "Order and Price in a Sequential Auction," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 259-66, May.
    13. Stuart Kells, 2002. "The Australian Book Auction Records," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 830, The University of Melbourne.
    14. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1994. "Sequential auctions of stochastically equivalent objects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 87-90.
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