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The Bidder's Curse

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  • Young Han Lee
  • Ulrike Malmendier

Abstract

We employ a novel approach to identify overbidding in the field. We compare auction prices to fixed prices for the same item on the same webpage. In detailed board-game data, 42 percent of auctions exceed the simultaneous fixed price. The result replicates in a broad cross-section of auctions (48 percent). A small fraction of overbidders, 17 percent, suffices to generate the overbidding. The observed behavior is inconsistent with rational behavior, even allowing for uncertainty and switching costs, since also the expected auction price exceeds the fixed price. Limited attention to outside options is most consistent with our results.

Suggested Citation

  • Young Han Lee & Ulrike Malmendier, 2007. "The Bidder's Curse," NBER Working Papers 13699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13699
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    Cited by:

    1. Bolton, Gary E. & Ockenfels, Axel, 2014. "Does laboratory trading mirror behavior in real world markets? Fair bargaining and competitive bidding on eBay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 143-154.
    2. Rahaman, Mohammad M., 2014. "Do managerial behaviors trigger firm exit? The case of hyperactive bidders," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-110.
    3. Englmaier, Florian & Schmöller, Arno & Stowasser, Till, 2013. "Price Discontinuities in an online used Car Market," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79982, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Dillenberger, David & Rozen, Kareen, 2015. "History-dependent risk attitude," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 445-477.
    5. Hummel, Patrick, 2015. "Simultaneous use of auctions and posted prices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 269-284.
    6. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    7. Trevon D. Logan & Manisha Shah, 2013. "Face Value: Information and Signaling in an Illegal Market," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 529-564, January.
    8. Philipp Herrmann & Dennis O. Kundisch & Mohammad S. Rahman, 2013. "To Bid or Not to Bid Aggressively? An Empirical Study," Working Papers Dissertations 08, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
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    12. Lu Han & William C. Strange, 2014. "Bidding Wars for Houses," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 1-32, March.
    13. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2016. "Optimal bidding in auctions from a game theory perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 347-371.
    14. Pownall, Rachel A.J. & Wolk, Leonard, 2013. "Bidding behavior and experience in internet auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 14-27.
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    16. Dennis Halcoussis & Timothy Mathews, 2007. "eBay auctions for Third Eye Blind concert tickets," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 31(1), pages 65-78, March.
    17. Han, Lu & Strange, William C., 2016. "What is the role of the asking price for a house?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 115-130.
    18. Wang, Zhongmin & Xu, Minbo, 2016. "Selling a dollar for more than a dollar? Evidence from online penny auctions," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 53-68.
    19. Podwol, Joseph Uri & Schneider, Henry S., 2016. "Nonstandard bidder behavior in real-world auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 198-212.
    20. Bramsen, Jens-Martin, 2008. "A pseudo-endowment effect in internet auctions," MPRA Paper 14813, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    24. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:69:y:2017:i:c:p:82-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Hammond, Robert G., 2013. "A structural model of competing sellers: Auctions and posted prices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 52-68.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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