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The Afternoon Effect

  • R. Preston McAfee
  • Daniel Vincent

Data from wine auctions indicates that identical products sold sequentially typically follow a decreasing pattern of prices, known as the afternoon effect. This is explained, for both first and second price auctions, by appealing to risk averse bidders. Earlier bids are then equal to expected later prices plus a risk premium associated with the risky future price. This logic rests on the assumption of nondecreasing absolute risk aversion, which is necessary for pure strategy equilibrium bidding functions to exist. This, decreasing absolute risk aversion implies ex post inefficiecny with positive probability. Data from wine auctions is used to confirm the existence of the afternoon effect.

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File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/961.pdf
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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 961.

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Date of creation: Oct 1991
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:961
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  1. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "Symposium on Organizations and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 15-24, Spring.
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