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Discrete Clock Auctions: An Experimental Study

We analyze the implications of different pricing rules in discrete clock auctions. The two most common pricing rules are highest-rejected bid (HRB) and lowest-accepted bid (LAB). Under HRB, the winners pay the lowest price that clears the market; under LAB, the winners pay the highest price that clears the market. In theory, both the HRB and LAB auctions maximize revenues and are fully efficient in our setting. Our experimental results indicate that the LAB auction achieves higher revenues. This revenue result may explain the frequent use of LAB pricing. On the other hand, HRB is successful in eliciting true values of the bidders both theoretically and experimentally.

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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton in its series Papers of Peter Cramton with number 12cfosdca.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision: 2012
Publication status: Published in Experimental Economics, 15:2, 309-322, 2012
Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:12cfosdca
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Economics Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7211

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  1. David J. Cooper & Hanming Fang, 2006. "Understanding Overbidding in Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1557, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Goeree, Jacob & Holt, Charles, 2000. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-value Auctions," Working Papers 1073, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Crawford, Vincent P. & Iriberri, Nagore, 2005. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Non-Equilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt12586197, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1993. "Independent Private Value Auctions: Bidder Behaviour in First-, Second- and Third-Price Auctions with Varying Numbers of Bidders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 868-79, July.
  5. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 2004. "Auctioning Many Divisible Goods," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 480-493, 04/05.
  6. Coppinger, Vicki M & Smith, Vernon L & Titus, Jon A, 1980. "Incentives and Behavior in English, Dutch and Sealed-Bid Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 1-22, January.
  7. Ronald Harstad, 2000. "Dominant Strategy Adoption and Bidders' Experience with Pricing Rules," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 261-280, December.
  8. Lange, Andreas & Ratan, Anmol, 2010. "Multi-dimensional reference-dependent preferences in sealed-bid auctions - How (most) laboratory experiments differ from the field," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 634-645, March.
  9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  10. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2007. "Regret in auctions: theory and evidence," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 81-101, October.
  11. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. "Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
  12. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 2001. "Behavior in Multi-unit Demand Auctions: Experiments with Uniform Price and Dynamic Vickrey Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 413-54, March.
  13. Ausubel, Lawrence M. & Cramton, Peter, 2010. "Virtual power plant auctions," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 201-208, December.
  14. Thomas Palfrey, 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private Value Auctions," Theory workshop papers 357966000000000089, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
  16. Peter Cramton & Pacharasut Sujarittanonta, 2009. "Pricing Rule in a Clock Auction," Papers of Peter Cramton 09prca, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2009.
  17. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Nathaniel Higgins & Erkut Ozbay & Andrew Stocking, 2009. "Common-Value Auctions with Liquidity Needs: An Experimental Test of a Troubled Assets Reverse Auction," Papers of Peter Cramton 09cvawln, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2012.
  18. Peter Cramton & Pacharasut Sujarittanonta, 2010. "Pricing Rule in a Clock Auction," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 40-57, March.
  19. Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2007. "Auctions with Anticipated Regret: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1407-1418, September.
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