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Auctions with Positive Synergies: Experimental Evidence

  • Chow, YuenLeng
  • Yavas, Abdullah

In a standard auction, bidders bid more aggressively when the number of bidders increases. However, Krishna and Rosenthal (1996, Games and Economic Behavior) show that when bidders have multiple-unit demand that generates positive synergies, bidders bid less aggressively as the number of bidders increases. The first objective of this paper is to offer experimental evidence on this seemingly counter-intuitive theoretical prediction. Following the model of Krishna and Rosenthal, we design a simultaneous second-price sealed-bid auction for two objects with two types of bidders: single-object and multiple-object demand bidders. Our results show that bidders bid less aggressively with increased competition. The second objective is to investigate the effect of offering global bidders the option of bidding for both objects as a package as well as submitting individual bids for each object. Controlling for bidders' valuations, we find that offering this option to global bidders increases allocative efficiency and sellers' revenue.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12669.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12669
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  1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2004:i:8:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Bykowsky, Mark M. & Cull, Robert J. & Ledyard, John O., 1998. "Mutually Destructive Bidding: The FCC Auction Design Problem," Working Papers 916, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Alsemgeest, Paul & Noussair, Charles & Olson, Mark, 1998. "Experimental Comparisons of Auctions under Single- and Multi-Unit Demand," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 87-97, January.
  4. Brannman, Lance & Klein, J Douglass & Weiss, Leonard W, 1987. "The Price Effects of Increased Competition in Auction Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 24-32, February.
  5. Cantillon, Estelle & Pesendorfer, Martin, 2007. "Combination Bidding in Multi-Unit Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6083, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Chakraborty, Indranil, 2006. "Bundle and separate sales in auctions with entry," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 31-46, January.
  7. Indranil Chakraborty, 1999. "Bundling decisions for selling multiple objects," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 723-733.
  8. Colwell, Peter F & Yavas, Abdullah, 1994. "The Demand for Agricultural Land and Strategic Bidding in Auctions," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 137-49, March.
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