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An Analysis of Market-Based and Statutory Limited Liability in Second Price Auctions

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  • Saral, Krista Jabs

Abstract

In auctions where bidders are uncertain of their value and are fully liable for their bids, there exists the potential for losses if bids exceed realized values. Theoretically, bids will be higher if bidders are able to mitigate this downside loss through some form of limited liability. To determine the impact of differing forms of limited liability, this paper theoretically and experimentally examines a second price auction with uncertain private values in three environments: market-based limited liability, statutory limited liability, and full liability. Market-based limited liability is induced through inter-bidder resale following the auction. Statutory limited liability is created through a default penalty option in the event that a bidder would make a loss. Bids are theoretically shown to be higher under resale and the penalty default environments than under full liability. The experimental results confirm more aggressive bidding for resale and the low penalty default treatments, but not by as much as theory predicts. Notably, under the high default penalty bidders are not bidding significantly more than under full liability, despite the theoretical prediction that they should.

Suggested Citation

  • Saral, Krista Jabs, 2009. "An Analysis of Market-Based and Statutory Limited Liability in Second Price Auctions," MPRA Paper 25143, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25143
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. DavidJ. Cooper & Hanming Fang, 2008. "Understanding Overbidding In Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1572-1595, October.
    2. Hansen, Robert G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1991. "The Winner's Curse and Public Information in Common Value Auctions: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 347-361, March.
    3. Marianna Kudlyak & Andra Ghent, 2010. "Recourse and Residential Mortgage Default: Theory and Evidence from U.S. States," 2010 Meeting Papers 33, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Simon Board, 2007. "Bidding into the Red: A Model of Post-Auction Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(6), pages 2695-2723, December.
    5. Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price, 2004. "Auctions with Resale When Private Values Are Uncertain: Theory and Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. 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.
    8. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
    9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sander Onderstal & Ailko van der Veen, 2011. "Keeping out Trojan Horses: Auctions and Bankruptcy in the Laboratory," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-024/1, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Limited Liability; Resale; Experimental Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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