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An experimental investigation of auctions and bargaining in procurement

  • Shachat, Jason
  • Tan, Lijia

In reverse auctions, buyers often retain the right to bargain further concessions from the winner. The optimal form of such procurement is an English auction followed by an auctioneer's option to engage in ultimatum bargaining with the winner. We study behavior and performance in this procurement format using a laboratory experiment. Sellers closely follow the equilibrium strategy of exiting the auction at their costs and then accepting strictly profitable offers. Buyers generally exercise their option to bargain according to their equilibrium strategy, but their take-it-or-leave-it offers vary positively with auction prices when they should be invariant. We explain this deviation by modeling buyers' subjective posteriors regarding the winners' costs as distortions, calculated using a formulation of probability weighting, of the Bayesian posteriors. We show alternative models based upon risk aversion and anticipated regret can't explain these price dependencies.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 42409.

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Date of creation: 17 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42409
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  1. Jason Shachat, 2009. "Procuring Commodities: First Price Sealed Bid or English Auction?," Working Papers 0901, Xiamen Unversity, The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Finance and Economics Experimental Laboratory, revised 26 Apr 2010.
  2. Huck, Steffen, 1999. "Responder behavior in ultimatum offer games with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 183-206, April.
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  6. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  7. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 247-272, May.
  8. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  10. Shachat, Jason, 2009. "Procuring Commodities: Request for Quote or Reverse Auctions?," MPRA Paper 13418, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  12. Ulrich Hege & Stefano Lovo & Myron B. Slovin & Marie E. Sushka, 2009. "Equity and Cash in Intercorporate Asset Sales: Theory and Evidence," Post-Print hal-00459939, HAL.
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  15. Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  19. David Cooper & E. Dutcher, 2011. "The dynamics of responder behavior in ultimatum games: a meta-study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 519-546, November.
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