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An Experimental Analysis of Single vs. Multiple Bids in Auctions of Divisible Goods

  • Rosen, Christiane


    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

  • Madlener, Reinhard


    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

In this paper we report on an experimental examination of the comparison between multiple and single bids in a discriminatory-price procurement auction of divisible goods. Having been inspired by energy trading, sellers with a portfolio comprising several cost-quantity pairs bid into a market with a single buyer. Depending on the treatment, they are allowed to submit either one or two bids constructed from their endowments. The allocation rule has no rationing, i.e. marginal bids are completely accepted. We specified both a low and a high competition scenario to evaluate the effects of competitive forces on both bidding regimes. We find that multiple bids have a calming effect on the market, reducing volatility substantially. However, this comes at the cost of lower profits for bidders, whereas auctioneer’s revenue is maximized. At the same time, supply reduction, which is equivalent to demand reduction in demand auctions, is more pronounced in the multiple-bid setting. A reason for this might be that expensive units are driven out of the market more easily in the multi-bid setting and they can no longer be offered without causing loss of market efficiency during dispatch.

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Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 8/2013.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision: Nov 2013
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2013_008
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  1. Rosen, Christiane & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Auction Design for Local Reserve Energy Markets," FCN Working Papers 7/2012, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Mar 2013.
  2. Martin Sefton & Ping Zhang, 2009. "Divisible-good uniform price auctions: the role of allocation rules and communication among bidders," Discussion Papers 2009-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Noussair, Charles, 1995. "Equilibria in a Multi-object Uniform Price Sealed Bid Auction with Multi-unit Demands," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 337-51, March.
  4. Fernando Branco, 1996. "Multiple unit auctions of an indivisible good," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 77-101.
  5. Veronika Grimm & Jaromir Kovarik & Giovanni Ponti, 2008. "Fixed price plus rationing: an experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 402-422, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Marek Pycia & Marzena Rostek & Marek Weretka, 2014. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1366-1400.
  8. Scott, James H & Wolf, Charles R, 1979. "The Efficient Diversification of Bids in Treasury Bill Auctions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 280-87, May.
  9. Charles Schnitzlein & Jaime Zender & Orly Sade, 2006. "Competition and cooperation in divisible good auctions: An experimental examination," Artefactual Field Experiments 00105, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Abbink, Klaus & Brandts, Jordi & Pezanis-Christou, Paul, 2006. "Auctions for government securities: A laboratory comparison of uniform, discriminatory and Spanish designs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 284-303, October.
  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  12. Orly Sade & Charles Schnitzlein & Jaime F. Zender, 2006. "Competition and Cooperation in Divisible Good Auctions: An Experimental Examination," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 195-235.
  13. Bernard, John C. & Mount, Timothy D. & Schulze, William D., 1998. "Alternative Auction Institutions For Electric Power Markets," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 27(2), October.
  14. Tenorio, Rafael, 1997. "On Strategic Quantity Bidding in Multiple Unit Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 207-17, June.
  15. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F, 1993. "Auctions of Divisible Goods: On the Rationale for the Treasury Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(4), pages 733-64.
  16. Rassenti, Stephen J & Reynolds, Stanley S & Smith, Vernon L, 1994. "Cotenancy and Competition in an Experimental Auction Market for Natural Gas Pipeline Networks," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 41-65, January.
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