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Outside options: Another reason to choose the first-price auction

  • Oliver Kirchkamp,
  • Eva Poen,
  • Philipp Reiß

In this paper we derive equilibrium bidding functions for first-price and second-price auctions with private values when bidders have outside options. We then study bidding behaviour with the help of experiments. We find that bidders respond to outside options and to variations of common knowledge about competitors’ outside options, though bidders in first-price auctions show more overbidding with outside options than without. In second-price auctions overbidding is not affected by outside options. As expected first-price auctions yield more revenue than second-price auctions. This revenue-premium is higher in the presence of outside options.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm in its series CRIEFF Discussion Papers with number 0605.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:san:crieff:0605
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
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  1. Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Sonsino, Doron, 2004. "Comparative study of one-bid versus two-bid auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 561-583, August.
  2. Isaac, R Mark & James, Duncan, 2000. " Just Who Are You Calling Risk Averse?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 177-87, March.
  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. Gale Ian L. & Hausch Donald B., 1994. "Bottom-Fishing and Declining Prices in Sequential Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 318-331, November.
  5. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Güth, Werner & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2001. "Bidding behavior in asymmetric auctions: An experimental study," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,15, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  7. Holt, Charles A, Jr, 1980. "Competitive Bidding for Contracts under Alternative Auction Procedures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 433-45, June.
  8. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Moldovanu, Benny, 2000. "An experimental analysis of auctions with interdependent valuations," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 00-10, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  9. 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.
  10. Todd Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason Shogren & John List & Melonie Sullivan, 2004. "Laboratory Testbeds and Non-Market Valuation: The Case of Bidding Behavior in a Second-Price Auction with an Outside Option," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(3), pages 285-294, November.
  11. Orley Ashenfelter & Kathryn Graddy, 2003. "Auctions and the Price of Art," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 763-787, September.
  12. Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-72, March.
  13. Chen, Kay-Yut & Plott, Charles R., 1998. "Nonlinear Behavior in Sealed Bid First Price Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 34-78, October.
  14. Ockenfels, Axel & Selten, Reinhard, 2005. "Impulse balance equilibrium and feedback in first price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 155-170, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Paul Pezanis-Christou & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2003. "Elicited bid functions in (a)symmetric first-price auctions," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 578.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  17. Werner Güth & Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel, . "Asymmetric Auction Experiments With(out) Commonly Known Beliefs," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-36, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  18. Brosig, Jeannette & Rei[ss], J. Philipp, 2007. "Entry decisions and bidding behavior in sequential first-price procurement auctions: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 50-74, January.
  19. Werner Güth & Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Manfred Königstein & Martin Strobel, 2002. "Bid Functions in Auctions and Fair Division Games: Experimental Evidence," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(4), pages 461-484, November.
  20. Kirchkamp Oliver & Reiss J. Philipp & Sadrieh Abdolkarim, 2006. "A pure variation of risk in first-price auctions," Research Memorandum 058, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  21. Güth, Werner & Ivanova, Radosveta & Königstein, Manfred & Strobel, Martin, 1999. "Learning to bid: An experimental study of bid function adjustments in auctions and fair division games," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,70, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  22. Reiss, J. Philipp & Schöndube Jens Robert, 2007. "First-Price Equilibrium and Revenue Equivalence in a Sequential Procurement Auction Model," Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  23. repec:att:wimass:9215 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  25. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  26. 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.
  27. Robert Dorsey & Laura Razzolini, 2003. "Explaining Overbidding in First Price Auctions Using Controlled Lotteries," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 123-140, October.
  28. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M., 1985. "Information and conspiracy in sealed bid auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 139-159, June.
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