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An experimental test of precautionary bidding

Author

Listed:
  • Martin G. Kocher

    (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

  • Julius Pahlke

    (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

  • Stefan T. Trautmann

    (CentER, Tilburg University)

Abstract

Auctions often involve goods exhibiting a common knowledge ex-post risk that is independent of buyers' private values or their signals regarding common value components. Eso and White (2004) showed theoretically that ex-post risk leads to precautionary bidding for DARA bidders: Agents reduce their bids by more than their appropriate risk premium. Testing precautionary bidding with data from the field seems almost impossible. We conduct experimental first-price auctions that allow us to directly identify the precautionary premium and find clear evidence for precautionary bidding. Bidders are significantly better off when a risky object rather than an equally valued sure object is auctioned. Our results are robust if we control for potentially confounding decision biases.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin G. Kocher & Julius Pahlke & Stefan T. Trautmann, 2010. "An experimental test of precautionary bidding," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-08, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:10-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Levy, Haim, 1994. "Absolute and Relative Risk Aversion: An Experimental Study," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 289-307, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Ebert & Daniel Wiesen, 2014. "Joint measurement of risk aversion, prudence, and temperance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 231-252, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    precautionary bidding; prudence; auction; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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