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Bidding behavior in the bisection auction – an experimental investigation


  • Grigorieva, Elena
  • Strobel, Martin



We present a laboratory experiment in which we investigate bidding behavior with independent private values in the recently proposed bisection auction, and compare it with two classical auction formats - the Vickrey auction and the English auction. We test whether subjects behave strategically equivalent, following the dominant truth-telling strategy, as predicted by theory. Furthermore, we provide some insights concerning the learning process, the efficiency of allocation, and the revenue to the auctioneer. Data show that the bisection auction performs better than the Vickrey auction and only in some terms worse than the English auction.

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  • Grigorieva, Elena & Strobel, Martin, 2006. "Bidding behavior in the bisection auction – an experimental investigation," Research Memorandum 026, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2006026

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    1. Green, Jerry & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1977. "Characterization of Satisfactory Mechanisms for the Revelation of Preferences for Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 427-438, March.
    2. Elena Grigorieva & P. Herings & Rudolf Müller & Dries Vermeulen, 2007. "The private value single item bisection auction," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 30(1), pages 107-118, January.
    3. Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
    4. 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.
    5. 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 868-879, July.
    6. Ronald Harstad, 2000. "Dominant Strategy Adoption and Bidders' Experience with Pricing Rules," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(3), pages 261-280, December.
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