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Raising Revenues for Charity: Auctions versus Lotteries

  • Douglas D. Davis

    ()

    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Laura Razzolini

    ()

    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Robert Reilly

    ()

    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • Bart J. Wilson

    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, George Mason University)

We report an experiment conducted to gain insight into factors that may affect revenues in English auctions and lotteries, two commonly used charity fund-raising formats. In particular, we examine how changes in the marginal per capita return (MPCR) from the public component of bidding, and how changes in the distribution of values affect the revenue properties of each format. Although we observe some predicted comparative static effects, the dominant result is that lottery revenues uniformly exceed English auction revenues. The similarity of lottery and English auction bids across sales formats appears to drive the excess lottery revenues.

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File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~lrazzolini/drrw1003.pdf
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Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0301.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0301
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Web page: http://www.business.vcu.edu/economics

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  1. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, 03.
  2. Fang, Hanming, 2002. " Lottery versus All-Pay Auction Models of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(3-4), pages 351-71, September.
  3. R. Mark Isaac & Timothy C. Salmon & Arthur Zillante, 2004. "A Theory of Jump Bidding in Ascending Auctions," Game Theory and Information 0404002, EconWPA.
  4. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1993. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game when r>2: Mixed-Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1039, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  5. Douglas Davis & Robert Reilly, 1998. "Do too many cooks always spoil the stew? An experimental analysis of rent-seeking and the role of a strategic buyer," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 89-115, April.
  6. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D., 1993. "The Solution of the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game when R > 2 : Mixed-Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Discussion Paper 1993-68, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Morgan, John & Sefton, Martin, 2000. "Funding Public Goods with Lotteries: Experimental Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 785-810, October.
  8. Maxim Engers & Brian McManus, 2007. "Charity Auctions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 953-994, 08.
  9. Morgan, John, 2000. "Financing Public Goods by Means of Lotteries," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 761-84, October.
  10. Jacob K. Goeree & Emiel Maasland & Sander Onderstal & John L. Turner, 2005. "How (Not) to Raise Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 897-926, August.
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