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A Theory of Jump Bidding in Ascending Auctions

  • R. Mark Isaac

    (Florida State University)

  • Timothy C. Salmon

    (Florida State University)

  • Arthur Zillante

    (Florida State University)

Jump bidding is a commonly observed phenomenon that involves bidders in ascending auctions submitting bids higher than required by the auctioneer. Such behavior is typically explained as due to irrationality or to bidders signaling their value. We present field data that suggests such explanations are unsatisfactory and construct an alternative model in which jump bidding occurs due to strategic concerns and impatience. We go on to examine the impact of jump bidding on the outcome of ascending auctions in an attempt to resolve some policy disputes in the design of ascending auctions.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0404002.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 22 Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0404002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 29
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  1. Börgers, Tilman & Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Strange Bids: Bidding Behaviour in the United Kingdom's Third Generation Spectrum Auction," CEPR Discussion Papers 3072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. James T. Swarthout & Jason Shachat, 2004. "Procurement Auctions for Differentiated Goods," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 629, Econometric Society.
  3. Coppinger, Vicki M & Smith, Vernon L & Titus, Jon A, 1980. "Incentives and Behavior in English, Dutch and Sealed-Bid Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 1-22, January.
  4. Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1986. "Multi-Item Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 863-72, August.
  5. Rothkopf, Michael H. & Harstad, Ronald M., 1994. "On the role of discrete bid levels in oral auctions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 572-581, May.
  6. Banks, Jeffrey & Olson, Mark & Porter, David & Rassenti, Stephen & Smith, Vernon, 2003. "Theory, experiment and the federal communications commission spectrum auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 303-350, July.
  7. David Lucking-Reiley, 1999. "Using field experiments to test equivalence between auction formats: Magic on the internet," Framed Field Experiments 00183, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Milgrom, Paul, 1998. "Putting auction theory to work : the simultaneous ascending auction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1986, The World Bank.
  9. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, II: Price Competition, Kinked Demand Curves, and Edgeworth Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 571-99, May.
  10. Plott, Charles R. & Salmon, Timothy C., 2004. "The simultaneous, ascending auction: dynamics of price adjustment in experiments and in the UK3G spectrum auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-383, March.
  11. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  12. Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Salmon, Tim, 2002. "Bidder preferences among auction institutions," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,86, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  13. Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-72, March.
  14. Ulrich Kamecke, 1993. "Dominance or Maximin: How to Solve an English Auction," Discussion Paper Serie A 418, University of Bonn, Germany.
  15. R. Isaac & Timothy Salmon & Arthur Zillante, 2005. "An experimental test of alternative models of bidding in ascending auctions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 287-313, 06.
  16. Avery, Christopher, 1998. "Strategic Jump Bidding in English Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 185-210, April.
  17. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
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