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Bidding Behavior in Competing Auctions: Evidence from eBay


    (University of Macau)

  • Robert McMillan

    (University of Toronto)


    (University of South Australia)

Much of the existing auction literature treats auctions as running independently of one another, with each bidder choosing to participate in only one auction. However, in many online auctions, a number of substitutable goods are auctioned concurrently and bidders can bid on several auctions at the same time. Recent theoretical research shows how bidders can gain from the existence of competing auctions, the current paper providing the first empirical evidence in support of competing auctions theory using online auctions data from eBay. Our results indicate that a significant proportion of bidders do bid across competing auctions and that bidders tend to submit bids on auctions with the lowest standing bid, as the theory predicts. The paper also shows that winning bidders who cross-bid pay lower prices on average than winning bidders who do not.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0505001.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 06 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0505001
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 23. forthcoming in EER
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  1. Axel Ockenfels & Alvin E. Roth, 2003. "Late and Multiple Bidding in Second Price Internet Auctions: Theory and Evidence Concerning Different Rules for Ending an Auction," CESifo Working Paper Series 992, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, . "Last-Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon Auctions on the Internet," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-32, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  3. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew & Mobius, Markus, 2010. "Competing Auctions," Staff General Research Papers 32106, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, 2000. "Last Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Theory and Evidence from a Natural Experiment on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 7729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peters, Michael & Severinov, Sergei, 2005. "Internet Auctions with Many Traders," working papers peters-05-03-30-03-06-03, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 23 Jan 2006.
  6. Bajari, Patrick & Hortacsu, Ali, 2003. " The Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices, and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 329-55, Summer.
  7. Luis Cabral & Ali Hortacsu, 2004. "The Dynamics of Seller Reputation: Theory and Evidence from eBay," NBER Working Papers 10363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael Peters & Sergei Severinov, 1995. "Competition Among Sellers who offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Working Papers peters-95-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Timothy C. Salmon, 2004. "Bidder Preferences Among Auction Institutions," Experimental 0404005, EconWPA.
  10. Resnick, Paul & Zeckhauser, Richard & Swanson, John & Lockwood, Kate, 2003. "The Value of Reputation on eBay: A Controlled Experiment," Working Paper Series rwp03-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. David Lucking-Reiley, 1999. "Using Field Experiments to Test Equivalence between Auction Formats: Magic on the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1063-1080, December.
  12. Patrick Bajari & Ali Horta�su, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
  13. Lucking-Reiley, David, 2000. "Auctions on the Internet: What's Being Auctioned, and How?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 227-52, September.
  14. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
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