We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details for Prof Jason Shachat

Shachat, J. & Wei, L. (2012). Procuring Commodities: First-Price Sealed-Bid or English Auctions? Marketing Science 31(2): 317-333.

Author(s) from Durham


We use laboratory experiments to examine the relative performance of the English auction (EA) and the first-price sealed-bid auction (FPA) when procuring a commodity. The mean and variance of prices are lower in the FPA than in the EA. Bids and prices in the EA agree with game-theoretic predictions, but they do not agree in the FPA. To resolve these deviations found in the FPA, we introduce a mixture model with three bidding rules: constant absolute markup, constant percentage markup, and strategic best response. A dynamic specification in which bidders can switch strategies as they gain experience is estimated as a hidden Markov model. Initially, about three quarters of the subjects are strategic bidders, but over time, the number of strategic bidders falls to below 65%. There is a corresponding growth in those who use the constant absolute markup rule.