Using Field Experiments to Test Equivalence Between Auction Formats: Magic on the Internet

William Vickrey's predicted equivalences between first-price sealed-bid and Dutch auctions, and between second-price sealed-bid and English auctions, are tested using field experiments that auctioned off collectible trading cards over the Internet. The results indicate that the Dutch auction produces 30 percent higher revenues than the first-price auction format, a violation of the theoretical prediction and a reversal of previous laboratory results, and that the English and second-price formats produce roughly equivalent revenues.


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