Auctions


I am interested in three auction-related topics:

1. Online consumer auctions
2. Business-to-business (procurement) auctions.
3. Competition between auctions

Consumer auctions.

Oneline consumer auctions (like eBay) present many interesting new challenges that have not been previously considered or explored in the pre-eBay auction literature. Since the data is fairly easy to obtain (despite the many new ways devised by eBay to make it difficult for researchers to collect eBay data), researchers in many disciplines have looked at this data from many interesting angles. One interesting issue that has made it to the top of the research topics list is the issue of reputation. Sellers on eBay have feedback ratings which buyers presumably use to choose between sellers, and to assess risk, which could affect their valuations for the items. With Ram Rao and Norris Bruce, I have a paper on reputation and default on eBay.

Bruce, N., E. Haruvy and R. Rao (2004) “Seller Rating, Price, and Default in Online Auctions.” J. of Interactive Marketing,18(4), 37-50.

The issues of reputation (feedback ratings), buy now option, reserve prices and secret reserve prices have all been extensively studied in the literature. We study them too and also review the literature in

  Ernan Haruvy and Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszczyc (2009), What does it take to make consumers search?

This study reports field experiments using eBay.  I like field studies because they truly help control for a lot of factors that could make interpreting the data difficult. There are many wonderful opportunities for field studies in consumer auctions. I have several finished (and several unfinished) papers with Peter T.L. Popkowski Leszczyc. 
Peter has his own auction website, CampusAuctionMarket.com, running out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This is an established auction website with thousands of registered and active users. So it is unbelievably fun to run field experiments with Peter.

Here are some papers that came out as a result:

1. Ernan Haruvy and Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszczyc (2009), The Impact of Online Auction Duration
2. Ernan Haruvy and Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszczyc (2009), What does it take to make consumers search?
3. Ernan Haruvy and Peter T. L. Popkowski Leszcyck (2009), Bidder Motives in Cause Related Auctions




Business-to-Business Auctions

With Elena Katok, I have two finished papers on procurement auctions formats.

Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Ernan Haruvy and Elena Katok, A comparison of buyer-determined and price-based multi-attribute mechanisms Marketing Science, 2007, 26(5), pp. 629-641.



With Sandy Jap, I have two finished papers on procurement auctions bidding and relationships.

Jap, S. and E. Haruvy (2009), “Inter-organizational Relationships and Bidding Behavior in Industrial Online Reverse Auctions,” forthcoming Journal of Marketing Research.

Haruvy, E. and S. Jap (2009), "Bidding Strategies in buyer-determined online reverse auctions".


Competition between auctions
    In some cases, it may not be reasonable or practical to think of an auction as operating in a vacuum, without considering other auctions that compete against it. To address approaches to remedy this oversight in economics, I co-organized with Peter a session at the 2007 Seventh Triennial Invitational Choice Symposium, Wharton, June 13-17, called “Competition Between Auctions.” Some of the findings of this session are published in Marketing Letters.

Haruvy, Ernan E. and Peter T.L. Popkowski Leszczyc Octavian Carare, James C. Cox, Eric A. Greenleaf, Wolfgang Jank, Sandy Jap, Young-Hoon Park and Michael H. Rothkopf (2008), “Competition between Auctions,” forthcoming in  Marketing Letters. 

The abstract of that article states: "Even though auctions are capturing an increasing share of commerce, they are typically treated in the theoretical economics literature as isolated. That is, an auction is typically treated as a single seller facing multiple buyers or as a single buyer facing multiple sellers. In this paper, we review the state of the art of competition between auctions. We consider three different types of competition: competition between auctions, competition between formats, and competition between auctioneers vying for auction traffic. We highlight the newest experimental, statistical, and analytical methods in the analysis of competition between auctions."

I think this abstract nicely summarizes my range of interests in competition between auctions. 

At some point in the past, I was trying to convince auction and matching theorists and practitioners that the right way to deal with business-to-business auctions, or any auctions that involve multiple sellers and multiple buyers interacting repeatedly, is through a matching framework. That did not go very far, but resulted in one published paper and a couple of working papers. The published paper is:

Haruvy, E. and U. Unver (2007), “Equilibrium Selection and the Role of Information in Repeated Matching Markets,Economic Letters 94, 284-289.

Note that this paper does not involve the term 'auction'. We took it out because we did not have prices in the paper and audiences were often unhappy with an auction story without prices in it.

The working papers are a review Paper with Ram Rao and Utku Unver and a working paper with Sherry Li and Kutsal Dogan.