Sealed-Bid Auctions: Case Study

F.D.J. van Schaik, J.P.C. Kleijnen

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Auctions are an important link in supply chains.This paper presents an empirical investigation of a single-shot simultaneous or sealed-bid auction.This case study concerns the mussel trade in Yerseke, the Netherlands.It surprisingly demonstrates that companies buying large quantities of mussels pay higher unit prices.It also reveals that auction prices react sharply to changes in annual supply and that seasonality causes a bullwhip effect.Finally, purchase managers perform significantly differently from each other, when accounting for the above price factors and "hedonic price" factors, which represent objectively measured product characteristics.To derive these conclusions, this paper uses a simple linear regression model that: (i) extracts information from a database of 28,017 mussel lots enabling the rejection of four intuitive null-hypotheses; (ii) has signs for all explanatory variables that are correct from the viewpoint of economics or marine biology; and (iii) provides a novel tool for objective performance evaluation of purchase managers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherOperations research
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • auctions
  • performance measurement
  • purchasing
  • supply chain


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