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Selling “Money” on eBay: A field study of surplus division

Alia Gizatulina and Olga Gorelkina

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 181, issue C, 19-38

Abstract: We study the division of trade surplus in a natural field experiment on German eBay. Acting as a seller, we offer Amazon gift cards with face values between 5 and 500 Euro. eBay users, the subjects of our experiment, make price offers according to the Buy-it-Now or Best Offer trading protocol. Using a novel decomposition method, we infer the trade surplus from the data and find that on average the buyers offer one quarter of the surplus to the seller. Additionally, we document: (i) insignificant effects of stake size; (ii) poor use of strategically relevant public information; and (iii) differences between East and West German subjects.

Keywords: Field experiment; Surplus division; Bargaining; eBay; Online trade; Ultimatum game (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C57 C72 C93 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Related works:
Working Paper: Selling 'Money' on EBay: a Field Study of Surplus Division (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Selling Money on Ebay: A Field Study of Surplus Division (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.11.029

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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