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eBay Best Offer Bargaining Data


Important Information

These data were developed as part of the NSF Project #1629060 "Bilateral Bargaining through the Lens of Big Data." They have been cleared for public release by and are available for research purposes. All personally identifying information has been removed.

Please cite the following paper in any written work that uses this data:

             Backus, Matthew, Thomas Blake, Bradley Larsen, and Steven Tadelis (2020) "Sequential Bargaining in the Field: Evidence from Millions of Online Interactions," Quarterly Journal of Economics,

A free pdf of the paper and appendices is available on the authors' websites. The earlier NBER Working Paper 24306. A detailed description of the data and a descriptive summary of basic features can be found in the paper and appendices. What follows is a summary.

              (1) The data in anon_bo_lists.csv consists of 98 million listings on eBay?s Best Offer bargaining platform from May 1, 2012 to June 1, 2013. These data include listing-level variables such as the listing price, reference prices (constructed), category, etc.

              (2) The data in anon_bo_threads.csv consists of the offers and counteroffers corresponding to listings in anon_bo_lists. These data include timing as well as indicators for the status of the offer, numbers of prior transactions of parties involved, etc.

This directory houses a codebook describing the variables, a zip folder containing both datasets (that can be un-zipped on a Windows machine), a *.gz version of each dataset (for un-zipping on non-Windows machines), and zip folder containing the code used for the analysis in the paper.

Questions may be sent to or to the authors.



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