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Inference with an Incomplete Model of English Auctions

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  • Philip Haile

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Abstract

Standard models of English auctions abstract from actual practice by assuming that bidders continuously affirm their willingness to pay as the price rises exogenously. This creates a significant mismatch between the bids envisioned in theory and those observed in practice, limiting the usefulness of the theory as a basis for a structural econometric model. We show that one often can obtain tight bounds on the structural objects of interest without resorting to dubious identifying assumptions based on existing models. Very weak assumptions provide sufficient structure to enable nonparameteric identification of bounds on the distribution of bidder valuations and the optimal reserve price. When auctions differ in observable characteristics, bounds on parameters of a semiparametric model can also be identified. We apply our estimation approach to data from U.S. Forest Service timber auctions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1546.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1546

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  1. Avery, Christopher, 1998. "Strategic Jump Bidding in English Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 185-210, April.
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  8. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2002. "Identification of Standard Auction Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2107-2140, November.
  9. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Paarsch, Harry J., 1997. "Deriving an estimate of the optimal reserve price: An application to British Columbian timber sales," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 333-357, June.
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