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Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions

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  • Levin, Jonathan
  • Athey, Susan

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of private information in U.S. Forest Service timber auctions. In these auctions, firms bid a per unit price for each timber species. Total bids are computed by multiplying these prices by Forest Service volume estimates, but payments depend on actual volumes harvested. We develop an equilibrium theory for these auctions. We then relate (ex post) data about volume to (ex ante) bids. We show that bidders have private information about volumes of species and use it as predicted by theory. Differences in bidder estimates appear to affect the allocation of tracts, but competition limits information rents.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3612768/Athey_InformationCompetition.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3612768.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3612768

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  1. Haile,P.A., 1999. "Auctions with resale," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 33, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Che, Y.K., 1991. "Design Competition through Multidimensional Auctions," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 9123, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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