Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions
AbstractThis paper studies the bidding behavior of firms in U.S. Forest Service timber auctions in 1976--1990. When conducting timber auctions, the Forest Service publicly announces its estimates of the tract characteristics before the auction, and each bidder additionally has an opportunity to inspect the tract and form its own private estimates. We build a model that incorporates both differential information and the fact that bids placed in timber auctions are multidimensional. The theory predicts that bidders will strategically distort their bids based on their private information, a practice known as 'skewed bidding.' Using a dataset that includes both the public ex ante Forest Service estimates and the ex post realizations of the tract characteristics, we test our model and provide evidence that bidders do possess private information. Our results suggest that private information affects Forest Service revenue and creates allocational inefficiency. Finally, we establish that risk aversion plays an important role in bidding behavior.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7185.
Date of creation: Jun 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Athey, Susan and Jonathan Levin. "Information And Competition In U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, 2001, v109(2,Apr), 375-417.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Other versions of this item:
- Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 375-417, April.
- Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin, 1999. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Working papers 99-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Levin, Jonathan & Athey, Susan, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Scholarly Articles 3612768, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Auctions
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-07-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-1999-07-28 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-MIC-1999-07-28 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Che, Y.K., 1991.
"Design Competition through Multidimensional Auctions,"
9123, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Yeon-Koo Che, 1993. "Design Competition through Multidimensional Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 668-680, Winter.
- Haile,P.A., 1999. "Auctions with resale," Working papers 33, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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