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A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel

Author

Listed:
  • John Asker

Abstract

This paper examines bidding in over 1,700 knockout auctions used by a bidding cartel (or ring) of stamp dealers in the 1990s. The knockout was conducted using a variant of the model studied by Daniel Graham, Robert Marshall, and Jean-Francois Richard (1990). Following a reduced form examination of these data, damages, induced inefficiency, and the ring's benefit from colluding are estimated using a structural model in the spirit of Emmanuel Guerre, Isabelle Perrigne, and Quang Vuong (2000). A notable finding is that nonring bidders suffered damages that were of the same order of magnitude as those of the sellers. (JEL D43, D44, L12)

Suggested Citation

  • John Asker, 2010. "A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 724-762, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:3:p:724-62
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.724
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C, 1987. "Collusive Bidder Behavior at Single-Object Second-Price and English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1217-1239, December.
    2. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Frode Steen, 2006. "On the Workings of a Cartel: Evidence from the Norwegian Cement Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 321-338, March.
    3. Philip A. Haile & Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2003. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values at First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," NBER Working Papers 10105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Steven D. Levitt & Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 2000. "An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 755-789.
    5. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1990. "Differential Payments within a Bidder Coalition and the Shapley Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 493-510, June.
    6. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin & Enrique Seira, 2004. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000524, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071.
    8. Li, Tong & Vuong, Quang, 1998. "Nonparametric Estimation of the Measurement Error Model Using Multiple Indicators," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 139-165, May.
    9. Baldwin, Laura H & Marshall, Robert C & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1997. "Bidder Collusion at Forest Service Timber Sales," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 657-699, August.
    10. Lizzeri, Alessandro & Persico, Nicola, 2000. "Uniqueness and Existence of Equilibrium in Auctions with a Reserve Price," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 83-114, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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