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The Effective Use of Limited Information: Do Bid Maximums Reduce Procurement Cost in Asymmetric Auctions?

  • Hellerstein, Daniel
  • Higgins, Nathaniel

Conservation programs faced with limited budgets often use a competitive enrollment mechanism. Goals of enrollment might include minimizing program expenditures, encouraging broad participation, and inducing adoption of enhanced environmental practices. We use experimental methods to evaluate an auction mechanism that incorporates bid maximums and quality adjustments. We examine this mechanism’s performance characteristics when opportunity costs are heterogeneous across potential participants, and when costs are only approximately known by the purchaser. We find that overly stringent maximums can increase overall expenditures, and that when quality of offers is important, substantial increases in offer maximums can yield a better quality-adjusted result.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/90850
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Article provided by Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association in its journal Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:90850
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.narea.org/

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  1. Uwe Latacz-Lohmann & Carel Van der Hamsvoort, 1997. "Auctioning Conservation Contracts: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 407-418.
  2. Schilizzi, Steven & Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe, 2007. "Assessing the performance of conservation auctions: an experimental study," 2007 Conference (51st), February 13-16, 2007, Queenstown, New Zealand 10436, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  3. Vukina, Tomislav & Zheng, Xiaoyong & Marra, Michele & Levy, Armando, 2008. "Do farmers value the environment? Evidence from a conservation reserve program auction," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1323-1332, November.
  4. Horowitz, John K. & Lynch, Lori & Stocking, Andrew, 2007. "Competition-Based Environmental Policy: An Analysis of Farmland Preservation in Maryland," Working Papers 7340, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  5. Ruben N. Lubowski & Michael J. Roberts, 2005. "How Cost-Effective Are Land Retirement Auctions? Estimating the Difference between Payments and Willingness to Accept in the Conservation Reserve Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1239-1247.
  6. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
  7. Steven Schilizzi & Uwe Latacz-Lohmann, 2007. "Assessing the Performance of Conservation Auctions: An Experimental Study," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 497-515.
  8. Timothy N. Cason & Lata Gangadharan, 2004. "Auction Design for Voluntary Conservation Programs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1211-1217.
  9. Robbin Shoemaker, 1989. "Agricultural Land Values and Rents under the Conservation Reserve Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(2), pages 131-137.
  10. Johansson, Robert C., 2006. "Participant Bidding Enhances Cost Effectiveness," Economic Brief 34085, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  11. Smith, Vernon L, 1976. "Experimental Economics: Induced Value Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 274-79, May.
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