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Bidding rings and the winner's curse

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  • Ken Hendricks
  • Robert Porter
  • Guofu Tan

Abstract

This article extends the theory of legal cartels to affiliated private value and common value environments. We show that efficient collusion is always possible in private value environments, but may not be in common value environments with a binding reserve price. In the latter case, collusion does more than simply transfer rents from the seller to the buyers, it also gives buyers a chance to pool their information prior to trade and make an efficient investment decision. However, full efficiency may not be compatible with information revelation. Buyers with high signals may be better off if no one colludes, leading to inefficient trade. This result provides a possible explanation for the low incidence of joint bidding, especially on marginal tracts, in U.S. federal government offshore oil and gas lease auctions. Copyright (c) 2008, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • Ken Hendricks & Robert Porter & Guofu Tan, 2008. "Bidding rings and the winner's curse," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 1018-1041.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:39:y:2008:i:4:p:1018-1041
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1756-2171.2008.00048.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
    2. Tan, Guofu & Yilankaya, Okan, 2007. "Ratifiability of efficient collusive mechanisms in second-price auctions with participation costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 383-396, May.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
    4. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2002. "Prices and the Winner's Curse," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(1), pages 1-21, Spring.
    5. Waehrer, Keith & Perry, Martin K, 2003. " The Effects of Mergers in Open-Auction Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 287-304, Summer.
    6. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    7. Kenneth Hendricks & Joris Pinkse & Robert H. Porter, 2003. "Empirical Implications of Equilibrium Bidding in First-Price, Symmetric, Common Value Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 115-145.
    8. Cramton Peter C. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Ratifiable Mechanisms: Learning from Disagreement," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 255-283, August.
    9. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    10. Porter, Robert H, 1995. "The Role of Information in U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 1-27, January.
    11. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-538, June.
    12. 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.
    13. Vlad Mares & Mikhael Shor, 2008. "Industry concentration in common value auctions: theory and evidence," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 35(1), pages 37-56, April.
    14. Mailath, George J. & Zemsky, Peter, 1991. "Collusion in second price auctions with heterogeneous bidders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 467-486, November.
    15. 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.
    16. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1999. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 263-288, Summer.
    17. Martin Pesendorfer, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411.
    18. Robert Wilson, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 511-518.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Forges, Françoise & Orzach, Ram, 2011. "Core-stable rings in second price auctions with common values," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 760-767.
    2. Haile, Philip & Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert, 2010. "Recent U.S. offshore oil and gas lease bidding: A progress report," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 390-396, July.
    3. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:66:n:4:a:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Lorentziadis, Panos L., 2016. "Optimal bidding in auctions from a game theory perspective," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 347-371.
    5. Moura, Rodrigo Leandro & Canêdo-Pinheiro, Maurício & Daitx, Fernando, 2012. "Determinantes do lance vencedor em leilões de petróleo e gás: Avaliando o caso brasileiro," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 66(4), December.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7891 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. François Castonguay & Pierre Lasserre, 2016. "Resource Agency Relationship with Privately Known Exploration and Extraction Costs," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-56, CIRANO.
    8. repec:eee:jetheo:v:170:y:2017:i:c:p:319-345 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Omer Biran, 2013. "Strategic collusion in auctions with externalities," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 117-136, July.
    10. Biran, Omer, 2011. "Mécanismes d'échange en présence d'externalités," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/7238 edited by Forges, Françoise, December.
    11. Beshears, John, 2013. "The performance of corporate alliances: Evidence from oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 324-346.

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