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Estimating risk aversion from ascending and sealed-bid auctions: the case of timber auction data

  • Jingfeng Lu

    (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

  • Isabelle Perrigne

    (Department of Economics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)

Estimating bidders' risk aversion in auctions is a challenging problem because of identification issues. This paper takes advantage of bidding data from two auction designs to identify nonparametrically the bidders' utility function within a private value framework. In particular, ascending auction data allow one to recover the latent distribution of private values, while first-price sealed-bid auction data allow one to recover the bidders' utility function. This leads to a nonparametric estimator. An application to the US Forest Service timber auctions is proposed. Estimated utility functions display concavity, which can be partly captured by constant relative risk aversion. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jae.1032
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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca:80/jae/2008-v23.7/
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 871-896

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:23:y:2008:i:7:p:871-896
DOI: 10.1002/jae.1032
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0883-7252/

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  1. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2005. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 703-741, August.
  2. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, March.
  3. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  4. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2002. "Identification of Standard Auction Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2107-2140, November.
  5. Esö, Péter & White, Lucy, 2003. "Precautionary Bidding in Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3975, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Philip Haile, 2000. "Inference with an Incomplete Model of English Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1546, Econometric Society.
  7. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  8. Haile, P.A., 1997. "Auctions with Resale Markets: An Application to U.S. Forest Service Timber Sales," Working papers 9702, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Levin, Jonathan & Athey, Susan, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Scholarly Articles 3612768, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Quang Vuong & Isabelle Perrigne, 2007. "Identification and Estimation of Bidders' Risk Aversion in First-Price Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 444-448, May.
  11. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Goeree, Jacob & Holt, Charles, 2000. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-value Auctions," Working Papers 1073, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin & Enrique Seira, 2008. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Evidence from Timber Auctions," Discussion Papers 08-012, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  13. Joris Pinkse & Guofu Tan, 2005. "The Affiliation Effect in First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 263-277, 01.
  14. Powell, James L & Stock, James H & Stoker, Thomas M, 1989. "Semiparametric Estimation of Index Coefficients," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1403-30, November.
  15. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  16. Quang Vuong & Sandra Campo & Isabelle Perrigne, 2003. "Asymmetry in first-price auctions with affiliated private values," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 179-207.
  17. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. "Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
  18. Athey, Susan & Haile, Philip A., 2007. "Nonparametric Approaches to Auctions," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 60 Elsevier.
  19. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2009. "Nonparametric Identification of Risk Aversion in First-Price Auctions Under Exclusion Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1193-1227, 07.
  20. 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.
  21. Thomas Palfrey, 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private Value Auctions," Theory workshop papers 357966000000000089, UCLA Department of Economics.
  22. Hansen, Robert G, 1986. "Sealed-Bid versus Open Auctions: The Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 125-42, January.
  23. Steven A. Matthews, 1985. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Pointof View," Discussion Papers 664R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  24. 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 657-99, August.
  25. Hansen, Robert G, 1985. "Empirical Testing of Auction Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 156-59, May.
  26. Sandra Campo & Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2003. "Semiparametric Estimation of First-price Auctions with Risk Averse Bidders," Working Papers 2003-09, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  27. Chaudhuri, Probal, 1991. "Global nonparametric estimation of conditional quantile functions and their derivatives," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 246-269, November.
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