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Joint Bidding, Information Pooling, and the Performance of Petroleum Lease Auctions


  • Larry M. DeBrock
  • James L. Smith


This article uses a game-theoretic bidding model to examine the effect of joint bidding in offshore petroleum lease auctions. We show that joint bidding increases the total social value of the lease offering and, in most cases, does not significantly decrease the percentage of social value captured by the government. These results follow from the fact that pooling of information concerning a priori unknown tract values allows for more accurate estimates. The anticompetitive effect of a reduced number of bidders tends to be offset by the well-known fact that better informed participants bid more aggressively. Our findings are striking in that the model abstracts entirely from the effects of increased entry and greater risk diversification, the two common arguments in support of joint bidding.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry M. DeBrock & James L. Smith, 1983. "Joint Bidding, Information Pooling, and the Performance of Petroleum Lease Auctions," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 395-404, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:14:y:1983:i:autumn:p:395-404

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Samet, Dov & Tauman, Yair, 1982. "The Determination of Marginal Cost Prices under a Set of Axioms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 895-909, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dalkir, Serdar & Logan, John W. & Masson, Robert T., 2000. "Mergers in symmetric and asymmetric noncooperative auction markets: the effects on prices and efficiency," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 383-413, April.
    2. Marquez, Robert & Singh, Rajdeep, 2013. "The economics of club bidding and value creation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 493-505.
    3. repec:oup:jcomle:v:3:y:2007:i:1:p:1-47. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Vlad Mares & Mikhael Shor, 2013. "Information concentration in common value environments," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 17(3), pages 183-203, September.
    5. Loyola, Gino, 2012. "Optimal and efficient takeover contests with toeholds," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 203-216.
    6. Paul Klemperer, 2007. "Bidding Markets," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-47.
    7. Cramton, Peter C, 1995. "Money Out of Thin Air: The Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 267-343, Summer.
    8. Boone, Audra L. & Mulherin, J. Harold, 2011. "Do private equity consortiums facilitate collusion in takeover bidding?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1475-1495.
    9. Kim, Tae-Nyun & Palia, Darius, 2014. "Private equity alliances in mergers," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 10-20.
    10. Mares Vlad & Shor Mikhael, 2012. "On the Competitive Effects of Bidding Syndicates," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-33, September.
    11. Waehrer, Keith, 1999. "Asymmetric private values auctions with application to joint bidding and mergers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 437-452, April.

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