IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions


  • Susan Athey
  • Jonathan Levin


This paper analyzes the role of private information in U.S. Forest Service timber auctions. In these auctions, firms bid a per unit price for each timber species. Total bids are computed by multiplying these prices by Forest Service volume estimates, but payments depend on actual volumes harvested. We develop an equilibrium theory for these auctions. We then relate (ex post) data about volume to (ex ante) bids. We show that bidders have private information about volumes of species and use it as predicted by theory. Differences in bidder estimates appear to affect the allocation of tracts, but competition limits information rents.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 375-417, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:109:y:2001:i:2:p:375-417

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yeon-Koo Che, 1993. "Design Competition through Multidimensional Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 668-680, Winter.
    2. Ronald M. Harstad & Michael H. Rothkopf, 2000. "An "Alternating Recognition" Model of English Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 1-12, January.
    3. Haile,P.A., 1999. "Auctions with resale," Working papers 33, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:109:y:2001:i:2:p:375-417. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.