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A Laboratory Comparison of Uniform and Discriminative Price Auctions for Reducing Non-point Source Pollution

Author

Listed:
  • Timothy N. Cason
  • Lata Gangadharan

Abstract

Auctions allow regulators to identify land management changes with substantial environmental benefit and low opportunity cost. This paper reports an experiment in which seller subjects compete in sealed-offer auctions to obtain part of a fixed budget allocated by the experimenter-regulator to subsidize pollution abatement. One treatment employs uniform-price auction rules, whereas another treatment employs discriminative price auction rules. We find that most offers in the uniform-price auction are within 2% of cost, whereas most offers in the discriminative price auction are at least 8% greater than cost. Nevertheless, the discriminativeprice auction has superior overall market performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy N. Cason & Lata Gangadharan, 2005. "A Laboratory Comparison of Uniform and Discriminative Price Auctions for Reducing Non-point Source Pollution," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:81:y:2005:i:1:p51-70
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-955, December.
    2. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
    3. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata & Duke, Charlotte, 2003. "A laboratory study of auctions for reducing non-point source pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 446-471, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Sushil Bikhchandani & Chi-fu Huang, 1993. "The Economics of Treasury Securities Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 117-134, Summer.
    6. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
    7. Tenorio, Rafael, 1993. "Revenue Equivalence and Bidding Behavior in a Multi-unit Auction Market: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 302-314, May.
    8. Umlauf, Steven R., 1993. "An empirical study of the Mexican Treasury bill auction," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 313-340, June.
    9. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1984. " Theory and Behavior of Multiple Unit Discriminative Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 983-1010, September.
    10. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    11. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F, 1993. "Auctions of Divisible Goods: On the Rationale for the Treasury Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(4), pages 733-764.
    12. Holt, Charles A, Jr, 1980. "Competitive Bidding for Contracts under Alternative Auction Procedures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 433-445, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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