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Competition-Based Environmental Policy: An Analysis of Farmland Preservation in Maryland

  • John K. Horowitz
  • Lori Lynch
  • Andrew Stocking

Policy makers have turned to competition- based voluntary-enrollment programs as a cost-effective way to achieve preferred land uses. This paper studies bidder behavior in an innovative auction-based program in which farmers compete to sell and retire the right to develop their land. We derive a reduced-form bidding model that includes private and common values. This model allows us to estimate the role of bidder competition, winner’s curse correction, and the underlying distribution of private values. We estimate that the auction enrolled as many as 3,000 acres (12%) more than a take-it or- leave-it offer would have enrolled for the same budgetary cost

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File URL: http://le.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/85/4/555
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

Volume (Year): 85 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 555-575

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:85:y:2009:i:4:p:555-575
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  1. Stavins, Robert & Plantinga, Andrew & Lubowski, Ruben, 2002. "The Effects of Potential Land Development on Agricultural Land Prices," Discussion Papers dp-02-11-, Resources For the Future.
  2. Hendricks, K. & Paarsch, H.J., 1993. "A Survey of Recent Empirical Work Concerning Auctions," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9309, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2001. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Economics Working Paper Archive 447, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  4. Paarsch, Harry J., 1992. "Deciding between the common and private value paradigms in empirical models of auctions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 191-215.
  5. Kenneth Hendricks & Joris Pinkse & Robert H. Porter, 2003. "Empirical Implications of Equilibrium Bidding in First--Price, Symmetric, Common Value Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 115-145, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Vincent Daniel R., 1995. "Bidding Off the Wall: Why Reserve Prices May Be Kept Secret," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 575-584, April.
  8. Harry J. Paarsch & Han Hong, 2006. "An Introduction to the Structural Econometrics of Auction Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262162350, June.
  9. Philip A. Haile & Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2003. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values in First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1445, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. 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.
  11. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1992. "Bidding Rings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 579-99, June.
    • McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  13. Lori Lynch & Sabrina J. Lovell, 2003. "Combining Spatial and Survey Data to Explain Participation in Agricultural Land reservation Programs," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 259-276.
  14. Michael B. Gordy, 1997. "Computationally convenient distributional assumptions for common value auctions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2002. "Identification of Standard Auction Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2107-2140, November.
  16. 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.
  17. Matthew Shum, 2000. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1598, Econometric Society.
  18. Gary Stoneham & Vivek Chaudhri & Arthur Ha & Loris Strappazzon, 2003. "Auctions for conservation contracts: an empirical examination of Victoria's BushTender trial," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(4), pages 477-500, December.
  19. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  20. Matthew Shum, 1998. "Structural Estimation Of Auction Models," Working Papers mshum-98-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  21. Ruben N. Lubowski & Michael J. Roberts, 2005. "How Cost-Effective Are Land Retirement Auctions? Estimating the Difference between Payments and Willingness to Accept in the Conservation Reserve Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1239-1247.
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