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An Iterative Auction for Spatially Contiguous Land Management: An Experimental Analysis

Author

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  • Banerjee, Simanti
  • Shortle, James S.
  • Kwasnica, Anthony M.

Abstract

Tackling the problem of ecosystem services degradation is an important policy challenge. Different types of economic instruments have been employed by conservation agencies to meet this challenge. Notable among them are Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes that pay private landowners to change land uses to pro-environmental ones on their properties. This paper focuses on a PES scheme – an auction for the cost-efficient disbursal of government funds for selection of spatially contiguous land management projects. The auction is structured as an iterative descending price auction where every bid is evaluated on the basis of a scoring metric – a benefit cost ratio. The ecological effectiveness and economic efficiency of the auction is tested with data generated from lab experiments. These experiments use the information available to the subjects about the spatial goal as the treatment variable. Analysis indicates that the information reduces the cost-efficiency of the auction. Experience with bidding also has a negative impact on auction efficiency. The study also provides an analysis of the behavior of winners and losers at the final auction outcome. Winners and losers are found to have significantly different behavior with winners bidding much higher than their costs than losers.

Suggested Citation

  • Banerjee, Simanti & Shortle, James S. & Kwasnica, Anthony M., 2011. "An Iterative Auction for Spatially Contiguous Land Management: An Experimental Analysis," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103220, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103220
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/103220/files/Banerjee_Shortle_Kwasnica.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C. & Zillante, Arthur, 2007. "A theory of jump bidding in ascending auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 144-164, January.
    2. Charles R. Plott, 1997. "Laboratory Experimental Testbeds: Application to the PCS Auction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 605-638, September.
    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.
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    5. 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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    11. Parkhurst, Gregory M. & Shogren, Jason F. & Bastian, Chris & Kivi, Paul & Donner, Jennifer & Smith, Rodney B. W., 2002. "Agglomeration bonus: an incentive mechanism to reunite fragmented habitat for biodiversity conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 305-328, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Messer, Kent D. & Duke, Joshua M. & Lynch, Lori & Li, Tongzhe, 2017. "When Does Public Information Undermine the Efficiency of Reverse Auctions for the Purchase of Ecosystem Services?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 212-226.

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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Land Economics/Use; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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