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

  • Horowitz, John K.
  • Lynch, Lori
  • Stocking, Andrew

This paper studies bidder behavior in an innovative program in which farmers compete to sell their development rights to the State. We derive a reduced form bidding model that includes both private value and common value components. This model allows us to estimate the role of bidder competition, the winner’s curse correction, and the underlying distribution of private values. We find that competition reducelers adjust for a possible winner’s curse by increasing their bids by roughly 10 percent over their reservation values. Using the inferred reservation values, we compare this program to an alternative take-it-or-leave-it offer. We find that a take-it-or-leave-it offer of 50 percent of development values would have preserved more farmland for an equivalent budget than the current reverse auction setup.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/7340
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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 7340.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umdrwp:7340
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kenneth Hendricks & Joris Pinkse & Robert H. Porter, 2001. "Empirical Implications of Equilibrium Bidding in First-Price, Symmetric, Common Value Auctions," NBER Working Papers 8294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Matthews, Steven, 1987. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Point of View," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 633-46, May.
  5. Athey,S. & Haile,P.A., 2000. "Identification of standard auction models," Working papers 13, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2002. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 871-898.
  9. Philip A. Haile & Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2004. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values in First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Working Papers 2004.149, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. 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.
  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. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  13. Kent D. Messer & William Allen III, 2008. "Applying Optimization and the Analytic Hierarchy Process to Enhance Agricultural Preservation Strategies in the State of Delaware," Working Papers 08-18, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Rodney B.W. Smith, 1995. "The Conservation Reserve Program as a Least-Cost Land Retirement Mechanism," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(1), pages 93-105.
  17. 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.
  18. Gordy, Michael B, 1998. "Computationally Convenient Distributional Assumptions for Common-Value Auctions," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 61-78, August.
  19. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2002. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 871-898.
  20. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  21. 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.
  22. Matthew Shum, 1998. "Structural Estimation Of Auction Models," Working Papers mshum-98-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  23. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
  24. Matthew Shum, 2000. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1598, Econometric Society.
  25. Katherine Reichelderfer & William G. Boggess, 1988. "Government Decision Making and Program Performance: The Case of the Conservation Reserve Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 70(1), pages 1-11.
  26. Vukina, Tomislav & Zheng, Xiaoyong & Marra, Michele & Levy, Armando, 2008. "Do farmers value the environment? Evidence from a conservation reserve program auction," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1323-1332, November.
  27. Han Hong, 2000. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1628, Econometric Society.
  28. 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.
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