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Millers, Commission Agents and Collusion in Grain Auction Markets: Evidence from Basmati Auctions in North India

  • A. BANERJI

    (Delhi School of Economics)

  • J. V. MEENAKSHI

    (Delhi School of Economics)

This paper undertakes structural estimation of asymmetric auction models in a market for basmati, and detects the presence of a cartel consisting of a large (in market share) local miller and commission agents purchasing for large distant millers. The contracts between the distant millers and their commission agents help to explain the specific form that collusion takes. Simulations indicate that (i) the cartel gains considerably by colluding, over the competitive outcome; (ii) however, sellers (farmers) do not lose significantly under collusion when the commission agents bid; (iii) a knowledgeable auctioneer would choose much higher starting prices for auctions when commission agents bid, compared with the observed starting prices. The paper also shows that efficient collusion, the form of collusion commonly assumed in the literature, does not explain the data well.

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Paper provided by Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics in its series Working papers with number 129.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:129
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  1. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C, 1987. "Collusive Bidder Behavior at Single-Object Second-Price and English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1217-39, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Ossard, Herve & Vuong, Quang, 1995. "Econometrics of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 953-80, July.
  4. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2003. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Working Papers 03002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  5. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2001. "Econometric Models of Asymmetric Ascending Auctions," Economics Working Paper Archive 453, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  6. repec:cup:etheor:v:12:y:1996:i:3:p:517-67 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Baldwin, Laura H & Marshall, Robert C & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1997. "Bidder Collusion at Forest Service Timber Sales," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 657-99, August.
  8. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1997. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," NBER Working Papers 6037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Martin Pesendorfer, 2001. "Estimation of a Dynamic Auction Game," NBER Working Papers 8626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kenneth Hendricks & Robert Porter, 1989. "Collusion in Auctions," Discussion Papers 817, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  12. Hopenhayn, Hugo A. & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2001. "Tacit Collusion in Repeated Auctions," Research Papers 1698r2, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  13. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2002. "Identification of Standard Auction Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2107-2140, November.
  14. Donald, Stephen G. & Paarsch, Harry J., 1996. "Identification, Estimation, and Testing in Parametric Empirical Models of Auctions within the Independent Private Values Paradigm," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 517-567, August.
  15. 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.
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