IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

If Winning Isn't Everything, Why Do They Keep Score? A Structural Empirical Analysis of Dutch Flower Auctions


  • van den Berg, Gerard J
  • van der Klaauw, Bas


This paper provides a structural empirical analysis of Dutch auctions of houseplants at the flower auction in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands. The data set is unique for Dutch auctions in the sense that it includes observations of all losing bids in an interval adjacent to the winning bid. The size of this interval is determined by the speed of reaction of the auction participants, and as such these data are collectible due to neurological constraints on information processing. The data on losing bids are shown to be informative on the structural model determinants. The models are estimated using the Gibbs sampler with data augmentation. We take account of data limitations concerning the number of bidders. The estimation results are used to investigate whether actual reserve prices are optimal, and to determine the effects of reserve price changes.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2007. "If Winning Isn't Everything, Why Do They Keep Score? A Structural Empirical Analysis of Dutch Flower Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6323, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6323

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
    2. repec:cup:etheor:v:12:y:1996:i:3:p:517-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kenneth Hendricks & Harry J. Paarsch, 1995. "A Survey of Recent Empirical Work Concerning Auctions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 403-426, May.
    4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Ossard, Herve & Vuong, Quang, 1995. "Econometrics of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 953-980, July.
    5. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "Empirical Inference with Equilibrium Search Models of the Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 283-306, June.
    6. McDonald, James B, 1984. "Some Generalized Functions for the Size Distribution of Income," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 647-663, May.
    7. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    8. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 343-347.
    9. van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "On the uniqueness of optimal prices set by monopolistic sellers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 482-491, December.
    10. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2002. "Identification of Standard Auction Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2107-2140, November.
    11. Bajari, Patrick & Hortacsu, Ali, 2003. " The Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices, and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 329-355, Summer.
    12. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
    13. 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.
    14. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-599, June.
    15. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1997. "Game theory and empirical economics: The case of auction data 1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 1-35, January.
    16. Wolfstetter, Elmar, 1996. " Auctions: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 367-420, December.
    17. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
    18. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Vuong, Quang, 1996. "Structural Analysis of Auction Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 414-420, May.
    19. Steven A. Matthews, 1995. "A Technical Primer on Auction Theory I: Independent Private Values," Discussion Papers 1096, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    20. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
    21. Elena Katok & Alvin E. Roth, 2004. "Auctions of Homogeneous Goods with Increasing Returns: Experimental Comparison of Alternative "Dutch" Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(8), pages 1044-1063, August.
    22. Donald, S.G. & Paarsch, H.J., 1992. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation in Empirical Models of Auctions," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9211, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    23. Donald, Stephen G & Paarsch, Harry J, 1993. "Piecewise Pseudo-maximum Likelihood Estimation in Empirical Models of Auctions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 121-148, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. An, Yonghong & Hu, Yingyao & Shum, Matthew, 2010. "Estimating first-price auctions with an unknown number of bidders: A misclassification approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 328-341, August.

    More about this item


    data augmentation; first-price auction; Gibbs sampling; Markov Chain Monte Carlo; observing losing bids; private value; reserve price; speed of reaction;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6323. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.