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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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6323.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6323
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  1. 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.
  2. Athey,S. & Haile,P.A., 2000. "Identification of standard auction models," Working papers 13, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 403-26, May.
  5. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  6. 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.
  7. McDonald, James B, 1984. "Some Generalized Functions for the Size Distribution of Income," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 647-63, May.
  8. 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.
  9. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Ossard, Hervé & Vuong, Quang, 1991. "Econometrics of First-Price Auctions," IDEI Working Papers 7, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  10. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 343-347.
  11. 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 121-48, February.
  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. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  14. repec:cup:etheor:v:12:y:1996:i:3:p:517-67 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  16. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Vuong, Quang, 1996. "Structural Analysis of Auction Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 414-20, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
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