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Inference with an Incomplete Model of English Auctions

  • Philip Haile

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Standard models of English auctions abstract from actual practice by assuming that bidders continuously affirm their willingness to pay as the price rises exogenously. This creates a significant mismatch between the bids envisioned in theory and those observed in practice, limiting the usefulness of the theory as a basis for a structural econometric model. We show that one often can obtain tight bounds on the structural objects of interest without resorting to dubious identifying assumptions based on existing models. Very weak assumptions provide sufficient structure to enable nonparameteric identification of bounds on the distribution of bidder valuations and the optimal reserve price. When auctions differ in observable characteristics, bounds on parameters of a semiparametric model can also be identified. We apply our estimation approach to data from U.S. Forest Service timber auctions.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1546.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1546
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  2. Kenneth Hendricks & Joris Pinkse & Robert H. Porter, 2003. "Empirical Implications of Equilibrium Bidding in First--Price, Symmetric, Common Value Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 115-145, January.
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  8. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Marshall, R.C. & Richard J.F., 1995. "Bider Collusion at Forest Service Timber Sales," Papers 7-95-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  10. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
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  12. John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979. "Optimal Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 152, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Philip A. Haile, 2001. "Auctions with Resale Markets: An Application to U.S. Forest Service Timber Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 399-427, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Elie Tamer, 2003. "Incomplete Simultaneous Discrete Response Model with Multiple Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 147-165, January.
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  17. Paarsch, Harry J., 1997. "Deriving an estimate of the optimal reserve price: An application to British Columbian timber sales," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 333-357, June.
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  19. Zvika Neeman, 1998. "The Effectiveness of Simple Auctions," Papers 0095, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  20. Athey,S. & Haile,P.A., 2000. "Identification of standard auction models," Working papers 13, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  21. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1998. "Synergies in Wireless Telephony: Evidence from the Broadband PCS Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 97jems, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  22. 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.
  23. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "Observable Implications of Models with Multiple Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1431-37, November.
  24. Donald, S.G. & Paarsch, H.J., 1993. "Identification, Estimation, and Testing in Empirical Models of Auction Within the Independent Private Values Paradigm," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9319, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  25. Hendricks, Ken & Porter, Robert H., 2007. "An Empirical Perspective on Auctions," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  26. McAfee, R Preston & Quan, Daniel C & Vincent, Daniel R, 2002. "How to Set Minimum Acceptable Bids, with an Application to Real Estate Auctions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 391-416, December.
  27. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 375-417, April.
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  30. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
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  34. repec:cup:etheor:v:12:y:1996:i:3:p:517-67 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Paarsch, H.J., 1992. "Empirical Models of Auctions and an Application to British Columbian Timber Sales," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9212, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  36. Haile,P.A., 1999. "Auctions with resale," Working papers 33, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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