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Auctioned and Re-auctioned Children in 19th Century Sweden


  • Bergman, Mats

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Lundberg, Sofia

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)


During the 19th century, poor and orphan Swedish children were boarded out. The foster-parents' compensation was determined in English auctions. Some children were re-auctioned. We use historical data from such auctions to study whether informational asymmetry and possibly adverse selection affected the outcome in the market for re-auctioned children. The empirical findings are consistent with adverse selection.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergman, Mats & Lundberg, Sofia, 1998. "Auctioned and Re-auctioned Children in 19th Century Sweden," Umeå Economic Studies 468, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0468

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    Adverse selection; asymmetric information; common value; English auction; private values;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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