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Common values, unobserved heterogeneity, and endogenous entry in U.S. offshore oil lease auctions

Author

Listed:
  • Giovanni Compiani

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Phil Haile

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University)

  • Marcelo Sant'Anna

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

An oil lease auction is the classic example motivating a common values model. However, formal testing for common values has been hindered by unobserved auction-level heterogeneity, which is likely to affect both participation in an auction and bidders' willingness to pay. We develop and apply an empirical approach for fi rst-price sealed bid auctions with affiliated values, unobserved heterogeneity, and endogenous bidder entry. The approach also accommodates spatial dependence and sample selection. Following Haile, Hong and Shum (2003), we specify a reduced form for bidder entry outcomes and rely on an instrument for entry. However, we relax their control function requirements and demonstrate that our specifi cation is generated by a fully speci fied game motivated by our application. We show that important features of the model are nonparametrically identifi ed and propose a semiparametric estimation approach designed to scale well to the moderate sample sizes typically encountered in practice. Our empirical results show that common values, affiliated private information, and unobserved heterogeneity - three distinct phenomena with different implications for policy and empirical work - are all present and important in U.S. offshore oil and gas lease auctions. We find that ignoring unobserved heterogeneity in the empirical model obscures the presence of common values. We also examine the interaction between affiliation, the winner's curse, and the number of bidders in determining the aggressiveness of bidding and seller revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Compiani & Phil Haile & Marcelo Sant'Anna, 2018. "Common values, unobserved heterogeneity, and endogenous entry in U.S. offshore oil lease auctions," CeMMAP working papers CWP37/18, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:37/18
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H & Wilson, Charles A, 1994. "Auctions for Oil and Gas Leases with an Informed Bidder and a Random Reservation Price," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1415-1444, November.
    3. Quang Vuong & Sandra Campo & Isabelle Perrigne, 2003. "Asymmetry in first-price auctions with affiliated private values," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 179-207.
    4. Hubbard, Timothy P. & Li, Tong & Paarsch, Harry J., 2012. "Semiparametric estimation in models of first-price, sealed-bid auctions with affiliation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 168(1), pages 4-16.
    5. Chen, Xiaohong & Pouzo, Demian, 2009. "Efficient estimation of semiparametric conditional moment models with possibly nonsmooth residuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 152(1), pages 46-60, September.
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    8. Ali Hortaçsu & Jakub Kastl, 2012. "Valuing Dealers' Informational Advantage: A Study of Canadian Treasury Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2511-2542, November.
    9. Vasilis Syrgkanis & Elie Tamer & Juba Ziani, 2017. "Inference on Auctions with Weak Assumptions on Information," Papers 1710.03830, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2018.
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    Cited by:

    1. Grundl, Serafin & Zhu, Yu, 2019. "Identification and estimation of risk aversion in first-price auctions with unobserved auction heterogeneity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 210(2), pages 363-378.
    2. Nathalie Gimenes & Emmanuel Guerre, 2019. "Nonparametric identification of an interdependent value model with buyer covariates from first-price auction bids," Papers 1910.10646, arXiv.org.
    3. Philip A Haile & Yuichi Kitamura, 2019. "Unobserved heterogeneity in auctions," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 22(1), pages 1-19.

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