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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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    Cited by:

    1. Janssen, Aljoscha, 2022. "Innovation Begets Innovation and Concentration: The Case of Upstream Oil & Gas in the North Sea," Working Paper Series 1431, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. Michele Fioretti & Alessandro Iaria & Aljoscha Janssen & Cl'ement Mazet-Sonilhac & Robert K. Perrons, 2022. "Innovation Begets Innovation and Concentration: The Case of Upstream Oil & Gas in the North Sea," Papers 2205.13186, arXiv.org, revised May 2022.
    3. 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.
    4. Paul A. Brehm & Eric Lewis, 2021. "Information asymmetry, trade, and drilling: evidence from an oil lease lottery," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 52(3), pages 496-514, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Bryan K. Bollinger & Wesley R. Hartmann, 2020. "Information vs. Automation and Implications for Dynamic Pricing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(1), pages 290-314, January.
    7. Philip A Haile & Yuichi Kitamura, 2019. "Unobserved heterogeneity in auctions," The Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 22(1), pages 1-19.
    8. Cristián Hernández & Daniel Quint & Christopher Turansick, 2020. "Estimation in English auctions with unobserved heterogeneity," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 51(3), pages 868-904, September.
    9. Gimenes, Nathalie & Guerre, Emmanuel, 2020. "Nonparametric identification of an interdependent value model with buyer covariates from first-price auction bids," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 219(1), pages 1-18.
    10. Rodrigo Carril & Andres Gonzalez-Lira & Michael S. Walker, 2022. "Competition under incomplete contracts and the design of procurement policies," Economics Working Papers 1824, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

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