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Estimating First-Price Auctions with an Unknown Number of Bidders: A Misclassification Approach

  • Yingyao Hu
  • Matthew Shum

In this paper, we consider nonparametric identification and estimation of first-price auction models when N*, the number of potential bidders, is unknown to the researcher, but observed by bidders. Exploiting results from the recent econometric literature on models with misclassification error, we develop a nonparametric procedure for recovering the distribution of bids conditional on the unknown N*. Monte Carlo results illustrate that the procedure works well in practice. We present illustrative evidence from a dataset of procurement auctions, which shows that accounting for the unobservability of N* can lead to economically meaningful differences in the estimates of bidders' profit margins.

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Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 541.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:541
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  1. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2002. "Identification of Standard Auction Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2107-2140, November.
  2. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2002. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 871-898.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  6. Tong Li, 2005. "Econometrics of first-price auctions with entry and binding reservation prices," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 173-200, May.
  7. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2007. "If Winning Isn't Everything, Why Do They Keep Score? A Structural Empirical Analysis of Dutch Flower Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6323, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Newey, Whitney K. & McFadden, Daniel, 1986. "Large sample estimation and hypothesis testing," Handbook of Econometrics, in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 36, pages 2111-2245 Elsevier.
  9. Pagan,Adrian & Ullah,Aman, 1999. "Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521586115.
  10. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin & Enrique Seira, 2004. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000524, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2009. "Nonparametric Identification of Risk Aversion in First-Price Auctions Under Exclusion Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1193-1227, 07.
  12. Hu, Yingyao, 2008. "Identification and estimation of nonlinear models with misclassification error using instrumental variables: A general solution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 27-61, May.
  13. Rob Porter, 1999. "Empirical Implications of Equilibrium Bidding in First-Price, Symmetric, Common Value Auctions," Working papers 99-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Han Hong, 2000. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1628, Econometric Society.
  15. Matt Shum & Phil Haile & Han Hong, 2003. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values in First-Price Auctions," Economics Working Paper Archive 501, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  16. Philip A. Haile & Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2003. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values in First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1445, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  17. Harry J. Paarsch & Han Hong, 2006. "An Introduction to the Structural Econometrics of Auction Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262162350, June.
  18. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  19. Li, Tong & Perrigne, Isabelle & Vuong, Quang, 2000. "Conditionally independent private information in OCS wildcat auctions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 129-161, September.
  20. Marmer, Vadim & Shneyerov, Artyom & Xu, Pai, 2013. "What model for entry in first-price auctions? A nonparametric approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 176(1), pages 46-58.
  21. 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.
  22. Adams, Christopher P., 2007. "Estimating demand from eBay prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1213-1232, December.
  23. Aprajit Mahajan, 2006. "Identification and Estimation of Regression Models with Misclassification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 631-665, 05.
  24. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Ossard, Herve & Vuong, Quang, 1995. "Econometrics of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 953-80, July.
  25. Matthew Shum, 2000. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1598, Econometric Society.
  26. Tong Li & Xiaoyong Zheng, 2006. "Entry and competition effects in first-price auctions: theory and evidence from procurement auctions," CeMMAP working papers CWP13/06, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  27. Tong Li & Xiaoyong Zheng, 2009. "Entry and Competition Effects in First-Price Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Procurement Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1397-1429.
  28. Samuelson, William F., 1985. "Competitive bidding with entry costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 53-57.
  29. Delaigle, A. & Gijbels, I., 2006. "Data-driven boundary estimation in deconvolution problems," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1965-1994, April.
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