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Inference of Bidders' Risk Attitudes in Ascending Auctions with Endogenous Entry

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  • Hanming Fang
  • Xun Tang

Abstract

Bidders' risk attitudes have key implications for choices of revenue-maximizing auction formats. In ascending auctions, bid distributions do not provide information about risk preference. We infer risk attitudes using distributions of transaction prices and participation decisions in ascending auctions with entry costs. Nonparametric tests are proposed for two distinct scenarios: first, the expected entry cost can be consistently estimated from data; second, the data does not report entry costs but contains exogenous variations of potential competition and auction characteristics. In the first scenario, we exploit the fact that the risk premium required for entry - the difference between ex ante expected profits from entry and the certainty equivalent - is strictly positive if and only if bidders are risk averse. Our test is based on identification of bidders' ex ante profits. In the second scenario, our test builds on the fact that risk attitudes affect how equilibrium entry probabilities vary with observed auction characteristics and potential competition. We also show identification of risk attitudes in a more general model of ascending auctions with selective entry, where bidders receive entry-stage signals that are correlated with private values.

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  • Hanming Fang & Xun Tang, 2013. "Inference of Bidders' Risk Attitudes in Ascending Auctions with Endogenous Entry," NBER Working Papers 19435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19435 Note: IO TWP DEV
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gentry, Matthew & Li, Tong & Lu, Jingfeng, 2015. "Existence of monotone equilibrium in first price auctions with private risk aversion and private initial wealth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 214-221.
    2. NAKABAYASHI Jun & HIROSE Yohsuke, 2016. "Structural Estimation of the Scoring Auction Model," Discussion papers 16008, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Matthew Gentry & Tong Li & Jingfeng Lu, 2015. "Identification and estimation in first-price auctions with risk-averse bidders and selective entry," CeMMAP working papers CWP16/15, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Nianqing Liu & Yao Luo, 2014. "A Nonparametric Test of Exogenous Participation in First-Price Auctions," Working Papers tecipa-519, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    5. Ma, Jun & Marmer, Vadim & Shneyerov, Artyom, 2016. "Inference for First-Price Auctions with Guerre, Perrigne, and Vuong's estimator," Microeconomics.ca working papers vadim_marmer-2016-4, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 04 Mar 2016.

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    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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