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The Role of Information in U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Auctions

  • Robert H. Porter

This paper describes the U.S. offshore oil and gas lease sales, conducted by the Department of the Interior since 1954. Several decision problems are discussed, including bidding for leases, the government's decision whether to accept the highest bid, the incidence and timing of exploratory drilling, and the formation of bidding consortia. It is argued that equilibrium models that emphasize informational and strategic issues, and that account for institutional features of the leasing program, provide accurate predictions of outcomes.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4185.

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Date of creation: Oct 1992
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Econometrica, January 1995,vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 1-27.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4185
Note: IO
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  1. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H, 1988. "An Empirical Study of an Auction with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 865-83, December.
  2. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Ossard, Hervé & Vuong, Quang, 1991. "Econometrics of First-Price Auctions," IDEI Working Papers 7, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H & Spady, Richard H, 1989. "Random Reservation Prices and Bidding Behavior in OCS Drainage Auctions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages S83-106, October.
  4. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-38, June.
  5. McAfee, R Preston & Vincent, Daniel, 1992. "Updating the Reserve Price in Common-Value Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 512-18, May.
  6. 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 1415-44, November.
  7. Hansen, Robert G, 1986. "Sealed-Bid versus Open Auctions: The Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 125-42, January.
  8. Paarsch, H.J., 1992. "Empirical Models of Auctions and an Application to British Columbian Timber Sales," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9212, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  9. Kenneth Hendricks & Dan Kovenock, 1989. "Asymmetric Information, Information Externalities, and Efficiency: The Case of Oil Exploration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 164-182, Summer.
  10. Libecap, Gary D & Wiggins, Steven N, 1985. "The Influence of Private Contractual Failure on Regulation: The Case of Oil Field Unitization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 690-714, August.
  11. Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "Anomalies: The Winner's Curse," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 191-202, Winter.
  12. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
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