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Bidding Rings and the Winner's Curse: The Case of Federal Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Auctions

Author

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  • Ken Hendricks
  • Robert Porter
  • Guofu Tan

Abstract

This paper extends the theory of legal cartels to affiliated private value and common value environments, and applies the theory to explain joint bidding patterns in U.S. federal government offshore oil and gas lease auctions. We show that efficient collusion is always possible in private value environments, but may not be in common value environments. In the latter case, fear of the winner's curse can cause bidders not to bid, which leads to inefficient trade. Buyers with high signals may be better off if no one colludes. The bid data is consistent with oil and gas leases being common value assets, and with the prediction that the winner's curse can prevent rings from forming on marginal tracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Ken Hendricks & Robert Porter & Guofu Tan, 2003. "Bidding Rings and the Winner's Curse: The Case of Federal Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Auctions," NBER Working Papers 9836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9836
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jackson, Matthew O. & Sonnenschein, Hugo F., 2003. "The Linking of Collective Decisions and Efficiency," Working Papers 1159, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    2. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    3. Cramton Peter C. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Ratifiable Mechanisms: Learning from Disagreement," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 255-283, August.
    4. Porter, Robert H, 1995. "The Role of Information in U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 1-27, January.
    5. 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 518-538, June.
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    7. Mailath, George J. & Zemsky, Peter, 1991. "Collusion in second price auctions with heterogeneous bidders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 467-486, November.
    8. Rockwood, Alan, 1983. "The Impact of Joint Ventures on the Market for OCS Oil and Gas Leases," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 453-468, June.
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    11. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Vuong, Quang, 1996. "Structural Analysis of Auction Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 414-420, May.
    12. Martin Pesendorfer, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411.
    13. Klemperer, Paul, 1998. "Auctions with almost common values: The 'Wallet Game' and its applications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 757-769, May.
    14. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1992. "Bidding Rings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 579-599, June.
      • McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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    18. Kenneth Hendricks & Joris Pinkse & Robert H. Porter, 2003. "Empirical Implications of Equilibrium Bidding in First-Price, Symmetric, Common Value Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 115-145.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Loyola, Gino, 2008. "On bidding markets: the role of competition," UC3M Working papers. Economics we083318, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. repec:oup:jcomle:v:3:y:2007:i:1:p:1-47. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Paul Klemperer, 2007. "Bidding Markets," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-47.
    4. Ferrara, Gerardo & Li, Xin, 2017. "Central counterparty auction design," Bank of England working papers 669, Bank of England.
    5. Beshears, John, 2013. "The performance of corporate alliances: Evidence from oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 324-346.
    6. Volker Nocke & Lucy White, 2003. "Do Vertical Mergers Facilitate Upstream Collusion? Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-013, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 08 Mar 2005.
    7. John D. Sterman & Rebecca Henderson & Eric D. Beinhocker & Lee I. Newman, 2007. "Getting Big Too Fast: Strategic Dynamics with Increasing Returns and Bounded Rationality," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(4), pages 683-696, April.
    8. Robert Porter, 2005. "Detecting Collusion," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 26(2), pages 147-167, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design

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