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Inference of Bidders’ Risk Attitudes in Ascending Auctions with Endogenous Entry, Second Version

  • Hanming Fang

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Xun Tang

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Bidders’ risk attitudes have important implications for sellers seeking to maximize expected revenues. In ascending auctions, auction theory predicts bid distributions in Bayesian Nash equilibrium does not convey any information about bidders' risk preference. We propose a new approach for inference of bidders’ risk attitudes when they make endogenous participation decisions. Our approach is based on the idea that bidders' risk premium - the difference between ex ante expected profits from entry and the certainty equivalent - required for entry into the auction is strictly positive if and only if bidders are risk averse. We show bidders' expected profits from entry into auctions is nonparametrically recoverable, if a researcher observes the distribution of transaction prices, bidders' entry decisions and some noisy measures of entry costs. We propose a nonparametric test which attains the correct level asymptotically under the null of risk-neutrality, and is consistent under fixed alternatives. We provide Monte Carlo evidence of the finite sample performance of the test. We also establish identification of risk attitudes in more general auction models, where in the entry stage bidders receive signals that are correlated with private values to be drawn in the bidding stage.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/12-016.pdf
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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 12-016.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 28 May 2011
Date of revision: 17 Apr 2012
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:12-016
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  1. Philip A. Haile & Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2004. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values in First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Working Papers 2004.149, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Marmer, Vadim & Shneyerov, Artyom & Xu, Pai, 2007. "What Model for Entry in First-Price Auctions? A Nonparametric Approach," Microeconomics.ca working papers marmer-07-11-22-02-26-44, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 18 Feb 2011.
  3. James W. Roberts & Andrew Sweeting, 2010. "Bailouts and the Preservation of Competition," NBER Working Papers 16650, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jingfeng Lu & Isabelle Perrigne, 2008. "Estimating risk aversion from ascending and sealed-bid auctions: the case of timber auction data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(7), pages 871-896.
  5. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2001. "Increasing Competition and the Winner's Curse: Evidence from Procurement," Economics Working Paper Archive 447, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  6. Jonathan Levin & Susan Athey & Enrique Seira, 2004. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Working Papers 2004.142, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Sandra Campo & Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2003. "Semiparametric Estimation of First-price Auctions with Risk Averse Bidders," Working Papers 2003-09, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  8. 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.
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