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Estimating risk aversion from ascending and sealed-bid auctions: the case of timber auction data

  • Lu, Jingfeng
  • Perrigne, Isabelle

Estimating bidders’ risk aversion in auctions is a challeging problem because of identification issues. This paper takes advantage of bidding data from two auction designs to identify nonparametrically the bidders’ utility function within a private value framework. In particular, ascending auction data allow us to recover the latent distribution of private values, while first-price sealed-bid auction data allow us to recover the bidders’ utility function. This leads to a nonparametric estimator. An application to the US Forest Service timber auctions is proposed. Estimated utility functions display concavity, which can be partly captured by constant relative risk aversion.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 948.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:948
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  1. Philip A. Haile & Elie Tamer, 2003. "Inference with an Incomplete Model of English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 1-51, February.
  2. repec:att:wimass:9702 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 375-417, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Brendstrup, Bjarne & Paarsch, Harry J., 2006. "Identification and estimation in sequential, asymmetric, English auctions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 69-94, September.
  6. Peter Eso & Lucy White, 2001. "Precautionary Bidding in Auctions," Discussion Papers 1331, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin & Enrique Seira, 2008. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Evidence from Timber Auctions," Discussion Papers 08-012, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. " Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
  9. Baldwin, Laura H & Marshall, Robert C & Richard, Jean-Francois, 1997. "Bidder Collusion at Forest Service Timber Sales," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 657-99, August.
  10. 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.
  11. Thomas Palfrey, 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private Value Auctions," Theory workshop papers 357966000000000089, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 247-272, May.
  13. Matthews, Steven, 1987. "Comparing Auctions for Risk Averse Buyers: A Buyer's Point of View," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 633-46, May.
  14. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2005. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 703-741, August.
  15. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  16. Hansen, Robert G, 1986. "Sealed-Bid versus Open Auctions: The Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 125-42, January.
  17. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  18. Susan Athey & Philip A. Haile, 2002. "Identification of Standard Auction Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2107-2140, November.
  19. Susan Athey, 2005. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000098, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. Chaudhuri, Probal, 1991. "Global nonparametric estimation of conditional quantile functions and their derivatives," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 246-269, November.
  21. Joris Pinkse & Guofu Tan, 2005. "The Affiliation Effect in First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 263-277, 01.
  22. Hansen, Robert G, 1985. "Empirical Testing of Auction Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 156-59, May.
  23. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, June.
  24. Quang Vuong & Isabelle Perrigne, 2007. "Identification and Estimation of Bidders' Risk Aversion in First-Price Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 444-448, May.
  25. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  26. Athey, Susan & Haile, Philip A., 2007. "Nonparametric Approaches to Auctions," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 60 Elsevier.
  27. Philip A. Haile, 2001. "Auctions with Resale Markets: An Application to U.S. Forest Service Timber Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 399-427, June.
  28. Quang Vuong & Sandra Campo & Isabelle Perrigne, 2003. "Asymmetry in first-price auctions with affiliated private values," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 179-207.
  29. Powell, James L & Stock, James H & Stoker, Thomas M, 1989. "Semiparametric Estimation of Index Coefficients," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1403-30, November.
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