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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
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:948
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  1. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin & Enrique Seira, 2004. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000524, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Péter Esö & Lucy White, 2004. "Precautionary Bidding in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 77-92, 01.
  3. 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 657-699, August.
  4. 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.
  5. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin & Enrique Seira, 2008. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Evidence from Timber Auctions," NBER Working Papers 14590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Guerre, E. & Perrigne, I. & Vuong, Q., 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Papers 9504, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  7. Hansen, Robert G, 1985. "Empirical Testing of Auction Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 156-159, May.
  8. 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.
  9. Athey,S. & Haile,P.A., 2000. "Identification of standard auction models," Working papers 13, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Virginia Economics Online Papers 345, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  11. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2003. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Working Papers 03002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Levin, Jonathan & Athey, Susan, 2001. "Information and Competition in U.S. Forest Service Timber Auctions," Scholarly Articles 3612768, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  17. Haile, P.A., 1997. "Auctions with Resale Markets: An Application to U.S. Forest Service Timber Sales," Working papers 9702, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  18. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, March.
  19. 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.
  20. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Hansen, Robert G, 1986. "Sealed-Bid versus Open Auctions: The Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 125-42, January.
  24. Joris Pinkse & Guofu Tan, 2005. "The Affiliation Effect in First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 263-277, 01.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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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