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An Iterative Auction for Spatially Contiguous Land Management: An Experimental Analysis

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  • Banerjee, Simanti
  • Kwasnica, Anthony M
  • Shortle, James S

Abstract

Tackling the problem of ecosystem services degradation is an important policy challenge. Different types of economic instruments have been employed by conservation agencies to meet this challenge. Notable among them are Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes that pay private landowners to change land uses to pro-environmental ones on their properties. This paper focuses on a PES scheme - an auction for the cost-efficient disbursal of government funds for selection of spatially contiguous land management projects. The auction is structured as an iterative descending price auction where every bid is evaluated on the basis of a scoring metric - a benefit cost ratio. The ecological effectiveness and economic efficiency of the auction is tested with data generated from lab experiments. These experiments use the information available to the subjects about the spatial goal as the treatment variable. Analysis indicates that the information reduces the cost-efficiency of the auction. Experience with bidding also has a negative impact on auction efficiency. The study also provides an analysis of the behavior of winners and losers at the final auction outcome as well as during the entire lifetime of the auction. Winners and losers are found to have significantly different behavior in this analysis. Behavior is also found to be significantly affected by the treatments as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Banerjee, Simanti & Kwasnica, Anthony M & Shortle, James S, 2011. "An Iterative Auction for Spatially Contiguous Land Management: An Experimental Analysis," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2011-19, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2011-19
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3520
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C. & Zillante, Arthur, 2007. "A theory of jump bidding in ascending auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 144-164, January.
    2. Reeson, Andrew F. & Rodriguez, Luis C. & Whitten, Stuart M. & Williams, Kristen & Nolles, Karel & Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2011. "Adapting auctions for the provision of ecosystem services at the landscape scale," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1621-1627, July.
    3. repec:eee:ecomod:v:221:y:2010:i:22:p:2675-2686 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata & Duke, Charlotte, 2003. "A laboratory study of auctions for reducing non-point source pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 446-471, November.
    5. Charles R. Plott, 1997. "Laboratory Experimental Testbeds: Application to the PCS Auction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 605-638, September.
    6. Parkhurst, Gregory M. & Shogren, Jason F. & Bastian, Chris & Kivi, Paul & Donner, Jennifer & Smith, Rodney B. W., 2002. "Agglomeration bonus: an incentive mechanism to reunite fragmented habitat for biodiversity conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 305-328, May.
    7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    8. Parkhurst, Gregory M. & Shogren, Jason F., 2007. "Spatial incentives to coordinate contiguous habitat," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 344-355, December.
    9. Gary Stoneham & Vivek Chaudhri & Arthur Ha & Loris Strappazzon, 2003. "Auctions for conservation contracts: an empirical examination of Victoria's BushTender trial," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(4), pages 477-500, December.
    10. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
    11. Ruben N. Lubowski & Michael J. Roberts, 2005. "How Cost-Effective Are Land Retirement Auctions? Estimating the Difference between Payments and Willingness to Accept in the Conservation Reserve Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1239-1247.
    12. Stefan Hajkowicz & Andrew Higgins & Kristen Williams & Daniel P. Faith & Michael Burton, 2007. "Optimisation and the selection of conservation contracts," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(1), pages 39-56, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Messer, Kent D. & Duke, Joshua M. & Lynch, Lori & Li, Tongzhe, 2017. "When Does Public Information Undermine the Efficiency of Reverse Auctions for the Purchase of Ecosystem Services?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 212-226.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conservation Auctions; experiments Ecosystem Services; Spatial Contigu ity;

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