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Identifying Collusion in English Auctions

Listed author(s):
  • Kaplan, Uma
  • Marmer, Vadim
  • Shneyerov, Artyom

We develop a fully nonparametric identification framework and a test of collusion in ascending bid auctions. Assuming efficient collusion, we show that the underlying distributions of values can be identified despite collusive behaviour when there is at least one bidder outside the cartel. We propose a nonparametric estimation procedure for the distributions of values and a bootstrap test of the null hypothesis of competitive behaviour against the alternative of collusion. Our framework allows for asymmetric bidders, and the test can be performed on individual bidders. The test is applied to the Guaranteed Investment Certificate auctions conducted by US municipalities over the Internet. Despite the fact that there have been allegations of collusion in this market, our test does not detect deviations from competition. A plausible explanation of this finding is that the Internet auction design involves very limited information disclosure.

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File URL: http://microeconomics.ca/vadim_marmer/collusion06.pdf
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Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series Microeconomics.ca working papers with number vadim_marmer-2016-3.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: 26 Feb 2016
Date of revision: 26 Feb 2016
Handle: RePEc:ubc:pmicro:vadim_marmer-2016-3
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.economics.ubc.ca/

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  1. Emmanuel Guerre & Isabelle Perrigne & Quang Vuong, 2000. "Optimal Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 525-574, May.
  2. Brendstrup, Bjarne & Paarsch, Harry J., 2007. "Semiparametric identification and estimation in multi-object, English auctions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 84-108, November.
  3. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
  4. Patrick Bajari & Lixin Ye, 2003. "Deciding Between Competition and Collusion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 971-989, November.
  5. Aryal, Gaurab & Gabrielli, Maria F., 2013. "Testing for collusion in asymmetric first-price auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 26-35.
  6. G. Hanoch & H. Levy, 1969. "The Efficiency Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 335-346.
  7. Artyom Shneyerov, 2006. "An empirical study of auction revenue rankings: the case of municipal bonds," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 1005-1022, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Dominic Coey & Bradley Larsen & Kane Sweeney, 2014. "The Bidder Exclusion Effect," NBER Working Papers 20523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Philip A. Haile & Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2003. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values at First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," NBER Working Papers 10105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John Asker, 2010. "A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 724-762, June.
  12. Patrick Bajari & Han Hong & Stephen P. Ryan, 2010. "Identification and Estimation of a Discrete Game of Complete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(5), pages 1529-1568, 09.
  13. 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.
  14. Graham, Daniel A & Marshall, Robert C, 1987. "Collusive Bidder Behavior at Single-Object Second-Price and English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1217-1239, December.
  15. Martin Pesendorfer, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411.
  16. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, Diciembre.
  17. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  18. Patrick Bajari & Stephanie Houghton & Steven Tadelis, 2014. "Bidding for Incomplete Contracts: An Empirical Analysis of Adaptation Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1288-1319, April.
  19. Matt Shum & Phil Haile & Han Hong, 2003. "Nonparametric Tests for Common Values in First-Price Auctions," Economics Working Paper Archive 501, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  20. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:1005-1022 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Xun Tang, 2011. "Bounds on revenue distributions in counterfactual auctions with reserve prices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(1), pages 175-203, 03.
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