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Collusion in Auctions for Emissions Permits: An Experimental Study


Burtraw, Dallas; Goeree, Jacob K; Holt, Charles A; Myers, Erica; Palmer, Karen; Shobe, William (2009). Collusion in Auctions for Emissions Permits: An Experimental Study. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 434, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Environmental markets have several institutional features that provide a new context for the use of auctions and that have not been studied previously. This paper reports on laboratory experiments testing three auction forms — uniform and discriminatory price sealed-bid auctions and an ascending clock auction. We test the ability of subjects to tacitly or explicitly collude in order to maximize profits. Our main result is that the discriminatory and uniform price auctions produce greater revenues than the clock auction, both with and without explicit communication. The clock appears to facilitate successful collusion, both because of its sequential structure and because it allows bidders to focus on one dimension of cooperation (quantity) rather than two (price and quantity).

Abstract

Environmental markets have several institutional features that provide a new context for the use of auctions and that have not been studied previously. This paper reports on laboratory experiments testing three auction forms — uniform and discriminatory price sealed-bid auctions and an ascending clock auction. We test the ability of subjects to tacitly or explicitly collude in order to maximize profits. Our main result is that the discriminatory and uniform price auctions produce greater revenues than the clock auction, both with and without explicit communication. The clock appears to facilitate successful collusion, both because of its sequential structure and because it allows bidders to focus on one dimension of cooperation (quantity) rather than two (price and quantity).

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Dallas Burtraw, Jacob K Goeree, Charles A Holt, Erica Myers, Karen
Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:September 2009
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 15:35
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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