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Buybacks with costly participation

Jorge Holzer, Geret DePiper and Douglas Lipton ()

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2017, vol. 85, issue C, 130-145

Abstract: Posted price offers and first price auctions, along with the multi-unit discriminatory auction extension, are two widely used mechanisms for allocating conservation contracts. The choice between the two typically hinges on the trade-off between the posted price's simplicity and the potential revenue gains of the auction. In this paper we introduce a novel mechanism that attempts to bridge the gap between the performance of posted price offers and auctions. A two-price and lottery schedule combines the simplicity of the former with some of the flexibility of the latter. Using a model that incorporates agents' cognitive and information costs of bidding, we analyze how the ranking of allocative efficiency and cost-effectiveness between the mechanisms varies as the wedge of participation costs increases. When the number of bidders is endogenously determined by participation costs, bid shading associated with a lack of competition in the auction compromises its cost-effectiveness vis-à-vis the posted price and the lottery schedule. We use data from three recent buybacks for fishing licenses conducted in Maryland to calibrate our model and identify conditions under which the two-price schedule outperforms the other mechanisms.

Keywords: Auction; Buyback; Fishery; Lottery; Participation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D40 D44 D45 Q22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

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