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Working paper 776
Yao Luo, Peijun Sang, Ruli Xiao, "Order Statistics Approaches to Unobserved Heterogeneity in Auctions", 2024-05-29
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Abstract: We establish nonparametric identification of auction models with continuous and nonseparable unobserved heterogeneity using three consecutive order statistics of bids. We then propose sieve maximum likelihood estimators for the joint distribution of the unobserved heterogeneity and the private value, as well as their conditional and marginal distributions. Lastly, we apply our methodology to a novel dataset from judicial auctions in China. Our estimates suggest substantial gains from accounting for unobserved heterogeneity when setting reserve prices. We propose a simple scheme that achieves nearly optimal revenue by using the appraisal value as the reserve price.

Keywords: sieve estimation, nonseparable, measurement error, consecutive order statistics, judicial auctions

JEL Classification: C14; D44