Ascending auctions with bidder asymmetries

Dominic Coey, Bradley Larsen, Kane Sweeney, Caio Waisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We present a partial identification approach for ascending auctions with bidder asymmetries, where bidders' asymmetric types may be unobservable to the econometrician. Our approach yields sharp bounds and builds on and generalizes other recent bounds approaches for correlated private values ascending auctions. When bidder identities are observable, our approach yields tighter bounds than previous approaches that ignore asymmetry, demonstrating that bidder asymmetries can function as an aid rather than a hindrance to identification. We present a nonparametric estimation and inference approach relying on our identification argument and apply it to data from U.S. timber auctions, finding that bounds on optimal reserve prices and other objects of interest are noticeably tighter when exploiting bidder asymmetries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-200
Number of pages20
JournalQuantitative Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Ascending auction
  • asymmetries
  • correlated values
  • partial identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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