NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Matthew Shum

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Working Papers

November 2003Nonparametric Tests for Common Values at First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions
with Philip A. Haile, Han Hong: w10105
We develop tests for common values at first-price sealed-bid auctions. Our tests are nonparametric, require observation only of the bids submitted at each auction, and are based on the fact that the winner's curse' arises only in common values auctions. The tests build on recently developed methods for using observed bids to estimate each bidder's conditional expectation of the value of winning the auction. Equilibrium behavior implies that in a private values auction these expectations are invariant to the number of opponents each bidder faces, while with common values they are decreasing in the number of opponents. This distinction forms the basis of our tests. We consider both exogenous and endogenous variation in the number of bidders. Monte Carlo experiments show that our tests can p...

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