Essays on Conservation Auctions and Uncertainty in Preferences
This dissertation includes two chapters. The first presents a new auction mechanism designed for conservation programs. Individuals compensated for conserving their land often extract substantial profits from the government or non-governmental agency funding the conservation program. These rents limit the amount of land which can be conserved, which decreases total surplus for society. The new auction mechanism, the Provision Point Reverse Auction, was designed to mitigate this rent-seeking behavior. This paper presents both theoretical and experimental evidence to substantiate the efficacy of the mechanism. The second chapter considers the effect that preference uncertainty may have on two commonly observed behavioral anomalies: exchange asymmetries and the willingness-to-accept/willingness-to-pay disparity. This paper provides both theoretical and experimental evidence which suggests that uncertainty in preferences can explain at least part of these behavioral anomalies. The experiments rely on chocolate and a ``taste'' treatment, where individuals in a treatment group are allowed to taste a small amount of chocolate before making their trade or valuation decisions.
Economics; Agriculture economics; Auction; Experimental; conservation; uncertainty
Just, David R.
Schulze, William D.; Ortiz Bobea, Ariel; Messer, Kent Donald
Applied Economics and Management
Ph. D., Applied Economics and Management
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis