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Abstract

We argue that previous assessments of discriminatory-price conservation auctions may have systematically overestimated their performance relative to uniform-payment schemes due to an inappropriate counterfactual comparison. We demonstrate that the cost curve (and not the bid curve) is the relevant supply curve when a uniform payment is offered and provide a theoretically rigorous counterfactual based on that insight. We estimate that the performance of BushTender may have been overrated by more than 50%.

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