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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Government holds an auction to sell the right for oil exploration (and exploitation, if any found) on a tract of land to the highest bidder. Rules are: no reserve price; highest price wins and is paid; there

All potential bidders have the same probability distribution for the net present value (NPV) of the oil accessible from the tract. Suppose it is a symmetric distribution with mean M. (Assume that a number of independent engineering studies have confirmed that the likelihood of NPV > M is equal to that of NPV < M.)

At least 30 potential bidders are expected to bid.

A day before the auction, a hot shot newspaper editor claims that "the winner will be a loser."

Discuss, prove or disprove.

__will__be a sale even if a single bidder shows up and bids zero.All potential bidders have the same probability distribution for the net present value (NPV) of the oil accessible from the tract. Suppose it is a symmetric distribution with mean M. (Assume that a number of independent engineering studies have confirmed that the likelihood of NPV > M is equal to that of NPV < M.)

At least 30 potential bidders are expected to bid.

A day before the auction, a hot shot newspaper editor claims that "the winner will be a loser."

Discuss, prove or disprove.