A Canadian Price Discovery Study Using a Uniform Price Auction for Conservation Easements

Wednesday, October 13, 2010: 12:20 AM
Francis Marion
Laura Brown, PhD , Economics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Elizabeth Troutt, PhD , Economics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Cynthia Edwards, MA , Ducks Unlimited Canada, Regina, SK, Canada
Brian Gray, PhD , Environment Canada, Government of Canada, Gatineau, QC, Canada
Wanjing Hu, PhD , Alberta Environment, Government of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
This paper describes the application of a uniform price auction with a hidden reserve price in an experiment aimed at discovering Canadian landowners’ willingness to accept compensation for placing conservation easements on their lands.  This is the only field experiment of this kind in Canada to date, and one of the few worldwide.  The paper discusses the design of the auction, describes its implementation, and presents its results.  The experiment provided significant insights into the valuation of easements, the current status of landowner perceptions of easements, and the important potential of local field staff expertise in easement pricing.