In this article, I jointly analyze stated willingness to accept values with revealed auction bids from fishing license buybacks in the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery in order to better understand the link between participation decisions and conservation outcomes. In contrast with theoretical expectations, I find individuals with the lowest willingness to accept participated in these reverse auctions at lower rates than other eligible individuals, all else being equal. This suggests that who bids in an auction plays an important role in the success of conservation outcomes. These results indicate that market design should expand to consider how, and whether, the economic incentives underlying auction participation align with desired conservation outcomes, both within fisheries and in natural resource management more broadly. Key words: auction participation, bidding, conservation auctions, latent crabbing effort, fishery buybacks. JEL codes: D44, Q22, Q28. Auctions are increasingly being viewed as a tool to facilitate conservation of both land (Schilizzi and Latacz-Lohmann 2007; Whitten et al. 2007) and water-based (Rolfe and Windle 2011; Holland, Gudmundsson, and Gates 1999) resources. Although the importance of participation decisions has been illustrated within the auctions litera
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