What Really Matters in Auction Design

27 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2000

See all articles by Paul Klemperer

Paul Klemperer

University of Oxford - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2001


The most important issues in auction design are the traditional concerns of competition policy - preventing collusive, predatory, and entry-deterring behaviour. Ascending and uniform-price auctions are particularly vulnerable to these problems. The Anglo-Dutch auction - a hybrid of the sealed-bid and ascending auctions - may perform better. Effective antitrust is also critical. Notable fiascoes in auctioning mobile-phone licenses, TV franchises, companies, electricity, etc., and especially the European "third-generation" (UMTS) spectrum auctions, show that everything depends on the details of the context. Auction design is not "one size fits all".

Keywords: Auctions, Antitrust, Telecommunications, Spectrum Auctions, Bidding, Auction Theory, Collusion, Entry Deterrence, Predation, Takeover Battles, Ascending Auction, Sealed-Bid Auction, Winner's Curse, Uniform Price Auction, Discriminatory Auction, Anglo-Dutch Auction, Electricity, TV franchise, Football TV-rights, Private Values, Common Values, Mechanism Design, Competition Policy

JEL Classification: D44, L41, L96

Suggested Citation

Klemperer, Paul, What Really Matters in Auction Design (September 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=237114 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.237114

Paul Klemperer (Contact Author)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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