Why Every Economist Should Learn Some Auction Theory

51 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2000

See all articles by Paul Klemperer

Paul Klemperer

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

Date Written: July 2000


We discuss the strong connections between auction theory and "standard" economic theory; we show that situations that do not at first sight look like auctions can be recast to use auction-theoretic techniques; and we argue that auction-theoretic tools and intuitions can provide useful arguments and insights in a broad range of mainstream economic settings. We also discuss some more obvious applications, especially to industrial organization. This was an Invited Symposium paper for the 2000 (Seattle) World Congress of the Econometric Society.

Keywords: Auctions, Bidding, Auction Theory, Private Values, Common Values, Mechanism Design, Litigation, Stock Markets, Queues, Financial Crashes, Brand Loyalty, War of Attrition, Bertrand, Perfect Competition, E-Commerce, Spectrum Auctions, Treasury Auctions, Electricity, Internet

JEL Classification: D44, L13, D43, K41, L96, L94, D42, G14, L81

Suggested Citation

Klemperer, Paul, Why Every Economist Should Learn Some Auction Theory (July 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=241350 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.241350

Paul Klemperer (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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