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Analyzing the Airwaves Auction

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Author Info

  • R. Preston McAfee
  • John McMillan

Abstract

The design of the Federal Communications Commission spectrum license auction is a case study in the application of economic theory. Auction theory helped address policy questions such as whether an open auction or a sealed-bid auction should be used; whether the licenses should be auctioned sequentially or simultaneously; whether the government should allow bids for combinations of licenses or accept only single-license bids; how the auction should should be structured to promote the interests of minority-owned and other designated firms; whether the government should impose royalties or reserve prices; and how much the bidders should be informed about their competition.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.10.1.159
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 10 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 159-175

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:10:y:1996:i:1:p:159-75

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.10.1.159
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  1. Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981. "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Discussion Papers 469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Carolyn Pitchik & Andrew Schotter, 1988. "Perfect Equilibria in Budget-Constrained Sequential Auctions: An Experimental Study," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 363-388, Autumn.
  3. Hazlett, Thomas W, 1998. "Assigning Property Rights to Radio Spectrum Users: Why Did FCC License Auctions Take 67 Years?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 529-75, October.
  4. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1989. "Government procurement and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 291-308, May.
  5. Jeffrey S. Banks & John O. Ledyard & David P. Porter, 1989. "Allocating Uncertain and Unresponsive Resources: An Experimental Approach," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(1), pages 1-25, Spring.
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