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Strange Bids: Bidding Behaviour in the United Kingdom's Third Generation Spectrum Auction

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  • Tilman Börgers
  • Christian Dustmann

Abstract

This article studies bidding behaviour in the auction of radio spectrum for third generation mobile telephone services which took place in the UK in the Spring of 2000. We show that several companies' bidding behaviour deviates strongly from straightforward bidding with private values. In particular some companies' evaluation of the added advantage of having a large licence rather than a small licence seemed to change dramatically during the auction. No compelling explanation of this phenomenon seems available at this stage. We conclude that it is less well understood than previously believed how spectrum auctions work. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 115 (2005)
Issue (Month): 505 (07)
Pages: 551-578

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:115:y:2005:i:505:p:551-578

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  1. Maasland, E. & Onderstal, A.M., 2002. "Auctions with Financial Externalities," Discussion Paper 2002-22, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Plott, Charles R. & Salmon, Timothy C., 2004. "The simultaneous, ascending auction: dynamics of price adjustment in experiments and in the UK3G spectrum auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-383, March.
  3. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 2000. "License Auctions and Market Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 2530, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Grimm, Veronika & Riedel, Frank & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2001. "The third generation (UMTS) spectrum auction in Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,70, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  5. Klemperer, Paul, 1998. "Auctions with almost common values: The 'Wallet Game' and its applications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 757-769, May.
  6. Paul Klemperer, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W26, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. repec:wop:humbsf:2001-70 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Peter Cramton & Jesse Schwartz, 2002. "Collusive Bidding in the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 02collude, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 04 Dec 2002.
  9. Martin J Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2009. "A Course in Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Binmore, Kenneth & Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: The Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Paul Milgrom, . "Putting Auction Theory to Work: The Simultaneous Ascending Auction," Working Papers 98002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  12. Peter Cramton, 1997. "The FCC Spectrum Auctions: An Early Assessment," Papers of Peter Cramton 97jemsfcc, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 12 Jul 1998.
  13. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1998. "Synergies in Wireless Telephony: Evidence from the Broadband PCS Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 97jems, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  14. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  15. Peter Cramton, 2002. "Spectrum Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 01hte, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 16 Jul 2001.
  16. Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1986. "Multi-Item Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 863-72, August.
  17. Peter Cramton, 1995. "Money Out of Thin Air: The Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction," Papers of Peter Cramton 95jems, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  18. Cramton, Peter & Schwartz, Jesse A, 2000. "Collusive Bidding: Lessons from the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 229-52, May.
  19. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  20. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
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