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Using and Abusing Economic Theory

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  • Klemperer, Paul

Abstract

Economic theory is often abused in practical policy-making. There is frequently excessive focus on sophisticated theory at the expense of elementary theory; too much economic knowledge can sometimes be a dangerous thing. Too little attention is paid to the wider economic context, and to the dangers posed by political pressures. Superficially trivial distinctions between policy proposals may be economically significant, while economically irrelevant distinctions may be politically important. I illustrate with some disastrous government auctions, but also show the value of economic theory.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3813.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3813

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Related research

Keywords: 3g; auction theory; auctions; bidding; economic theory; methodology; mobile-phones; spectrum auctions; telecommunications; umts;

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Cited by:
  1. Espinosa, Miguel & Forero, German & Villaneda, Felipe, 2011. "The practice of the auction theory: The Colombian case," MPRA Paper 31150, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Noe, Thomas H. & Rebello, Michael & Wang, Jun, 2012. "Learning to bid: The design of auctions under uncertainty and adaptation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 620-636.
  3. Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "Some Observations on the British and German 3G Telecom Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3605, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "How (not) to run auctions: The European 3G telecom auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 829-845, May.
  5. Jacob K. Goeree & Theo Offerman & Randolph Sloof, 2009. "Demand reduction and preemptive bidding in multi-unit license auctions," IEW - Working Papers 430, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Luciano I. de Castro, 2007. "Affiliation, equilibrium existence and the revenue ranking of auctions," Economics Working Papers we074622, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  7. Peter Cramton & Andrzej Skrzypacz & Robert Wilson, 2007. "Revenues in the 700 MHz Spectrum Auction," Papers of Peter Cramton 07rev700, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2007.
  8. Derek Clark & Christian Riis, 2008. "Rational benevolence in small committees," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 139-146, March.

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