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Deficit Reduction Through Diversity: How Affirmative Action at the FCC Increased Auction Competition

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Abstract

In recent auctions for paging licenses, the Federal Communications Commission has granted businesses owned by minorities and women substantial bidding credits. In this article, Professors Ayres and Cramton analyze a particular auction and argue that the affirmative action bidding preferences, by increasing competition among auction participants, increased the government's revenue by $45 million. Subsidizing the participation of new bidders can induce established bidders to bid more aggressively. The authors conclude that this revenue- enhancing effect does not provide a sufficient constitutional justification for affirmative action-but when such justification is independently present, affirmative actions can cost the government much less than is currently thought.

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File URL: http://www.cramton.umd.edu/papers1995-1999/96slr-deficit-reduction-through-diversity.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton in its series Papers of Peter Cramton with number 96slr.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 1996
Date of revision: 09 Jun 1998
Publication status: Published in Stanford Law Review, 48:4, April 1996, pages 761-815.
Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:96slr

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Postal: Economics Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7211
Phone: (202) 318-0520
Fax: (202) 318-0520
Web page: http://www.cramton.umd.edu

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Keywords: Auctions; Affirmative Action;

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