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Selling Spectrum Rights

Author

Listed:
  • John McMillan

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:8:y:1994:i:3:p:145-62
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.8.3.145
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.8.3.145
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    2. 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.
    3. Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Optimal Auction Design," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 6(1), pages 58-73, February.
    4. Gale, Ian, 1990. "A multiple-object auction with superadditive values," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 323-328, December.
    5. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
    6. 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.
    7. S.J. Rassenti & V.L. Smith & R.L. Bulfin, 1982. "A Combinatorial Auction Mechanism for Airport Time Slot Allocation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 402-417, Autumn.
    8. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1987. "Auctioning Incentive Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 921-937, October.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy

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