Mutually Destructive Bidding: The FCC Auction Design Problem
In general, synergies across license valuations complicate the auction design process. Theory suggests that a "simple" (i.e., non-combinatorial) auction will have difficulty in assigning licenses efficiently in such an environment. This difficulty increases with increases in "fitting complexity." In some environments, bidding may become "mutually destructive." Experiments indicate that a properly designed combinatorial auction is superior to a simple auction in terms of economic efficiency and revenue generation in bidding environments with a low amount of fitting complexity. Concerns that a combinatorial auction will cause a "threshold" problem are not borne out when bidders for small packages can communicate. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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