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Auction Theory: a Guide to the Literature


  • Klemperer, Paul


This paper provides an elementary, non-technical, survey of auction theory, by introducing and describing some of the critical papers in the subject. The most important of these are reproduced in a companion book, The Economic Theory of Auctions, Paul Klemperer (ed.), Edward Elgar (pub.), forthcoming.) We begin with the most fundamental concepts, and then introduce the basic analysis of optimal auctions, the revenue equivalence theorem, and marginal revenues. Subsequent sections address risk-aversion, affiliation, asymmetries, entry, collusion, multi-unit auctions, double auctions, royalties, incentive contracts, and other topics. Appendices contain technical details, some simple worked examples, and bibliographies.

Suggested Citation

  • Klemperer, Paul, 1999. "Auction Theory: a Guide to the Literature," CEPR Discussion Papers 2163, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2163

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1995. "A Comparative Analysis of East and West German Labor Markets: Before and After Unification," NBER Chapters,in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 405-446 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jennifer Hunt, 2002. "The Transition in East Germany: When Is a Ten-Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, January.
    3. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
    4. Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 190-195, February.
    5. David Begg & Richard Portes, 1993. "Eastern Germany since unification: wage subsidies remain a better way," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 1(4), pages 383-400, December.
    6. Elke Holst & Jürgen Schupp, 1992. "Umbruch am ostdeutschen Arbeitsmarkt benachteiligt auch die weiterhin erwerbstätigen Frauen - dennoch anhaltend hohe Berufsorientierung," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 59(18), pages 235-241.
    7. Licht, Georg & Steiner, Viktor, 1992. "Where have all the workers gone? Employment termination in East Germany after unification," ZEW Discussion Papers 92-12, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. James C. Witte & Gert Wagner, 1995. "Employment and Fertility in East Germany after Unification," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 125, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, January.
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    More about this item


    Auction Theory; Auctions; Bidding; Common-Value Auctions; Mechanism Design; Private-Value-Auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions


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