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Strange Bids: Bidding Behaviour in the United Kingdom's Third Generation Spectrum Auction

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  • Börgers, Tilman
  • Dustmann, Christian

Abstract

This Paper studies bidding behaviour in the auction of radio spectrum for third generation mobile telephone services which took place in the United Kingdom in the spring of 2000. We show that several companies’ bidding behaviour deviates strongly from theoretical predictions. In particular some companies’ evaluation of the added advantage of having a large license rather than a small license seemed to change dramatically during the auction for no obvious reason. We conclude that it is less well understood than previously believed how spectrum auctions work, and whether they lead to an efficient allocation of spectrum.

Suggested Citation

  • Börgers, Tilman & Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Strange Bids: Bidding Behaviour in the United Kingdom's Third Generation Spectrum Auction," CEPR Discussion Papers 3072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3072
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
    2. Ken Binmore & Paul Klemperer, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C74-C96, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hugo Hopenhayn & Maryam Saeedi, 2016. "Bidding Dynamics in Auctions," NBER Working Papers 22716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. David Ettinger & Fabio Michelucci, 2016. "Creating a winner’s curse via jump bids," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 20(3), pages 173-186, September.
    3. Ken Binmore & Paul Klemperer, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 74-96, March.
    4. Dodonova, Anna & Khoroshilov, Yuri, 2014. "Can preemptive bidding in takeover auctions be socially optimal? Yes it can," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 34-47.
    5. Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C. & Zillante, Arthur, 2007. "A theory of jump bidding in ascending auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 144-164, January.
    6. Moldovanu, Benny & Ewerhart II, Christian, 2002. "A Stylized Model of the German UMTS Auction," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-07, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    7. van Damme, E.E.C., 2002. "The Dutch UMTS-auction," Other publications TiSEM e33a97f5-c69b-4c3b-9aca-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Roman Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2010. "Can groups solve the problem of over-bidding in contests?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(2), pages 175-197, July.
    9. Moldovanu, Benny & Ewerhart II, Christian, 2001. "The German UMTS Design: Insights From Multi-Object Auction Theory," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-05, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    10. Englmaier, Florian & Guillén, Pablo & Llorente, Loreto & Onderstal, Sander & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2009. "The chopstick auction: A study of the exposure problem in multi-unit auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 286-291, March.
    11. 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.
    12. van Damme, Eric, 2002. "The European UMTS-auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 846-858, May.
    13. Ricardo Gonçalves, 2008. "A communication equilibrium in English auctions with discrete bidding," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 042008, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
    14. Emiel Maasland & Sander Onderstal, 2007. "Auctions with Financial Externalities," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(3), pages 551-574, September.
    15. Maasland, E. & Onderstal, A.M., 2002. "Optimal Auctions with Financial Externalities," Discussion Paper 2002-21, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    16. Khoroshilov, Yuri, 2015. "An experimental study of signaling in auctions with a flexible reserve price," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 124-137.
    17. Veronika Grimm & Frank Riedel & Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2001. "The Third Generation (UMTS) Spectrum Auction in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 584, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. repec:dau:papers:123456789/15048 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Yaron Raviv, 2008. "The Role Of The Bidding Process In Price Determination: Jump Bidding In Sequential English Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 325-341, July.
    20. Matthias Sutter & Martin Kocher & Sabine Strau?, "undated". "Individuals and teams in UMTS-license auctions," Working Papers 2007-23, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    21. Laurent Lamy, 2009. "Ascending auctions: some impossibility results and their resolutions with final price discounts," Working Papers halshs-00575076, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private value; simultaneous ascending auction; third generation spectrum auction;

    JEL classification:

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

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