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Spectrum Auctions

Auctions have emerged as the primary means of assigning spectrum licenses to companies wishing to provide wireless communication services. Since July 1994, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has conducted 33 spectrum auctions, assigning thousands of licenses to hundreds of firms. Countries throughout the world are conducting similar auctions. I review the current state of spectrum auctions. Both the design and performance of these auctions are addressed.

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File URL: http://www.cramton.umd.edu/papers2000-2004/01hte-spectrum-auctions.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton in its series Papers of Peter Cramton with number 01hte.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision: 16 Jul 2001
Publication status: Published in Martin Cave, Sumit Majumdar, and Ingo Vogelsang, eds., Handbook of Telecommunications Economics, Amsterdam: Elsevier Science B.V., Chapter 14, 605-639, 2002
Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:01hte
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  1. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 1995. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpdr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 22 Jul 2002.
  2. Hazlett, Thomas W, 1998. "Assigning Property Rights to Radio Spectrum Users: Why Did FCC License Auctions Take 67 Years?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 529-75, October.
  3. Cramton, Peter & Schwartz, Jesse A, 2000. "Collusive Bidding: Lessons from the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 229-52, May.
  4. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  5. Paul Milgrom, 2000. "Putting Auction Theory to Work: The Simultaneous Ascending Auction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 245-272, April.
  6. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1998. "Synergies in Wireless Telephony: Evidence from the Broadband PCS Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 97jems, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  7. Cramton, Peter, 1998. "Ascending auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 745-756, May.
  8. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 1998. "The Optimality of Being Efficient," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpoe, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 18 Jun 1999.
  9. Rosenthal, Robert W. & Wang, Ruqu, 1996. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies and Common Values," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 32-55, November.
  10. McMillan, John, 1995. "Why auction the spectrum?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 191-199, April.
  11. Cramton, Peter, 1998. "The Efficiency of the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 727-36, October.
  12. Chakravorti, Bhaskar, et al, 1995. "Auctioning the Airwaves: The Contest for Broadband PCS Spectrum," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 345-73, Summer.
  13. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  14. Peter Cramton, 1995. "Money Out of Thin Air: The Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction," Papers of Peter Cramton 95jems, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  15. Paul Klemperer, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W26, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
  17. Sandro Brusco & Giuseppe Lopomo, 1999. "Collusion via Signalling in Open Ascending Auctions with Multiple Objects and Complementarities," Working Papers 99-05, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  18. Peter Cramton & Evan Kwerel & John Williams, 1998. "Efficient Relocation of Spectrum Incumbents," Papers of Peter Cramton 98jleer, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 12 Jul 1998.
  19. Ian Ayres & Peter Cramton, 1996. "Deficit Reduction Through Diversity: How Affirmative Action at the FCC Increased Auction Competition," Papers of Peter Cramton 96slr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  20. Klemperer, Paul, 1997. "Almost Common Value Auctions: The 'Wallet Game' and its Applications to Takeover Battles and Airwaves Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
  22. Bykowsky, Mark M. & Cull, Robert J. & Ledyard, John O., 1998. "Mutually Destructive Bidding: The FCC Auction Design Problem," Working Papers 916, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  23. Peter Cramton & Jesse Schwartz, 2002. "Collusive Bidding in the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 02collude, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 04 Dec 2002.
  24. Klemperer, Paul, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 2581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Peter Cramton, 1997. "The FCC Spectrum Auctions: An Early Assessment," Papers of Peter Cramton 97jemsfcc, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 12 Jul 1998.
  26. 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.
  27. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  28. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
  29. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Charles M. Kahn, 1998. "Multi-unit auctions with uniform prices," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 12(2), pages 227-258.
  30. Krishna, V. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1995. "Simultaneous Auctions with Synergies," Papers 04-95-06, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  31. Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Auction Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 779, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  32. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
  33. Michael H. Rothkopf & Aleksandar Peke\v{c} & Ronald M. Harstad, 1998. "Computationally Manageable Combinational Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1131-1147, August.
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