The practice of the auction theory: The Colombian case
In the world the use of auctions has shown two important trends: 1. their use has been extended to a greater number of countries and sectors, 2. the set of objects auctioned has increased exponentially. Colombia is not an exception. The number of auctions and items in the country is huge, the sums of money very large and in some cases the mistakes made are tremendous. Given that, it is strange that there is no existing article explaining the most important auctions used in the country. The present paper describes the principal auctions held in Colombia over the past 20 years. Each auction is described in detail characterizing not only the allocation process, but also some results and conclusions. The work shows how the use of simple economic theory can allow us to understand the mistakes present in some auctions (Third Channel Auction) or to learn from auctions that have proven to be successful over time (electricity sector). This review is sufficiently broad, to cover cattle auctions through to financial ones; sufficiently geographically decentralized, to include agents from both, forested areas and big cities; and sufficiently transversal, to cover the public and the private sectors.
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