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Do Auctions select Efficient Firms?

Author

Listed:
  • Maarten C.W. Janssen

    () (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

  • Vladimir A. Karamychev

    () (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

This discussion paper led to a publication in 'The Economic Journal' , 120(549) 1319-44. This paper considers a government auctioning off multiple licenses to firms who compete in a market after the auction. Firms have different costs, and cost efficiency is private information at the auction stage and the market competition stage. If only one license is auctioned, standard results say that the most efficient firm wins the auction (license) as it will get the highest profit in the aftermarket, i.e., it has the highest valuation for the license. This paper argues that this result does not generalize to the case of multiple licenses and aftermarket competition. In particular, we determine conditions under which auctions may select inefficient firms and therefore lead to an inefficient allocation of resources. Strategic interactions in the aftermarket, in particular firms’ preferences to compete with the least cost-efficient firms rather than with the most efficient firms, are responsible for our result.

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten C.W. Janssen & Vladimir A. Karamychev, 2007. "Do Auctions select Efficient Firms?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-001/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20070001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1996. "How (Not) to Sell Nuclear Weapons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 814-829, September.
    2. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
    3. Janssen, Maarten C.W., 2006. "Auctions as coordination devices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 517-532, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 1996. "Strategic Nonparticipation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 84-98, Spring.
    8. Heidrun C. Hoppe & Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 2006. "License Auctions and Market Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 371-396, June.
    9. Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 2003. "An economic perspective on auctions," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(36), pages 269-308, April.
    10. Lawrence M. Ausubel, 2004. "An Efficient Ascending-Bid Auction for Multiple Objects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1452-1475, December.
    11. Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Karamychev, Vladimir A., 2007. "Selection effects in auctions for monopoly rights," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 576-582, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jeczfn:v:125:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00712-017-0590-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Onur A. Koska, 2016. "A Consumer-Surplus Standard in Merger Approvals, Foreign Direct Investment, and Welfare," ERC Working Papers 1612, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Oct 2016.
    3. Gretschko, Vitali & Bichler, Martin & Janssen, Maarten, 2016. "Bargaining in Spectrum Auctions: A Review of the German Auction in 2015," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145809, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Onur A. Koska & Ilke Onur & Frank Stähler, 2018. "The scope of auctions in the presence of downstream interactions and information externalities," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 125(2), pages 107-136, October.
    5. Péter Eső & Volker Nocke & Lucy White, 2010. "Competition for scarce resources," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 524-548.
    6. Janssen, Maarten & Karamychev, Vladimir, 2017. "Raising rivals’ cost in multi-unit auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 473-490.
    7. Maarten C. W. Janssen & Vladimir A. Karamychev & Emiel Maasland, 2010. "Simultaneous Pooled Auctions with Multiple Bids and Preference Lists," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(2), pages 286-298, June.
    8. Janssen, Maarten & Karamychev, Vladimir, 2016. "Spiteful bidding and gaming in combinatorial clock auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 186-207.
    9. Rey, Patrick & Salant, David, 2017. "Allocating essential inputs," TSE Working Papers 17-820, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Feb 2018.
    10. Maarten Janssen & Vladimir Karamychev, 2013. "Gaming in Combinatorial Clock Auctions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-027/VII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 16 Dec 2013.
    11. Maarten Janssen & Vladimir A. Karamychev & Emiel Maasland, 2009. "Auctions with Flexible Entry Fees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-109/1, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; cost-efficiency; aftermarkets;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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