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Why Every Economist Should Learn Some Auction Theory

  • Paul Klemperer

    (Nuffield College Oxford University)

This is an Invited paper for the World Congress of the Econometric Society held in Seattle in August 2000. We discuss the strong connections between auction theory and "standard" economic theory, and argue that auction-theoretic tools and intuitions can provide useful arguments and insights in a broad range of mainstream economic settings that do not, at first sight, look like auctions. We also discuss some more obvious applications, especially to industrial organization.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0004009.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 13 Sep 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0004009
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on PC; pages: 51; figures: included
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  1. Klemperer, Paul, 1998. "Auctions with almost common values: The 'Wallet Game' and its applications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 757-769, May.
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  8. Klemperer, P., 1999. "Auction Theory: a Guide to the Literature," Economics Papers 1999-w12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  9. Jeremy I. Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1996. "The Generalized War of Attrition," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1142, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Armstrong, Mark, 2000. "Optimal Multi-object Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 455-81, July.
  11. P. Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1998. "Efficient Auctions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1857, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  13. Hughes, James W & Snyder, Edward A, 1995. "Litigation and Settlement under the English and American Rules: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 225-50, April.
  14. 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.
  15. Newbery, D. M., 1997. "Competition, Contracts and Entry in the Electricity Spot Market," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9707, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Charles M. Kahn, 2005. "Low-Revenue Equilibria in Simultaneous Ascending-Bid Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(3), pages 508-518, March.
  17. Paul Klemperer, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W26, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1983. "Bundling Decisions by a Multiproduct Monopolist with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 463-83, March.
  19. Monteiro, Paulo Klinger & Temimi, Akram & Menezes, Flavio Marques, 1999. "Discrete Public Goods with Incomplete Information," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 359, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  20. von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik Morch & Harbord, David, 1993. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 531-46, May.
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  22. Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 1998. "Efficient Design with Interdependent Valuations," Discussion Papers 1244, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  23. Klemperer, Paul, 1995. "Competition When Consumers Have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 515-39, October.
  24. Dilip Abreu & Faruk Gul, 2000. "Bargaining and Reputation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 85-118, January.
  25. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Marek Pycia & Marzena Rostek & Marek Weretka, 2014. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1366-1400.
  26. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1999. "The Tobacco Deal," HEW 9904002, EconWPA.
  27. Peter Cramton & Jesse Schwartz, 2000. "Collusive Bidding: Lessons from the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 00jre, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Mar 1999.
  28. 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.
  29. Avery, Christopher & Hendershott, Terrence, 2000. "Bundling and Optimal Auctions of Multiple Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 483-97, July.
  30. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts," Discussion Papers 1170, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  31. Giulio Federico & David Rahman, 2000. "Bidding in an electricity pay-as-bid auction," Economics Papers 2001-W5, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 01 Apr 2001.
  32. Nils-Henrik von der Fehr & David Harbord, 2002. "Competition in Electricity Spot Markets: Economic Theory and International Experience," Industrial Organization 0203006, EconWPA.
  33. Klemperer, Paul, 1987. "Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 375-94, May.
  34. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
  35. Robert J. Weber, 1997. "Making More from Less: Strategic Demand Reduction in the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 529-548, 09.
  36. Zheng, Charles Zhoucheng, 2001. "High Bids and Broke Winners," Staff General Research Papers 12665, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  37. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
  38. Paul Klemperer (ed.), 2000. "The Economic Theory of Auctions," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 1669, March.
  39. Milgrom, Paul R, 1981. "Rational Expectations, Information Acquisition, and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 921-43, June.
  40. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1994. "Rational Frenzies and Crashes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 1-23, February.
  41. Beggs, Alan W & Klemperer, Paul, 1992. "Multi-period Competition with Switching Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 651-66, May.
  42. Baye, Michael R. & Morgan, John, 1999. "A folk theorem for one-shot Bertrand games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 59-65, October.
  43. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
  44. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1998. "Strategic Bidding in a Multiunit Auction: An Empirical Analysis of Bids to Supply Electricity in England and Wales," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 703-725, Winter.
  45. Holt, Charles A, Jr & Sherman, Roger, 1982. "Waiting-Line Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 280-94, April.
  46. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  47. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  48. Menezes, Flavio M., 1996. "Multiple-unit English auctions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 671-684, December.
  49. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1994. "Auctions vs. Negotiations," NBER Working Papers 4608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  50. Kambe, Shinsuke, 1999. "Bargaining with Imperfect Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 217-237, August.
  51. Robert G. Hansen, 1988. "Auctions with Endogenous Quantity," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 44-58, Spring.
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