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Spectrum Auction Design

Peter Cramton ()

Papers of Peter Cramton from University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton

Abstract: Spectrum auctions are used by governments to assign and price licenses for wireless communications. The standard approach is the simultaneous ascending auction, in which many related lots are auctioned simultaneously in a sequence of rounds. I analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the approach with examples from US spectrum auctions. I then present a variation, the package clock auction, adopted by the UK, which addresses many of the problems of the simultaneous ascending auction while building on its strengths. The package clock auction is a simple dynamic auction in which bidders bid on packages of lots. Most importantly, the auction allows alternative technologies that require the spectrum to be organized in different ways to compete in a technology-neutral auction. In addition, the pricing rule and information policy are carefully tailored to mitigate gaming behavior. An activity rule based on revealed preference promotes price discovery throughout the clock stage of the auction. Truthful bidding is encouraged, which simplifies bidding and improves efficiency. Experimental tests and early auctions confirm the advantages of the approach.

Keywords: Auctions; spectrum auctions; market design; package auction; clock auction; combinatorial auction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D44 C78 L96 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 pages
Date: 2009, Revised 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
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Published in Working Paper, University of Maryland, April 2012

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Journal Article: Spectrum Auction Design (2013) Downloads
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