September Lunch Talk: "What Really Matters in Auction Design?"
Institution(s): Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, Hong Kong Centre for Economic Research
Date: Sep 29, 2000 (Friday)
Time: 12:00 noon - 02:00 pm
Venue: Furama Hotel, Tang Rooms 2-3
Cost: HK$400 per person
How to design an auction to raise more than $260 billion?
The most important issues in auction design are the traditional concerns of competition policy--preventing collusion, predatory, and entry deterring behaviour. Ascending and uniform-price auctions are particularly vulnerable to these problems and a hybrid of the sealed-bid and ascending auctions may perform better. Prof. Klemperer will discuss radiospectrum, football TV-rights, electricity markets, and takeover battles. The optimal design of an auction depends on the details of the context: the circumstances of the U.K. mobile-phone license auction made an ascending formal ideal. The devils are in the details and an "one size fits all" strategy will not work.
Paul Klemperer is the Edgeworth Professor of Economics at Oxford University. Being one of the leading scholars in industrial organization and in auction, he is a fellow of the British Academy and of the Economietric Society. The influence of his work goes far beyond academia. He is the theorist behind the U.K. government's auction of third generation mobile-phone licenses that raised over 22 billion pounds; he has advised the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on competition policy for oil-drilling industry; he was on National Audit Office Panel of Experts to review the U.K. gold sales and a consultant to the U.K. Treasury; he has advised the U.K. Competition Commission on the electricity industry; he has advised the U.K. office of Fair Trading on developments in the TV industry and implications for competition policy, in particular, on TV rights for premiership football. Besides government agencies, he has also consulted for corporations including Heinz, Chevron, Mitsubishi Bank, Express Dairies, Behrens & Co., Boston Consulting Group, British Petroleum, Monsanto, IBM and others.