In many countries all over the world, governments are privatising firms that were previously under public control. This is happening, for example, in public utility sectors such as gas, water and electricity, in transport sectors (such as rail and metro) and in radio and telephony. This book provides an overview of the economic issues that are involved in this transfer of ownership of public assets. Combining a theoretical framework with a set of case studies of recent sales of state-owned assets from Europe and the USA, it asks which sort of allocation mechanism can a government adopt? Which is most suited to a particular sale? And how will the choice of allocation mechanism affect future market outcomes? With contributions from international experts, this book offers an accessible introduction to auction theory and an invaluable, non-technical analysis of existing knowledge. It will be of interest to students, non-specialists and policy-makers alike.
• Non-technical and fully accessible introduction to auction theory • Provides extensive coverage of practical case material from Europe and US • Offers a balanced view of auctions versus other allocation mechanisms
Introduction Maarten Janssen; Part I. Theory: 1. Auction theory for auction design Tilman Börgers and Eric van Damme; 2. Beauty contest design Maurice Dykstra and Nico van der Windt; 3. Preventing collusion between firms in auctions Tim Salmon; 4. Levelling the playing field in auctions and the prohibition of state aid Emiel Maasland, Yves Montangie and Roger van der Bergh; 5. Allocation mechanisms and post-allocation interaction Maarten Janssen and Benny Moldovanu; Part II. Case Studies: 6. Spectrum auctions by the United States Federal Communications Commission Tim Salmon; 7. An analysis of the European 3G licensing process Emiel Maasland and Benny Moldovanu; 8. Auctions to gas transmission access; the British experience Karsten Neuhoff and Tanga McDaniel; 9. The design of treasury bond auctions - some case studies Tilman Börgers and Joseph Swierzbinski; 10. Matching markets Benny Moldovanu; 11. Competitive procurement of reintegration services in the Netherlands Maurice Dykstra and Jaap de Koning; 12. Case study: the provision of rail services Luisa Affuso and David Newbery.