Edited by Manfred Neumann and Jürgen Weigand
Auctions have long been used in order to sell or procure goods or services. Since the pioneering work by William Vickrey on auctions (Vickrey, 1961, 1962), which resulted in his winning the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1996, auction theory has also been an extraordinarily active research area in microeconomics. Spurred by the successes of the auctioning of telecommunication licenses in the United States in the beginning of the 1990s, applying theoretical concepts to real-life problems has become a new research field called market design. In 2012, Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel “for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design” (nobelprize.org). Competition authorities have also begun considering the particular features of auctions when assessing market power or in their analyses of mergers. For instance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held a roundtable on competition in bidding markets in October 2006.
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