Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 8 No. 3 (Summer 1994)


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Selling Spectrum Rights

Article Citation

McMillan, John. 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 8(3): 145-162.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.8.3.145


The design of the FCC spectrum-license auction is a case study in the application of economic theory. Auction theory helped address policy questions such as: Should an open auction or a sealed-bid auction be used? Should the licenses be auctioned sequentially or simultaneously? Should the government allow bids for combinations of licenses, or should it accept only single-license bids? How should the auction be structured to promote the interests of minority-owned and other designated firms? Should the government impose royalties or reserve prices? How much should the bidders be informed about their competition?

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McMillan, John (U CA, San Diego)

JEL Classifications

D44: Auctions
L96: Telecommunications
L98: Industry Studies: Utilities and Transportation: Government Policy


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