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A Brief Review and Analysis of Spectrum Auctions in Canada

By Martínez-Cid, Wenfei Jiao, and Zeren Zhang

We begin by explaining the importance of efficient spectrum allocation and reviewing Canada’s recent spectrum allocation history. We then use a dataset covering more than 1,200 licenses auctioned from 2001 to 2015 that seeks to account for each auction’s particular rules. Our results confirm that measures of demand such as population covered, income levels, frequency levels, bandwidth, etc. indeed drive license valuation. We also quantify the negative impact on price of setting aside particular license auctions for new entrants, suggesting that the set-aside provision constitutes an implicit subsidy for those firms.

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Advisor: Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: D44, D45, D47, L51, O33

Optimal Ordering in Sequential English Auctions: A Revenue-Comparison Model for 18th Century Art Auctions in London and Paris

By Amaan Mitha

We develop a model based on several auction parameters to test the widely held notion that in a sequential English auction, it is optimal for the seller to arrange the lots in order of decreasing value. We test this model against two datasets of 18th century auctions, one of various auctions from Paris and the other from Christie’s sales in London. We find that the Paris data support the claim, while the Christie’s data seem to refute the optimal strategy. We also find a rationale for bidders in the Christie’s auctions to alter their strategies, accounting for the discrepancy.

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Advisor: Neil De Marchi | JEL Codes: D4, Z11 | Tagged: Auctions, English Auction, Lot Ordering, Optimal Auction Strategy, Sequential Auctions


Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly