This paper analyses the auction designs chosen for awarding 3G licences in the UK and Germany and compares them with respect to revenues and bidders’ surplus using a laboratory experiment. In our study with a given number of bidders, the German design leads to higher revenues. However, bidder surplus in the German design is lower and bidders face a severe exposure problem. Because this might discourage participation, it will probably lead to less competitive bidding in real applications.
German Economic Review (GER), the official publication of the German Economic Association (Verein für Socialpolitik), is an international journal publishing original and rigorous research of general interest in a broad range of economic disciplines. The scope of research approaches includes theoretical, empirical and experimental work.