FCC ANNOUNCES PAUL MILGROM AND OTHER LEADING AUCTION EXPERTS TO ADVISE COMMISSION ON INCENTIVE AUCTION DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
March 27, 2012 – FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “I am delighted to have this world-class team of experts advising the Commission on this historic undertaking. Our plan is to ensure that incentive auctions serve as an effective market mechanism to unleash more spectrum for mobile broadband and help address the looming spectrum crunch. Our implementation of this new Congressional mandate will be guided by the economics, and will seek to maximize the opportunity to unleash investment and innovation, benefit consumers, drive economic growth, and enhance our global competitiveness. The knowledge and experience of this team will complement the substantial expertise of agency staff to meet these goals.”
The full press release is available here.
MENTION IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
Too much pressure to improve students’ test scores can reduce attention to other aspects of the curriculum and discourage cultivation of broader problem-solving skills, also known as “teaching to the test.” The economists Bengt Holmstrom and Paul Milgrom describe the general problem of misaligned incentives in more formal terms – workers who are rewarded only for accomplishment of easily measurable tasks reduce the effort devoted to other tasks.
September 16th, 2011 – Paul’s work as a bidding adviser is given a nice mention in the September 3, 2011 issue of The Economist magazine. According to the article,
“In the run-up to an online auction in 2006 of radio-spectrum licences by America’s Federal Communications Commission, Paul Milgrom, a consultant and Stanford University professor, customised his game-theory software to assist a consortium of bidders. The result was a triumph.
When the auction began, Dr Milgrom’s software tracked competitors’ bids to estimate their budgets for the 1,132 licences on offer. Crucially, the software estimated the secret values bidders placed on specific licences and determined that certain big licences were being overvalued. It directed Dr Milgrom’s clients to obtain a patchwork of smaller, less expensive licences instead. Two of his clients, Time Warner and Comcast, paid about a third less than their competitors for equivalent spectrum, saving almost $1.2 billion.”
The article unfortunately failed to mention that the this consulting project was a joint effort by three Stanford professors. The two others were Jonathan Levin and Jeremy Bulow.
FISHERY AUCTIONS IN CHILE
May 15th, 2011- On May 9-10, Paul was in Santiago, Chile to advocate the creation of individual transferable fishing quotas (ITQs) and the use of auctions to assign at least half of them. (Chilean law authorizes auctions only for half of the fishing rights.) The use of auctions would not change the total allowable catch, but would open the door to new entry by more efficient firms. Currently, entry is blockaded by a handful of firms that control all the rights. Not only would auctions enhance efficiency, but they would also capture a portion of the value of fishing rights for the Chilean population, just as radio spectrum auctions have promoted efficiency and captured value in many countries.
El Mercurio newspaper published an interview with Paul on May 10, which can be found here.
PAUL SPEAKS AT THE WHITE HOUSE
April 7th, 2011 On April 6, Paul Milgrom appeared at the White House on behalf of 112 economists to discuss the bipartisan “economists’ letter” to President Obama, which supports the use of “incentive auctions” to guide the voluntary redeployment of radio spectrum to higher value uses. The letter, signed by a distinguished group of economists including both Republicans and Democrats, explains the proper roles of users and regulators in assuring that spectrum is used efficiently, to promote jobs and growth and create a win-win solutions for existing users like TV broadcasters and possible new users like providers of wireless broadband services.
Paul speaking at White House, 6 April 2011
The panel discussion and the surrounding event were covered by various news outlets.
PAUL’S INTERVIEW ON CNBC-e
March 28th, 2011 – Paul was interviewed on Turkish television last week, discussing the economic challenges that Turkey faces, particularly in its telecom sector. Here is the original link to Turkish television and an archival link.
EITAN BERGLAS LECTURE
March 16th, 2011 On March 15, 2011, I delivered the tenth Berglas Public Lecture at the School of Economics of Tel Aviv University. Eitan Berglas founded the Department of Economics in Tel Aviv in 1966. Professor Berglas served as economic adviser to the Israeli government and as chairman of Bank Hapoalim. His published research was in the field of public economics and club theory.
A video of my public lecture is available at the TAU website and on YouTube. The lecture demonstrated how an understanding of bidder budget constraints can be part of devising effective bidding strategy for radio spectrum auctions, showed how the strategic insights from that analysis can theoretically be incorporated to create more effective auction designs, and demonstrated a web-based auction that takes advantage of this lesson.
PAUL’S CONJUNTURA ECONOMICA INTERVIEW IN BRAZIL
VEGA MAGAZINE INTERVIEW
February 5th, 2011 - Paul was featured this month in Brazil’s Veja magazine, which with over 1 million subscribers is the largest circulation magazine in South America. The article includes a nice photo of Paul in the archway near Memorial Church on the Stanford campus.