chapter  18
20 Pages

Criticisms of Auctions

As discussed in Chapter 4, auctions have become the most popular part of the liberalisation agenda, adopted almost worldwide, even in countries that are nervous about other market mechanisms.

The delays and legal challenges associated with beauty contests, compared with the transparency of auctions as well as the economic arguments have seen the latter become the default assignment mechanism. However, in recent years cracks have appeared in this pro-auction consensus, with the European Commission the highest profile doubter. Some are predicting a move back to administrative assignment.