Off on holiday

So I’ve been a bit quiet recently – but will now be completely silent for the next week and a half or so. I am off to Rome on holiday. See you in a couple of weeks.

All the best



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3 responses to “Off on holiday”

  1. Hi. Not sure where to post this comment, so I’ll post it on the most recent entry (i’m a blog novice so forgive my potential breach of etiquette). I came across a website article you wrote ( ) and then came across your blog. Although I have read about procurement auctions, I have only two practical experiences with them. I had two questions with regard to points you have raised:

    1. In the aforementioned article, you wrote that “Descending clock e-auctions work well when there are three or fewer suppliers,…” I simply want to confirm that your intent was to signal that descending clock auctions performed well even with weak competition, rather than to imply that descending clock auctions performed well *only* when there are three or fewer bidders (if you meant the latter, I’d be interested in hearing why).

    2. On you March 26, 2008, entry, you wrote about a dairy auction in which “The market place for this category at the time was very tight. So an English eAuction wouldn’t have been a great choice.” Why would an English auction be a poor choice in this situation (I don’t doubt that it is, I just don’t understand why).


  2. Hi Paul, thanks for the comment.

    Quick answers to your questions:

    1. Descending Clock Auctions (Reverse Japanese) work best with 3 or fewer suppliers. With 4 or more suppliers you are typically better of running a Descending Bid Auction (Reverse English).

    2. Market was tight => There were only a few suppliers. I can’t recall the exact number but I think it was 3 suppliers only.

    I have tried to explain why a Japanese auction works better than an English auction with 3 or fewer suppliers in my posting today

    I hope this helps, Paul. If not then drop me a line. If you can let us know what your interest is in reverse auctions (e.g. as a buyer, as a supplier, as a provider of eAuction technology, as a student of auction theory), and a bit about your two experiences with eAuctions I can hopefully provide more information that is more relevant for you!

  3. Thank you for your reply, Alan. I am obviously a blog novice because I forgot to return to your page to see the response! I guess I’m too accustomed to e-mail. Your responses were clear and I appreciate you taking the time to write them. I am a professor of economics interested in environmental policy. I work on incentive payment programs (constructed markets) that could benefit from auctions as a way to set prices. I have played minor roles in the design, implementation or analysis of procurement auctions for allocation purposes (irrigation rights buyback from farmers in United States during a drought; fishing license buyback in Mexico in a fishery that is causing the extinction of a rare dolphin) and an auction designed as a information-revelation research tool (a uniform price auction to estimate the supply curve for soil erosion prevention contracts in Sumatra, Indonesia). I’m now working on the design of an auction for livestock grazing lease buybacks in wildlife refuges in the United States. I appreciate the practical experience your blog offers. Thanks again.

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