Auctions and Bidding

Subject ECON30026 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One three-hour of lecture per week.
Total Time Commitment:

12 hours per week


The following:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 1


Recommended Background Knowledge:

Please refer to Prerequisites and Corequisites.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


To be advised

Subject Overview:

Auctions have been commonplace since antiquity. In recent times, auctions often have been used to sell a variety of agricultural commodities and natural resources, while sealed-bid tenders (an auction format) continue to be used extensively by both firms and governments to procure a variety of goods and services. Moreover, companies like eBay are integral parts of the global economy. This subject is designed to introduce students to the important auction formats and pricing rules and to help them understand the basic economic theory used to analyse these institutions. Empirical evidence and practical examples will be used throughout.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • identify the different auctions formats and pricing rules;
  • identify the components of a game;
  • describe different informational paradigms in auction theory;
  • characterise the equilibria in auctions games;
  • describe important empirical regularities in auctions;
  • identify phenomena in the real-world that can be investigated using auction theory;
  • collect and analyse data from actual auctions;
  • decide whether particular auctions are achieving the stated goals;
  • propose ways in which existing auctions might be improved.

One 2-hour end-of-semester examination (70%) and several problem sets of approximately 3,000 words in total (30%).

Prescribed Texts:

McMillan, J., Reinventing the Bazaar, A Natural History of Markets

Recommended Texts:

Paarsch, H.J. & Peters M., Auction Manuscript

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • High level of development: written communication; application of theory to practice; critical thinking; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information;
  • moderate level of development: oral communication; problem solving; interpretation and analysis; accessing data and other information from a range of sources; receptiveness to alternative ideas;
  • some level of development: collaborative learning; team work; statistical reasoning; use of computer software.

Download PDF version.