Auctions are studied because they are market institutions of practical importance. Their simple procedural rules to resolve multilateral bargaining over the terms of trade enjoy enduring popularity. They also present simply several basic issues of price determination: the role of private information, the consequences of strategic behaviour and the effect of many traders. These issues have influenced the subject since the initial work of Vickrey (1961), the early contribution of Griesmer, Levitan, and Shubik (1967), and the influential dissertation by Ortega-Reichert (1968). Useful introductory surveys are by Engelbrecht-Wiggans (1980), Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Shubik and Stark (1983), Milgrom (1985), and MacAfee and McMillan (1986); bibliographies are in MacAfee and McMillan (1986) and Stark and Rothkopf (1979); and Cassady (1967) provides an historical perspective.
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