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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Traditional auctions struggle to achieve efficient allocations in multi-resource environments where individual resources are complements (the value of obtaining a package of items is worth more than the sum of the unbundled individual values) or they are substitutes. For this reason, Combinatorial Auctions are valuable resource allocation mechanisms in a host of environments. These environments include, but are not limited to, spectrum auctions, procurement of transportation services, exchange of pollution credits, and the allocation of space shuttle resources. This chapter provides a summary of several important combinatorial auction mechanisms. For each mechanism examined we highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and the environments for which they are well suited. In addition, the chapter provides examples of how these mechanisms have been used by business and government to gain efficiency and revenue in these complex resource allocation environments.

Keywords: Combinatorial Auctions, efficiency, resource allocation

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