Auctions and Procurement

Thu 19 July 2018


8:00 Breakfast
8.45: Directors’s Introduction and Academic Briefing
9.00:Auctions: Basic Formats and Optimal Bidding  (Peter Eso)
10:00 Syndicate Discussion
11:15:Auction Design in Theory and Practice  (Peter Eso)
12:00 Break, followed by lunch at 12.15pm
1:15 Syndicate Discussion
2:15:Auctions in Business  (Peter Eso)
3:15 Syndicate Discussion
4:30: Applications of Auctions: some recent experiences (Dan Muldoom)
7:00 Drinks Reception followed by Dinner at 7:30
8:45 Evening Speaker: Angus McCallum


Our focus in the regular OUBEP program has so far been on market interactions, whether perfectly competitive, monopolistic, or oligopolistic. However, auctions are an important mechanism in economies both ancient (the Greeks, Romans and Babylonians all used them) and modern. The application of the tools of microeconomics and game theory to auctions has been immensely profitable. Today we begin by describing the different auction formats and their uses, before considering the optimal bidding strategies for participants. We then take the perspective of an auction designer, by assessing which auction formats should be used to maximize efficiency, maximize sales revenue, or minimise procurement costs. The final lecture offers perspectives on how businesses have used auctions in practice to cut procurement costs and maximise sales value.

N.B Breakfast is later than usual today.

Peter Eso – Syndicate Tutor

Peter is a Associate Professor (Reader) in Economics and Tutorial Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University. After completing a PhD in Economics at Harvard University, Peter became an Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (USA) in 2001. He joined Oxford in 2009, and has been teaching Microeconomics and Game Theory at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His research focuses on game theory and the economics of information, studying questions such as the role of risk aversion in trading games (e.g. auctions); communication and bargaining when parties may obtain provable information; and what determines the  price of advice (how to sell and disclose information).  Peter occasionally advises companies on auctions of telecommunication licenses.

Dan Maldoon – Dotecon

Dr Dan Maldoon is a partner of the economic consultancy DotEcon, who design and implement auctions and market mechanisms around the world and assist bidders in high-stakes auctions. DotEcon has run all the UK’s spectrum auctions since 2000 and was responsible for the design and implementation of the Indian 3G auction. DotEcon has pioneered the application of combinatorial auctions to spectrum allocation. It has also been involved in novel applications of auctions, including within energy, transport and central banking. Before founding DotEcon in 1999, Dan was a University Lecturer in Economics at Oxford and has a DPhil from Nuffield College.

Angus McCallum – Metropolitan Police Service

Angus is the Chief Information Officer of the Metropolitan Police Service, (MPS), with responsibility for digital policing and IT transformation he is also a member of the MPS Management Board. Angus is ’Environmental Champion for the Met’ ensuring that MPS deliver targets aligned to the strategic environmental objectives. He is a non-Executive Director for Housing Solutions, a housing association based in Maidenhead. Previously Angus worked at BG Group, an oil and gas exploration Company operating across 25 countries, where he held a number of positions including Global CIO, Operations Director of one of the largest gas utilities in the Americas, Senior Vice President Transmission and Distribution responsible for overseeing a number of utility companies across the globe, Head of Global HR Operations, Head of Investment appraisal. Prior to BG Group Angus was in the Merchant Navy. Angus has significant general management experience across a number of key disciplines and has operated at Executive and Board level for a number of companies / subsidiaries. Born in Northern Ireland, Angus spent some of his childhood in Pune, India and with BG Group has lived and worked in Argentina and Iran.