In comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), 71 economists explain why competitive procurement auctions should be used to allocate the $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus grants required by the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The economists’ comments explain “why procurement auctions are more efficient and more consistent with the stimulus goals of allocating funds quickly than a traditional grant review process.”
The signatories to this document are economists who have studied telecommunications, auctions, and competition policy. The list includes two Nobel Laureates and three winners of the John Bates Clark medal for the best economist under 40.
The comments were coordinated by Paul Milgrom, Gregory Rosston, and Andrzej Skrzypacz of Stanford University, and Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute. Thomas Lenard of TPI is one of the signers of the comments.
In their comments the economists noted, “While we may disagree about the stimulus package, we believe that it is important to implement mechanisms that make stimulus spending as efficient as possible. To that end, we have come together to encourage the NTIA and RUS to adopt auction mechanisms to allocate broadband stimulus grants”