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From as early as the fifth century B.C. when Herodotus described the auctioning of women for service as wives in Babylonia, scholars have evinced a keen interest in the conduct of auctions. Although auctions are no longer a vehicle for exploiting women, the auction process remains of particular interest to economists. Economists are interested in the efficient allocation of resources, and auctions are widely, if erroneously, viewed as the optimal means of allocating resources.
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