Paul A. Johnson: Blind Bidding Isn’t the Problem in Housing

As a student of the dense and specialized economic theory of auctions and bidding, I was surprised to see the federal Liberals dive into the topic during the recent election campaign with their “Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights,” which promises to “Ban blind bidding, which prevents bidders from knowing the bids of other prospective buyers, and ultimately drives up home prices.” The ban wasn’t mentioned in Tuesday’s rather brief throne speech but there seems little doubt the government will go ahead with it. Do their claims jibe with the economics of bidding that I was taught in graduate school? After all, as public health and climate crises continue to remind us, good policy should be guided by the received wisdom of specialized experts. Read More