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Underpricing in Discriminatory and Uniform-Price Treasury Auctions

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  • Goldreich, David
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    Abstract

    This Paper compares the new uniform-price US Treasury auctions with the traditional discriminatory mechanism and examines the extent to which the auction mechanisms are responsible for underpricing. Empirically, I find that even for the newer uniform-price auctions, the average price received by the Treasury is less than the price of the same securities in the concurrent secondary market, although this underpricing is reduced by half relative to the older mechanism. The auctions are modeled in a multi-unit common-value setting with a winner’s curse problem. Underpricing results in equilibrium for both auction formats, although to a greater degree for the discriminatory auction. In the context of the model, the equilibrium level of underpricing in an individual auction can be predicted from the summary statistics released by the Treasury after each auction. Empirical results show that the magnitude of underpricing in the auctions, and the cross-sectional variation in underpricing, is consistent with the model.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4105.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4105

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    Keywords: bonds; Treasury auctions; underpricing;

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    References

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    1. Robert Alan Feldman & Vincent Reinhart, 1995. "Flexible Estimation of Demand Schedules and Revenue Under Different Auction Formats," IMF Working Papers 95/116, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Spindt, Paul A. & Stolz, Richard W., 1992. "Are US treasury bills underpriced in the primary market?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 891-908, September.
    3. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & Jeroen M. Swinkels, 1995. "The Loser's Curse and Information Aggregation in Common Value Auctions," Discussion Papers 1147, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. Gautam Goswami & Thomas Noe & Michael Rebello, 1995. "Collusion in uniform-price auctions: experimental evidence and implications for Treasury auctions," Working Paper 95-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    5. Nyborg, Kjell G. & Sundaresan, Suresh, 1996. "Discriminatory versus uniform Treasury auctions: Evidence from when-issued transactions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 63-104, September.
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    9. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F, 1993. "Auctions of Divisible Goods: On the Rationale for the Treasury Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(4), pages 733-64.
    10. Cammack, Elizabeth B, 1991. "Evidence on Bidding Strategies and the Information in Treasury Bill Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 100-130, February.
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    12. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 1995. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpdr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 22 Jul 2002.
    13. Chatterjea, Arkadev & Jarrow, Robert A., 1998. "Market Manipulation, Price Bubbles, and a Model of the U.S. Treasury Securities Auction Market," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(02), pages 255-289, June.
    14. V.V. Chari & Robert J. Weber, 1992. "How the U.S. Treasury should auction its debt," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 3-12.
    15. Umlauf, Steven R., 1993. "An empirical study of the Mexican Treasury bill auction," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 313-340, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Michael J. Fleming & Kenneth D. Garbade & Frank Keane, 2005. "Anomalous Bidding In Short-Term Treasury Bill Auctions," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association & Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 28(2), pages 165-176.
    2. Matti Keloharju & Kjell G. Nyborg & Kristian Rydqvist, 2005. "Strategic Behavior and Underpricing in Uniform Price Auctions: Evidence from Finnish Treasury Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1865-1902, 08.
    3. Rocholl, Jörg, 2005. "Discriminatory auctions with seller discretion: evidence from German treasury auctions," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,15, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.

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