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Collusion in uniform-price auctions: experimental evidence and implications for Treasury auctions

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  • Gautam Goswami
  • Thomas Noe
  • Michael Rebello

Abstract

In uniform-price auctions of shares there exist collusive equilibria in which bidders capture the entire surplus from the auction as well as competitive equilibria in which the auctioneer captures the entire surplus from the auction. We provide experimental evidence that, in uniform-price auctions, non-binding pre-play communication facilitates convergence to collusive equilibrium outcomes. On the other hand, regardless of the opportunities for communication, in discriminatory-auction experiments subject strategies conform closely with the unique equilibrium in undominated strategies in which bidders' gains are equal to the smallest "tick size" in the bidding schedule. This evidence suggests that uniform-price auctions of Treasury securities may result in lower revenues than the currently employed discriminatory procedure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 95-5.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Publication status: Published in Review of Financial Studies, Fall 1996
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:95-5

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Keywords: Government securities ; Treasury bills;

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  1. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  2. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
  3. Wilson, Robert, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-89, November.
  4. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1984. " Theory and Behavior of Multiple Unit Discriminative Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 983-1010, September.
  5. Samuelson, Larry, 1991. "Limit evolutionarily stable strategies in two-player, normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 110-128, February.
  6. Harrison, Glenn W, 1989. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 749-62, September.
  7. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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