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Auctions for Government Securities: A Laboratory Comparison of Uniform, Discriminatory and Spanish Designs

  • Klaus Abbink
  • Jordi Brandts

    ()

  • Paul Pezanis-Christou

The Bank of Spain uses a unique auction format to sell government bonds, which can be seen as a hybrid of a uniform and a discriminatory auction. For winning bids above the average winning bid, buyers are charged the average winning bid, otherwise they pay their respective bids. We report on an experiment that compares this auction format to the discriminatory format, used in most other countries, and to the uniform format. Our design is based on a common value model with multi-unit supply and two-unit demand. The results show significantly higher revenue with the Spanish and the uniform formats than with the discriminatory one, while volatility of prices over time is significantly lower in the discriminatory format than in the Spanish and uniform cases. Actual price dispersion is significantly larger in the discriminatory than in the Spanish. Our data also exhibit the use of bid-spreading strategies in all three designs.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 551.02.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:551.02
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  1. Plott, Charles R., 1996. "Laboratory Experimental Testbeds: Application to the PCS Auction," Working Papers 957, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1995. "RatImage - research Assistance Toolbox for Computer-Aided Human Behavior Experiments," Discussion Paper Serie B 325, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Paul Pezanis-Christou & Andres Romeu, 2002. "Structural Inferences from First-Price Auction Experiments," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 531.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Manelli, Alejandro M. & Sefton, Martin & Wilner, Benjamin S., 2006. "Multi-unit auctions: A comparison of static and dynamic mechanisms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 304-323, October.
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  6. Simon, David P, 1994. "The Treasury's Experiment with Single-Price Auctions in the Mid-1970s: Winner's or Taxpayer's Curse?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 754-60, November.
  7. Tenorio, Rafael, 1993. "Revenue Equivalence and Bidding Behavior in a Multi-unit Auction Market: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 302-14, May.
  8. Klaus Abbink & Bernd Irlenbusch & Paul Pezanis-Christou & Bettina Rockenbach & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Reinhard Selten, 2001. "An Experimental Test of Design Alternatives for the British 3G / UMTS Auction," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse25_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
  9. Kjell G. Nyborg & Kristian Rydqvist & Suresh M. Sundaresan, 2002. "Bidder Behavior in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from Swedish Treasury Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 394-424, April.
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  11. Daripa, Arupratan, 2001. "A theory of treasury auctions," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 743-767, November.
  12. Wilson, Robert, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-89, November.
  13. Rassenti, Stephen J & Smith, Vernon L & Wilson, Bart J, 2003. "Discriminatory Price Auctions in Electricity Markets: Low Volatility at the Expense of High Price Levels," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 109-23, March.
  14. Ehrhart, Karl-Martin, 2001. "European Central Bank operations: experimental investigation of the fixed rate tender," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 871-893, November.
  15. 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.
  16. van Damme, Eric, 2002. "The European UMTS-auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 846-858, May.
  17. Goswami, Gautam & Noe, Thomas H & Rebello, Michael J, 1996. "Collusion in Uniform-Price Auctions: Experimental Evidence and Implications for Treasury Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 757-85.
  18. Leonardo Bartolini & Carlo Cottarelli, 1997. "Designing effective auctions for treasury securities," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 3(Jul).
  19. 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.
  20. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Kahn, Charles M., 1998. "Multi-Unit Pay-Your-Bid Auctions with Variable Awards," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 25-42, April.
  21. Jaime F. Zender & James J.D. Wang, 2002. "Auctioning divisible goods," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 673-705.
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  26. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-89584 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Goeree, Jacob K. & Offerman, Theo & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Using first-price auctions to sell heterogeneous licenses," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 555-581, May.
  28. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts & Tanga McDaniel, 2002. "Asymmetric demand information in uniform and discriminatory call auctions: an experimental analysis motivated by electricity markets," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 520.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  30. Michael B. Gordy, . "Multiple Bids in a Multiple-Unit Common Value Auction," Computing in Economics and Finance 1996 _021, Society for Computational Economics.
  31. John H. Kagel & Dan Levin, 1999. "Common Value Auctions with Insider Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1219-1238, September.
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