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Underpricing and Market Power in Uniform Price Auctions


  • Kremer, Ilan
  • Nyborg, Kjell G


In uniform auctions, buyers choose demand schedules as strategies and pay the same ‘market clearing’ price for units awarded. Despite the widespread use of these auctions, the extant theory shows that they are susceptible to arbitrarily large underpricing. We make a realistic modification to the theory by allowing discrete prices, quantities and bids. We show that underpricing can be made arbitrarily small by choosing a sufficiently small price tick size and a sufficiently large quantity multiple. We also show how one might improve revenues by modifying the allocation rule. A trivial change in the design can have a dramatic impact on prices. Our conclusions are robust to bidders being capacity constrained. Finally, we examine supply uncertainty robust equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Kremer, Ilan & Nyborg, Kjell G, 2004. "Underpricing and Market Power in Uniform Price Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4363, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4363

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Wage Mobility In The United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 351-368, August.
    2. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
    3. A. R. Cardoso, 2000. "Wage differentials across firms: an application of multilevel modelling," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 343-354.
    4. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Portugal, Pedro, 2003. "Bargained Wages, Wage Drift and the Design of the Wage Setting System," IZA Discussion Papers 914, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item


    discreteness; market power; multi-unit auctions; supply uncertainty; treasury auctions; underpricing; uniform price auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)


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