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Strategic Behavior and Underpricing in Uniform Price Auctions

  • Matti Keloharju

    (Helsinki School of Economics)

  • Kjell G. Nyborg

    (London Business School and CEPR)

  • Kristian Rydqvist

    (Binghamton University and CEPR)

We study uniform price auctions using a dataset which includes individual bidders' demand schedules in Finnish Treasury auctions during the period 1992-99. Average underpricing amounts to .041% of face value. Theory suggests that underpricing may result from monopsonistic market power. We develop and test robust implications from this theory and ¯nd that it has little support in the data. For example, bidders' individual demand functions do not respond to increased competition in the manner predicted by the theory. We also present evidence that the Finnish Treasury acts strategically, taking into account the fact that the auctions are part of a repeated game between the Treasury and the primary dealers. Empirically, the main driver behind bidder behavior and underpricing is the volatility of bond returns. Since there is no evidence that bidders are risk averse, this suggests that private information and the winner's curse may play an important role in these auctions.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2003.25.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.25
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  1. 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.
  2. Robert Wilson, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 511-518.
  3. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
  4. Albert S. Kyle, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 317-355.
  5. Keloharju, Matti & Malkamäki, Markku & Nyborg, Kjell G. & Rydqvist, Kristian, 2002. "A Descriptive analysis of the finnish treasury bond market 1991-1999," Research Discussion Papers 16/2002, Bank of Finland.
  6. Robert Wilson, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-689.
  7. 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.
  8. Ilan Kremer, 2004. "Underpricing and Market Power in Uniform Price Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 849-877.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Hoidal Bjonnes, Geir, 2001. "Winner's Curse in Discriminatory Price Auctions: Evidence from the Norwegian Treasury Bill Auctions," SIFR Research Report Series 3, Institute for Financial Research.
  12. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  13. Kandel, Shmuel & Sarig, Oded & Wohl, Avi, 1999. "The Demand for Stocks: An Analysis of IPO Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 227-47.
  14. Gautam Goswami & Thomas H. Noe & Michael J. Rebello, 1995. "Collusion in uniform-price auctions: experimental evidence and implications for Treasury auctions," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 95-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. Yasushi Hamao & Narasimhan Jegadeesh, 1998. "An Analysis of Bidding in the Japanese Government Bond Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 755-772, 04.
  16. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F., 2001. "Auctions of divisible goods with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 29-34, October.
  17. 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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