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Strategic Behavior and Underpricing in Uniform Price Auctions

Author

Listed:
  • Matti Keloharju

    (Helsinki School of Economics)

  • Kjell G. Nyborg

    (London Business School and CEPR)

  • Kristian Rydqvist

    (Binghamton University and CEPR)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matti Keloharju & Kjell G. Nyborg & Kristian Rydqvist, 2003. "Strategic Behavior and Underpricing in Uniform Price Auctions," Working Papers 2003.25, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, April.
    2. 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 757-785.
    3. Albert S. Kyle, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 317-355.
    4. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F., 2001. "Auctions of divisible goods with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 29-34, October.
    5. Robert Wilson, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 511-518.
    6. 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 227-247.
    7. Robert Wilson, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-689.
    8. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-1277, November.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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 733-764.
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    Cited by:

    1. LiCalzi, Marco & Pavan, Alessandro, 2005. "Tilting the supply schedule to enhance competition in uniform-price auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 227-250, January.
    2. Rocholl, Jörg, 2005. "Discriminatory auctions with seller discretion: evidence from German treasury auctions," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,15, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Michel A. Habib & Alexandre Ziegler, 2003. "Why Government Bonds Are Sold by Auction and Corporate Bonds by Posted-Price Selling," FAME Research Paper Series rp78, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multiunit auctions; uniform price auctions; treasury auctions; market power; demand functions; underpricing; supply uncertainty; seller behavior;

    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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