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Common-Value Auctions with Liquidity Needs: An Experimental Test of a Troubled Assets Reverse Auction

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Abstract

We experimentally test alternative auction designs suitable for pricing and removing troubled assets from banks’ balance sheets as part of the financial rescue. Many individual securities or pools of securities are auctioned simultaneously. Securities that are widely held are purchased in auctions for individual securities. Securities with concentrated ownership are purchased as pools of related securities. Each bank has private information about its liquidity need and the true common value of each security. We study bidding behavior and performance of sealed-bid uniform-price auctions and dynamic clock auctions. The clock and sealed-bid auctions resulted in similar prices. However, the clock auctions resulted in substantially higher bank payoffs, since the dynamic auction enabled the banks to better manage their liquidity needs. The clock auctions also reduced bidder error. The experiments demonstrated the feasibility of quickly implementing simple and effective auction designs to help resolve the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Nathaniel Higgins & Erkut Ozbay & Andrew Stocking, 2009. "Common-Value Auctions with Liquidity Needs: An Experimental Test of a Troubled Assets Reverse Auction," Papers of Peter Cramton 09cvawln, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:09cvawln
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    File URL: http://www.cramton.umd.edu/papers2005-2009/acfhos-common-value-auctions-with-liquidity-needs.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Regina Betz & Stefan Seifert & Peter Cramton & Suzi Kerr, 2010. "Auctioning greenhouse gas emissions permits in Australia ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(2), pages 219-238, April.
    2. Paul Klemperer, 2010. "The Product-Mix Auction: A New Auction Design for Differentiated Goods," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(2-3), pages 526-536, 04-05.
    3. Peter Cramton & Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Ozbay & Pacharasut Sujarittanonta, 2012. "Discrete clock auctions: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(2), pages 309-322, June.
    4. Ahlberg, Joakim, 2012. "Multi-unit common value auctions: an experimental comparison between the static and the dynamic uniform auction," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:24, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    5. Peter Cramton & Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Ozbay & Pacharasut Sujarittanonta, 2012. "Fear of losing in a clock auction," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(2), pages 119-134, September.
    6. Ahlberg , Joakim, 2012. "Multi-unit common value auctions: a laboratory experiment with three sealed-bid mechanisms," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:23, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; financial auctions; financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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