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Auctioning Securities

Treasury debt and other divisible securities are traditionally sold in either a pay-your-bid (discriminatory) auction or a uniform-price auction. We compare these auction formats with a Vickrey auction and also with two ascending-bid auctions. The Vickrey auction and the alternative ascending-bid auction (Ausubel 1996) have important theoretical advantages for sellers. In a setting without private information, these auctions achieve the maximal revenue as a unique equilibrium in dominant strategies. In contrast, the pay- your-bid, uniform-price, and standard ascending-bid auction admit a multiplicity of equilibria that yield low revenues for the seller. We show how these results extend to a setting where bidders have affiliated private information. Our results question the standard ways that securities are offered to the public.

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File URL: http://www.cramton.umd.edu/papers1995-1999/98wp-auctioning-securities.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton in its series Papers of Peter Cramton with number 98wpas.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Feb 1997
Date of revision: Mar 1998
Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:98wpas
Note: Working Paper
Contact details of provider: Postal: Economics Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7211
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Web page: http://www.cramton.umd.edu

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  1. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1996. "Optimal Reservation Prices in Auctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1271-83, September.
  2. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  3. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Charles M. Kahn, 1998. "Multi-unit auctions with uniform prices," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 227-258.
  4. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  5. Bulow, Jeremy I. & Klemperer, Paul, 1994. "Auctions vs. Negotiations," CEPR Discussion Papers 924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Wilson, Robert, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-89, November.
  7. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1988. "Revenue equivalence in multi-object auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 15-19.
  8. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-381122 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Harstad, Ronald M, 1990. "Alternative Common-Value Auction Procedures: Revenue Comparisons with Free Entry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 421-29, April.
  10. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  11. Bikhchandani, Sushil, 1999. "Auctions of Heterogeneous Objects," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 193-220, January.
  12. V.V. Chari & Robert J. Weber, 1992. "How the U.S. Treasury should auction its debt," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 3-12.
  13. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  14. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 1995. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpdr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 22 Jul 2002.
  15. Robert J. Weber, 1981. "Multiple-Object Auctions," Discussion Papers 496, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. 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.
  17. Noussair, Charles, 1995. "Equilibria in a Multi-object Uniform Price Sealed Bid Auction with Multi-unit Demands," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 337-51, March.
  18. Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
  19. Avery, Christopher, 1998. "Strategic Jump Bidding in English Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 185-210, April.
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